Eddie Shepard on what makes a successful bartender: "You need to be encyclopedic with drinks. Like, what the heck people are ordering, how to make it, and how to make it consistently."
Years behind the bar: Eight
Home neighborhood: German Village
How did you get into bartending?
I was in hospitality management - in hotels - and I decided I didn't like that. So I started bartending and serving. It's just one of those things you pick up.
Where else have you bartended?
I started at Union Station when it was down the street, then moved to Philadelphia, and then I came back and worked at Union Cafe. I'm general manager of Sage, which opened in June.
To succeed as a bartender, what do you need to do?
You need to be encyclopedic with drinks. Like, what the heck people are ordering, how to make it, and how to make it consistently.
Do you have to study?
I've tried to do a lot more of the classic, old-school drinks, so I guess I do study, but it's more like the 1920s and stuff that people used to drink that we've gotten away from because of the stupid, sweet, crappy blah that people are drinking now.
What do you like most about bartending?
You get people who don't really know [what they want to drink]. You can say, "Tell me what you like," and then use that knowledge to figure out what they're going to enjoy. That's fun.
What's your bartending style?
I'm consistent. And I don't make a strong drink, I make a delicious drink.
What do you like to drink?
I like wine - cabernet - and I really like Manhattans.
Where do you like to go out?
I usually go to Union or Havana. That's where all my old buddies hang out. I miss working down there, because it's like going out when you're working.