Kathryn Eckstein, top bar consultant and mom of one has one of the coolest jobs around. A mixologist and bar tender by night and a hands on mom by day. Kathryn tells us how she shakes and stirs it all together.
Please state your job description.
Bar Consultant, Mixologist, Bartender and Mom. I am also the Brand Ambassador of BevTools and Don Papa Rum.
Who and where have you consulted drinks for? Is it all alcohol?
I have consulted for Rue Bourbon Bar and Restaurant, for Antonio’s Group (specifically for their latest concept Balay Dako), for Papa Loa, and Don Papa Rum. I was also the Outlet Manager of the Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel Makati.
How did you get into this line of work?
My father is an executive chef so I have been accustomed to food and flavors at a very young age. Having grown up in hotels and restaurants all my life, F&B runs in my veins. I found the bar scene very exciting.
Please tell us a little about your family.
I have one child: a daughter who is my 2 and a half year old masterpiece.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced so far?
When I gave birth, I dedicated my whole self to my daughter for a year and a half, without a yaya. I wanted to be her world, and vice versa. That first year is so crucial because you don’t want to miss a thing, plus I exclusively breastfed. The challenge was being away from the industry and being out of the loop, my career was in limbo because Motherhood became my profession, and whatever I put my mind into, I put my passion and dedication to it wholeheartedly. I think mothers make the best professionals if you were to ask me. So even if I put my consultant hat aside for a year and a half, I wouldn’t have changed my decision for the world. I will never get my daughter’s baby years back, and quite honestly, that would kill me more than losing a few clients.
What do you do for yourself- when you take a break from the kids?
Now that my child is older, and has an amazing yaya (I have to thank the universe for bringing her to me), I go boxing 5 times a week which I love. I also hang out with friends when I have the time, cuddling my husband and watching Netflix, discovering music on Spotify and playing silly video games on my iPhone.
Please tell us about the other things you do (cooking, etc.).
Yes, I love to cook for my family, I am a daughter of a chef after all, it would be sad if I didn’t know how to cook! Hahahaha! I also love to take my daughter swimming and playing PlayDoh with her, she loves it!
How do you balance your work which entails going out at night (?) with taking care of your daughter?
As a bar consultant, I am very dedicated to my job and making the clients very happy, which means bringing their vision to life with my long list of services. The job doesn’t always require that I work at night since I do a lot of training and seminars with staff, conceptualizing the menu, evaluations, media appearances, etc (the list goes on). But when I do have a guest bartending appearance, which may occur in the evenings, it works out well because I get to spend the day with my little family and then when it’s time for her to take a bath and head to bed, I kiss her goodbye and head out the door. And no matter how late the event goes on till, I still wake up at 8am sharp, with no alarm clock… I think all moms can agree that this internal clock with never shut off! Hahahaha!
Favorite cocktail to make and drink?
I love making and drinking Whiskey Sours, that’s my go-to drink since all the ingredients are always in my bar, plus it’s easy and no fuss. But usually I love drinking a good Rioja, a Tempranillo or just an ice cold beer. There’s a ritual that stick during my bartending days: After a long day at the bar, making drinks for hundreds of people, we get a few ice cold brewskies from the fridge, sit on the sidewalk to rest our legs and enjoy our lagers.
Please share an easy cocktail that any mom can make after a long day (one that won’t get you too wasted and you can still play with your kids!)
That’s funny to hear, drinks will always get you wasted if you drink too much, Hahahaha! So I must state for the record, “Drink moderately and responsibly”.
My favorite is the Dark and Stormy, especially if it’s been a long, hot day, the kind of day where half of it was stuck in traffic.
Easy to make…
Put 2 oz of dark rum in a tall glass, ginger beer (or ale, whatever you’ve got), over ice and a slice of lime (or calamansi if you want to be local), Et Voila! A perfect, no fuss drink.
If you want to share your own Juana story, send us an e-mail at email@example.com or leave us a message on Facebook.