Drinks with Ross Mueller

03:50 PM, Sep 10, 2013

Ross Mueller has been a mixologist at Label 7 for more then five years. (Rich Paprocki)/


Written By | Jinelle Shengulette

Name: Ross Mueller

Age: 26

Bar: Label 7

Residence: Irondequoit

Did you go to college? I went to Monroe Community College and Nazareth College. I have an associate’s degree in engineering sciences and a bachelor’s degree from Nazareth’s School of Management.

How did you get into bartending? It was really to help out a friend at Label 7. I worked doing electrical work all week and then picked up a few bartending shifts on the days they needed me. Next thing you know, I’m there every day we’re open.

How long have you been at your bar? Five and a half years. I learned my first drink, the Alabama Slammer, from Larry Birdsong (bartender at Pittsford Pub); now, five years later, I am creating great drinks for our list at Label 7 that people love.

What’s the craziest thing that you’ve seen at your bar? I’d have to say the two gentlemen that drove their boat down the canal to Pittsford. I advised them that it was getting a little late. They left the bar, came back soaking wet an hour later — no boat. I guess they didn’t see the lock was closed and crashed into it. They were both OK, not sure about the boat.

What’s your least favorite drink to pour and why? It’s not the drinks that get annoying, it’s the timing. We have such an extensive drink menu, and when you walk through the patio with one, all of the sudden you have to make 20 more. Twenty muddled drinks with a full bar is not an easy task.

What drink do you pour the most? By far the Label 7 cosmopolitan. Some people like to order it by the pitcher. Some readers are nodding their heads right now, because that drink has been a favorite for a long time.

How much should I be tipping? Honestly? Tip what you think, but if you had service with a smile and the bartender was polite, never tip nothing at all. This is a living to a lot of people, and some have nothing to fall back on. If you want a candid answer, a dollar a drink is good, two is better and with a five dollar tip, you won’t wait long for the next drink.

Is there a song on the jukebox or radio that you hate? I love a lot of different music. … It all depends on the crowd. Reggae is fun for an upbeat crowd, and lounge music is perfect background noise.

What’s the quickest way to get a bartender to hate me? I’ve had whistling and slamming hands and glasses on the bar. The tile will break before you get a drink from me if you do that. A second is ordering for other guests just because you know my name. I see they are there. Let me do my job. I will try my best every time, and that is a promise to everyone that walks through the door.

What’s the quickest way to get great service? Smile and be polite and understanding. I’ll make sure you’re treated the same way you treat me. Who wouldn’t go to the kindest person first?

What’s the worst pickup line or thing you’ve overheard at the bar? A guest in a brown suede suit offered to buy this woman a car. He then proceeded to try and walk behind my bar to impress her. This is where I finally stepped in. I always regret not saving her earlier, but we still joke about it to this day. She’s a great person and now a return customer.

Can you share any hangover cures? Drink water! Beers seem to do less damage than the hard stuff, but at a certain point, I don’t think there is any turning back.

Do you have a full-time or other job? I still do electrical work with my father among other miscellaneous jobs for friends and family. I am usually a great hands-on worker. … I enjoy staying busy, so it’s not very tough.

What do you love best about your job? The people I work with and the regulars that come to visit, by far. I love everyone at Label 7, and it makes the work environment an enjoyable one. As for regulars … I have a handful that come to mind right away — they know who they are.