Mixologist: Laura Finneran of On the Rocks

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Hometown: Westerville

Years behind the bar: 8

How did you get into bartending?

When I was 20, I moved to Florida with a friend and we ended up serving in a bar. Right when I turned 21, I trained to bartend and worked there for two years.

I came back here and worked at the Derby in Grove City. Then I moved to Fort Myers Beach for a year. I helped a buddy of mine whose father bought a bar down there. He asked if I would move down and get it up and running.

Shortly after I came back, I started working here.

You seem to have a love for Florida.

I'm meant to be somewhere on the beach. This isn't where I'm supposed to be, but my family is here which always ends up bringing me back. Being somewhere warm makes me a happier person.

Where else have your travels taken you?

I've been to Canada, Mexico, Spain and the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa.

My favorite is my most recent, Hawaii. Of course, I like the beach and it's all over there.

I'm going to China soon. My boyfriend is getting his MBA at Ohio State and he's in an international exchange program and he's been there all quarter. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. He's in Shanghai and we're going to Beijing to see the Great Wall. And I want to see the pandas.

What do you like about bartending?

I've been here four years, so there's not one shift where I come in and I don't know all of the people here. I enjoy the fast pace, and I enjoy when it's not because I can just sit and talk to somebody.

What are people drinking here at On The Rocks?

It definitely depends on the crowd. We have bands five nights a week and it's kind of funny because you know with certain bands there's a lot of wine drinkers, or this band is an all-liquor [crowd]. Bring on the shots.

If you could have a drink with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

Honestly, I'd have to say Reese Witherspoon, and that's just because everybody says I look like her. I've always wanted to look at her face to face and say, "I don't look like you." But that's for just such a ridiculous reason.

Shock Tart

Laura Finneran's Signature Drink:

1/2 oz. Three Olives grape vodka

1/2 oz. Island Punch Pucker

1/2 oz. Watermelon Pucker

1/2 oz. Sour Apple Pucker

1/2 oz. blue Curacao

Splash of sour mix

Splash of 7 Up

On The Rocks

5815 Karric Square Dr., Dublin


Web: otr-bar.com

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