Mixologist: Nicolene Schwartz of The Rossi

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Hometown: New York City

Years behind the bar: 4

How'd you get into bartending?

A friend of mine opened a little Spanish tapas bar in Soho and needed a bartender. I'd never done it before, but I felt confident I'd be able to figure it out.

So you were kind of a natural?

It's interesting because I was a gymnast and a dancer my whole life, and a lot of that is very fast-paced and constantly moving. It sounds silly, but bartending is sort of physical - doing one thing with this hand and something else with the other.

What do you think you'd be doing if you weren't bartending?

My degree in college was in writing. I still have some consulting clients I work with in New York. I do some work for artists' catalogs and some ghostwriting. Eventually, I'll go to grad school for something, perhaps writing.

What do you do when you're not at work?

The building my boyfriend and I bought in Woodland Park had been abandoned for the past three years, so most of my spare time has been spent at Lowe's getting Sheetrock and things of that sort.

What's your favorite dish here at Rossi?

I always get the duck salad. And from an ex-New Yorker's perspective, the pizza is pretty amazing. It's the only thing I've gotten outside of New York that I can say I like as well or better. And it's not just because I work here. [laughs]

Where do you go to get a drink?

I come here. We'll go out for a girl's night and stop in here for a nightcap. If I'm not here, I go somewhere with a good pool table, Carabar or St. James. I'm a closet pool junkie; I'd like to say shark, but I'm not that good anymore.

What do you drink?

Bourbon, neat, always. Right now I'm on Corner Creek. I'd never had it before we got it in here. It's awesome - really smooth, very drinkable.

What music are you listening to?

I've been listening to Phoenix a lot lately. I first heard them on the "Lost in Translation" soundtrack. There's also a band out of Tennessee called Lucero I've been listening to. It's sort of bluesy - I heard it once described as "Pavement country."

Doc Cocktail

Nicolene Schwartz's signature drink

3 oz. Belvedere vodka

1 oz. Pama liqueur

Splash of Cointreau

Lime and orange slices

Muddle limes and oranges with sugar. Mix ingredients with ice and soda for fizz.

The Rossi Bar & Kitchen

895 N. High St., Short North


Web: rossibarandkitchen.com

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