In order for Raising the Bar to give you and your guests a complete mobile bar experience, we know that you will not only need the highest quality mobile bar designs and custom-made menus, but a motivated and hard-working staff of knowledgeable Atlanta bartenders. Ross Shaffer and Christina Barbato are exemplary examples of the kind of enthusiastic bartenders that we employ at Raising the Bar. Before they work your next event, we would like to invite you to get to know Ross and Christina little better, find out their favorite drinks, and learn for yourself why they are the cream of the crop when it comes to bartending in Atlanta.

Ross Shaffer – Team Raising The BAR

How did you break into the bartending industry in Atlanta, GA?

I started out as a server in a restaurant about 6 years ago. I worked at this specific location for about a year and a half and was looking to either move on or try something new. At this time I had zero bartending experience in Atlanta, but I knew it was something I could handle so I asked to be considered for an opening with RTB. 6 months later, and the rest is history. I love everything about being behind the bar, from the way things are organized to the close bonds that that are established from working side by side with another professional for 7 nights a week. I also love interacting with guests and gaining their trust. Nothing feels more gratifying to me than having someone come back specifically to see me. I also realize the potential to grow in this industry and I haven’t looked back since. I’m very lucky to have the opportunity that I do now to work with highly motivated, established bartenders while also having the largest variety of spirits I’ve ever seen at my disposal.

What sets you apart or distinguishes you from other average bartenders in Atlanta?

Bartending in Atlanta is all about building relationships and being consistent. I feel like the only opinions that matter are the opinions of my guests and the opinions of my boss – but most importantly the guests. Every day we are trying to improve our cocktail list so that it always has unique ingredients for our guests. The guests come to have a good time, and I always try my best to leave whatever may be weighing on me personally at home every night so that I can consistently be the person people are coming back to see. I always envision things through the guest’s eyes, so I can constantly try to improve their experience. As long as I do that I feel like the ”work” part of my job becomes second nature.

What is your favorite drink to make for your customers, and why? What is it about this drink that customers love?

My favorite drink is called the ”Franklin Mint.” My motivation behind the Franklin Mint stems from being employed at a Bourbon Bar. There are a lot of people who do not enjoy a particular drink because a dark spirit is used. I have tried to combat that mentality with a drink recipe that balances out the strong flavors that people immediately associate with whisky or bourbon, and I love using this drink to turn “whisky haters” on to something that they never would have tried. It’s really hard to explain the flavor profile of this cocktail, so you have to try it to understand it. There was a lot of trial and error in getting the measurements right for this specialty cocktail: 1/2 ounce here, 1/4 ounce there, until it was finally perfect. Since we make our own vanilla caramel syrup in-house and every batch is not exactly the same, I usually make tweaks to this drink on the fly to make sure it’s where it needs to be at all times.

Franklin Mint

Bulleit Rye Whiskey BrancaMenta Lemon Juice Dry Vermouth Vanilla Caramel Syrup Mint Leaves Shaken and double strained into a large rocks glass with one big whiskey ice cube Expressing an orange peel over the top of the cocktail to finish

Christina Barbato – Team Raising The BAR

How did you break into the bartending industry in Atlanta?

I trained with Marriott for many years and gained most of my hospitality and bartending foundation with them. Networking through Marriott, I started freelance bartending in Atlanta for private venues and events such as Make a Wish Foundation. I started working for RTB in 2010, which has provided me with the opportunity to continually develop my skills in Mixology.

What sets you apart or distinguishes you from other averagebartenders in Atlanta?

The first thing that comes to mind is my experience. I always try to understand what my client’s needs’are, while also creating a fun yet professional atmosphere for each and every person I serve. Working with RTB gives me the opportunity to go above and beyond as opposed to having limitations in a traditional bar setting. At RTB, we pride ourselves on attention to detail in order to provide a unique experience for every guest at any event.

What is your favorite drink to make for your customers, and why? What is it about this drink that customers love?

It’s tough to pick just one, but there’s nothing like a Cosmo made with Mandarin Vodka and fresh lemon juice. Customers love how refreshing and delicious this drink is and also how fresh our ingredients are. This drink can be easily disguised in a rocks glass to appeal to males. Everyone has different tastes, so ask me to vary the balance of sweet and tart depending on your personal preference.

Mandarian Cosmo

1 1/2 oz. Mandarin Vodka 1/2 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec 2 wedges lemon or lime squeezed 1tsp zest or twist for glass Shake in ice and strain or serve over ice in rocks glass. Enjoy!

Ross - RTB Bartenders

Christina - RTB Bartenders