White City, Oregon native Michael Bertrand moved to Seattle at age 18. The plan was to study jazz percussion at Cornish College. I dropped out and now I hate jazz music says Bertrand, who started supporting himself through retail jobs. Evenings, he’d belly up at Flowers Restaurant and Bar in the U-District, where he discovered his love of booze extended beyond the realm of consumption.
He became a bartender.
Without further ado, five questions for Michael Bertrand.
What is the most underrated spirit?
I’m constantly creating ways to converse with customers about why and how gin is delicious and excellent in cocktails. You shouldn’t be scared of gin because you drank a bottle of Bombay Sapphire at a party in high school and woke up throwing up in the dirt.
What’s your favorite Seattle bar (other than Mistralkitchen)?
What drink do you order at that bar?
A Sazerac, but also Fernet or bourbon and a beer. Sometimes a glass of sparkling rose.
What’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen someone do in a bar?
I’ve dealt with a lot of gross/crazy/weird situations in a bar (sex, puke), but the worst was when someone snuck into the back office and took our laptop and thousands of dollars worth of another employee’s camera equipment. That was one of the only times I’ve been sincerely upset about someone else’s actions while I was behind the bar.
Name three reasons you live in Seattle.
I live in Seattle for the art and culture, the people, and because it is home.