A Q & A with Kelsey Ramage for the Ultimate Cocktail Experience
The Ultimate Cocktail Experience returns once again, not only to wet our whistles, but primarily a good cause. Triggers a non-profit organization that provides aid to hospitalized children and their families. Last year, the UCE collected more than $200,000, and this year, they’re hoping to top that number and provide even more assistance to those in need.
Per the usual, expect an evening of unique bar concepts. This year UCE is pairing male and female captains together to make 10 exquisite cocktails. Hailing from Canada and returning for another round, Kelsey Ramage is here to shake up a few tequila type things .
First, thank you so much for agreeing to this interview. So, you’re here from Canada, welcome! What drew you to participate in the Ultimate Cocktail Experience?
Thank you! My partner, Iain and I were on the batch team last year, and while we had a blast doing it, it was all for a great cause. We just wanted to come back again this year and be more involved!
- I read on the Bartender Atlas that your favorite spirts are rum and tequila, do you plan on using either one of these fun spirits during the UCE?
Definitely! Each bar has a pretty big list of cocktails this year, so it’s almost as if you were going to a ‘real’ cocktail bar with not just rum and tequila but gin, vodka, sherry etc. Although we might be doing a frozen tequila ‘frozita’ – no promises though haha..
- What is it that draws you to rum and tequila, respectively? And what are some of your favorite brands to use when preparing your special concoctions?
They’ve both just been the spirits that I’m drawn to when ordering a drink at a bar, the time that I’ve spent in Mexico learning about tequila has just forged that bond. They lend themselves well to Tiki drinks, and are just damn delicious on their own. For UCE, we’ll be using Don Q Rum and Roca Patron in our drinks.
- Is there anything that you are hoping to accomplish by participating in UCE?
Of course, we have a big goal that we’re working toward, and that is raising as much as possible for Children’s Charity Trigger’s Toys. They have raised 700,000 in previous years, and hope to hit the $1M mark this year. That’s so huge and anything we can do by just making drinks, and having some fun can do, count me in.
- What’s been the most exciting part of being a bartender?
I’ve been so lucky with my career, it has enabled me to move to London, travel the world for the past year – to Asia, South America, Europe and all over the US. It’s been an amazing ride and we’re just going to keep going until the end of the year.
- Have you participated any other drinking festivals? If so, what were some of the things you learned while working the event?
Definitely, we’ve just finished one called PX plus festival in London, which is a 4-day hospitality festival that celebrates food, wine and cocktails. It was a lot of fun, we had a little honkey-tonk barn that we served cocktails out of. I think for next year we want to make it a bit bigger, it’s on a farm so there is lots of little out-buildings that we can build little speak-easy bars and bigger party-bars in. It should be a lot of fun.
- Is there anything else you would like to add to this interview?
I think that’s it! I’m pretty excited to be coming to Dallas again and seeing how the neon bar comes together.