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Sergi Is Commander-in-Chief Behind the Bar at Lincoln

Posted by on in September 2014 Editions
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You know you are talking to a person who has found his or her true calling in this world when you ask them: "What do you consider to be the hardest part of your job?" and the answer is: "Going home!  When you are doing something that you love, it can sometimes be so hard to go home and just turn your brain off.  You want to be back THERE!"

That "there" is Lincoln Restaurant in Washington, D.C.  That happy employee is lead bartender Rachel Sergi, who has been in the business for nearly two decades now. She started her career in the nation's capital at New Heights Restaurant before eventually hooking on with Lincoln, an American small plates eatery that focuses on organically sourced menu offerings with a heavy emphasis on its fresh cocktail program, as well.

"I love creating cocktails," Sergi stated, during a recent interview with the Beverage Journal.  "One of the cocktails I am known for is a drink that is not on our menu right now, but I've had it in my arsenal for some time.  It's my favorite, and it's called the Betty White.  It's actually a beer cocktail.  It uses beer and gin and a cherry liqueur.  It's light and bright, and I serve it in a martini glass. It's almost like an alternative to a champagne cocktail.  People seem to really like it."

 Ever a tinkerer, Sergi says she enjoys working with the various brands and seeing what she can come up with next for her customers. One of her favorites is Illinois-based FEW Spirits, which she was introduced to at a cocktail conference earlier in the decade.  "I had an immediate love for them because I had lived in Chicago for a couple of years and fell in love with that city.  But also it was because their spirits are fantastic.  There Rye specifically was different than other Ryes around on the market.  It had a heavier body.  It's always been easy to work with in cocktails.  But all of the products they put out are great.  I was amazed that they were a distillery in Chicago. Not a lot was coming from there. I use them for a bourbon or rye on the rocks, because of the alcohol content."

What she really loves most about the bartending profession, though, is the social aspect of the job.  "You meet different and interesting people every single day," she stated.  "The job is not static.  It's energizing.  You learn something new every single day from your contact with human beings basically."

She continued with a chuckle, "You never know who your next potential employer is going to be, so you better treat everybody nicely!  And always smile.  Customers like that.  Address every single person and look them in the eyes when you fill their glass and also have a great handshake.  Those are just some of the little things you learn with time and age."

Sergi is also known in Washington circles as one of the founding members of the D.C. Bartenders Guild.  She credits the organization with creating a real sense of community within the profession in the District of Columbia.  "We all bonded together," she stated.  "Washington is one of those markets where we really don't vie against each other.  We've been able to lift each other up and educate through different brands that we can bring in together as a group.  The education aspect has been fantastic."

FAVORITE MOVIE: "The Red Balloon"

HER ALMA MATER: San Francisco State (she was a Film major).

DOG OR CAT PERSON: "I have a dog and a cat.  I have a pit bull named Freddie Mercury a cat named Josey."

HOBBIES: Sewing.

HIDDEN TALENT: "I'm a baton twirler."

FAVORITE D.C. TOURIST SPOT: The Tidal Basin.

CUSTOMER SHE'D MOST LIKE TO SERVE: David Bowie

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Teddy is a graduate of UMBC. In additional to his Beverage Journal writing duties, he is an entertainment reviewer.