Mixologist: Nathan Neff of Bexley's Monk

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Neighborhood: Reynoldsburg

Hometown: Bexley

Years behind the bar: 6

What drinks do you enjoy making?

I always love making Manhattans. I make them with bitters, but it's tending to go down the road where people don't use bitters anymore. Bitters needs to make a comeback - it should be in every Manhattan. Dash of bitters, sweet vermouth and bourbon.

What do you drink yourself?

Maker's Mark Manhattan, definitely. That's probably number one. You can't go wrong with a nice Smirnoff martini. I drink mine up with a lemon wedge, not a twist. I like to squeeze a little juice in mine.

If I'm on a date with my beautiful girlfriend, we'll have martinis and a nice bottle of wine or champagne. We go out a lot.

Where do you like to go?

We go on appetizer hops instead of bar hops. We'll go to a neighborhood and eat appetizers and get cocktails at four or five different places. It ends up being a pretty good dinner.

If we're going to a pub, there's a little place that we always go to called Shooter's. We've been going there for years. It's a nice, fun little place where we play darts.

What else do you do for fun when you're not at work?

I'm a sports fanatic. And fantasy sports - I may sound like a nerd, but it's my hobby, man.

My favorite sporting event is March Madness. I only fill out one bracket. I make fun of the people who fill out six and try to do different angles to win. Just be confident in your one bracket.

What's the crowd like here?

It's great because during happy hour you'll have a 70-year-old man talking to a Capital student about politics. And then you'll have a married couple being offended by their politics. It's quite diverse.

What are some of the changes taking place at the Bexley Monk?

We have new management, ownership and whole new menus out. We just unveiled our autumn menu. It's more upscale, with steaks, duck confit, fresh seafood, lobster cakes - it's definitely an improvement.

Each season we're going to be changing the menu. We're also changing the wine list and adding seasonal martini lists.

We're adding new pizzas, too. We're going to do all kinds of different stuff with the wood oven.

Apple Navan

Nathan Neff's signature drink

2 oz. Navan Cognac

2 oz. apple cider

1/2 oz. Cointreau

1/2 oz. amaretto

Splash of sour

Splash of sweet vermouth

Garnish with a fried apple chip and brown sugar and cinnamon rim

Bexley Monk

2232 E. Main St., Bexley


Web: bexleysmonk.com

Is there a Columbus bartender you'd like to meet in Mixologist? E-mail jtigges@columbusalive.com