Drinks with Jennifer Darling

05:00 AM, Jun 07, 2013

Jennifer Darling has tended bar at Monroe's Restaurant and Bar in Pittsford for about seven months, but she has worked in restaurants since she was 17. (Rich Paprocki)/


Written By Jinelle Shengulette

Name: Jennifer Darling.

Age: 35.

Bar: Monroe’s Restaurant and Bar, Pittsford.

Where do you live? East Rochester.

Did you go to college? I attended Monroe Community College for a few years after taking time off after high school. I spent a lot of time trying to discover my career path, torn between my cerebral and artistic sides. I am a few credits away from multiple degrees. However, I put schooling on hold due to (my first) pregnancy.

How did you get into bartending? I have been working in restaurants since I was 17 years old. I’ve held every front-of-the-house position at one time or another. Bartending is the natural progression for a path such as that. As soon as I began it, I was instantly in love. And it has not been until the last few years that I have discovered my talent for mixology.

How long have you been at your bar? I am fairly new to Monroe’s, as it is a young restaurant, having been only open for two years. I have been here for seven months.

Assuming you frequent your bar, where would you go for drinks if the place shut down? I am a huge fan of mixology. I haven’t been in a while, but I really used to enjoy cocktails at the Owl House. Also, I had a nice cocktail at Tap & Table recently.

What’s the craziest thing that you’ve seen at your bar? The craziest thing so far would have to be a blind date I witnessed. The woman was very (flirtatious) and extremely aggressive to her male companion. A bit much for a public place, and he was excruciatingly uncomfortable. He was uncomfortable to the point that he began to enlist my help to distract her. It was amusing; however, I did feel bad for him.

What drink do you pour the most? For now, the classic Grey Goose dirty martini is still reigning supreme around here. As for mixed drinks, I’d say it’s a toss-up between vodka and soda or gin and tonic, of various flavors.

How much should I be tipping? I know most bartenders are modest and don’t want to specify for clientele, but I’m going to lay it out. Etiquette these days is at least a dollar a drink. People don’t realize how much a bartender does: stocking, cleaning and washing all the glasses. It’s very laborious.

Is there a song on the jukebox or radio that you hate? I’m pretty easygoing as far as music; however … the top 40 songs in rotation can start to really get on my nerves. To compensate, my co-workers and I now laugh, dance and sing them all out.

What’s the quickest way to get a bartender to hate me? For me, it’s annoying to have hands waving at me or any shouting to get my attention. However, true annoyance comes from lack of tipping.

What’s the quickest way to get great service? Smile and have a great attitude.

Can you share any hangover cures? Only water and time truly helps. But I’m a fan of the “hair of the dog that bit you” method and something very greasy the next day — of course, followed by multiple ibuprofen.

Do you have a full-time or other job? I am a full-time single mom and a full-time bartender. It gets hard sometimes working my strange hours with my children, but with great friends and family, we make it work.

What do you love best about your job? I love the fun and ease I bring to people’s lives.

No matter what type of a day they are having, they come here to enjoy themselves. And I’m part of that. Plus, I get to interact with people I probably would’ve never met going about in my daily routine of life.