Profiling the leaders of the pack

By Sam Ujvary
Meredith Barry | Ombra

Every once in a while, a bartender comes along who just really knows their stuff. In this case, it's Meredith Barry from Ombra in Chicago's Andersonville neighborhood. With an extensive history in the hospitality industry, she's worked every iteration of a bar—from country to night clubs, working her way over to Ombra. Currently, not only does she conceptualize the creative drink menu, but she perpetually impresses customers. So much so, that she's getting recognition and her own reviews on the restaurant's Yelp page.
"I believe in the following: you can work a job, or immerse yourself in a passion—I follow my passions," she says. She's inspired by a great bar selection, and has developed a cocktail based on a salad she read about with artichokes, mint, lemon and pistachios. The Eva d'Bronte was created from the idea of that salad, and named after her Sicilian great-grandmother (Eva) and an area in Sicily where pistachios are grown (Bronte).
Together with her desire to excel in craft cocktail-making, her knowledge of the business and professional peers to motivate her, Meredith is quickly establishing her valuable place in the industry.

Eva d’ Bronte:

2 ounces Dumante Pistachio Liqueur
1 ounce Cynar
1 ounce lemon juice
4 to 5 mint leaves

Gently muddle mint. Place all ingredients in Shaker with ice. Roll cocktail. Strain into rocks glass with ice. Garnish with lemon twist and mint sprig.

Here's to you.