The Bartender Diaries
Tom Roe, Ford’s Filling Station, Culver City
“Every cocktail tells a story,” says Tom Roe, Bar Manager and Head Bartender at Ford’s Filling Station, "and my cocktail menu was created to pair with the food menu at Ford's." Chef Ben Ford (son of actor, Harrison) incorporates seasonal, and often organic, produce into his cuisine at the sleek-yet-comfy “American Regional gastro-pub.” Tom follows suit, using fresh ingredients in all his cocktails.
Tom first stepped behind a bar in his home state of Hawaii, and has continued slingin' sips throughout the dozen years he has lived in LA. Since FFS opened, last year, Tom says the bar has developed its own following. He refers to the bar crowd as “very savvy” when it comes to going out, and "more foodie-oriented then the barflies of yester-year.”
Like any good barman-cum-psychologist, Tom seems to genuinely enjoy the folks who belly up to his trendy watering hole. “As a bartender you see it all, and now after 15 years in the trade I can see a first/blind date, an affair, a break-up and a bad or good pick-up line from a mile away.” A master at guiding the masses, he makes food suggestions, teases the ladies and whips up creative concoctions explaining that “staying ahead of trends and creating a new experience for every patron” gives him job- satisfaction.
When not behind the bar, Tom enjoys checking out new restaurants, sampling what other bartenders and chefs are doing. In his ‘alone time,’ he also relishes a good book, running or brushing up on his wine knowledge. His favorite drink? Stoli Vanil Martini (no vermouth, no garnish).
Tom shares a few cocktails with you Sipsters. I’ve tried them – they are lovely. (In fact, maybe a little too lovely… let’s just say that the night I went in, it was hard to put them down! Hiccup!)
2oz. Corzo Silver/blanco Tequila
2 lime wedges squeeze
2 lemon wedges squeeze and drop
1/2oz. simple syrup
Pour tequila, Cointreau and simple syrup into martini shaker. Sqeeze and drop the lemon and lime wedges into the mixture. Shake and strain into cocktail glass.
Culver City Martini
1oz. Malibu Rum
1oz. Belevedre Vodka
1 1/2oz. pineapple juice
Shake rum, vodka and juice, then pour into cocktail glass. Drizzle the grenadine into the center of the drink, to settle in bottom of glass.
1 1/2oz Corzo Silver/blanco Tequila,
1oz. cranberry juice
Shake Tequila, Chambord, juice and sweet and sour. Serve, over ice, in a rocks glass.
Photos courtesy of Claire Barrett Photography