July 17th, 2006
One of the best things about bargoing in Boston is that your favorite bartender is less likely to be a struggling actor than an ivy league graduate student. Misty (yes, that’s the name her parents gave her) Kalkofen started tending bar while earning her master’s at the Harvard Divinity School. Her plan was to go for the PhD and teach, but student loans of Biblical proportions — and the prospect of professorial earnings too meager to pay them off — pushed her into pouring drinks full-time.
The thing is, she got to liking her new career. “I can’t imagine doing anything else,” she says while sipping an iced coffee with Patron XO Cafe (tequila with coffee essence) at B-Side, a bar where she used to work and still frequently hangs out. Before landing at Drink, she was bar manager at another beloved Cambridge bar, Green Street, which her friend Dylan Black (also a B-Side alum) opened in 2006. These establishments are cool but genuine hangouts that happen to serve consistently well-executed and interesting food and drink. Misty’s a perfect fit for both. Her non-showy mastery of mixing drinks, her comfort behind the bar, and her full-throated laugh make you forget about all the sullen waifs who’ve ever served you a glass of underchilled Ketel One and called it a martini.
Born in Mexico, Missouri. Grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Past bartending jobs
Lizard Lounge, West Side Lounge, Tremont 647.
First drink you ever had
I was always a “Can I have a sip” kind of kid… Probably don’t really remember the first one, but I would regularly sip from my father’s post-work blended Scotch on the rocks.
Favorite bar in Boston other than your own
Any bar where John Gertsen [currently of No. 9 Park] is behind the stick.
The drink you most like to make
The one that I’m going to drink!
The drink you least like to make
If there is a drink out there that is a version of a Long Island Iced Tea that has Blue Curacao and Pucker Schnapps in it, that is my least favorite drink.
What you drink at the end of your shift
Although there are nights when I’m craving something involving the use of a shaker, the truth is that after 10+ hours on the bar there is nothing finer than cracking open an ice cold Budweiser.
If I weren’t a bartender, I’d be…
Homeless… just kidding, but barely. Reading the New Testament in Greek, teaching young impressionable people to do the same, and barely scraping by in the process.
A bartender’s best friend is…
Competent co-workers and good regulars.
A bartender’s worst enemy is…
Bar rot. And that guy who said to me, “You know what I like about you, your boobs… and your ass ain’t half bad either.” (True story.)
People drink too much…
People don’t drink enough…
Gin, vermouth, bitters.
Drink for a hot summer day
Gin with lillet, mint, and lemon juice. YUM!
Drink for a cold winter night
Bourbon, rye, scotch… alone or in a toddy.
The best thing about drinking in Boston is…
There is now more than one bar you can go to and ask for (and receive) a well-made, well-balanced cocktail.
The worst thing about drinking in Boston is…
The bars close early and the T stops running even earlier…