Bartender of the Month


Shannon Guilmet
Bartending has run through the veins of Shannon’s family for generations, dating back to her Great Great Grandmother who owned and operated a Saloon in Sandusky, OH, a coastal city on Lake Erie pre prohibition. As one of the few women in the bar business at that time she had to be tough as nails, smarter than all the men, and at the top of her game in order to succeed – which she did. Shannon believes that her Great Great Grandmother would have loved the progress our industry has made as a whole; and if she could see Shannon now, she’d be very proud.

Shannon began her career in hospitality in Binghamton, NY where she was raised. After graduating high school, she moved to Carlsbad, CA where, at the age of 16, she became the youngest person working in the California Bistro at the Four Seasons Resort Aviara. From there she proceeded to work at a few other high end restaurants before moving to Scottsdale, AZ where she became a Corporate Trainer on the opening team for Fox Sports Grill which took her to Houston, TX and Nyack, NY. Following that she moved to Boston, working at the Four Seasons, followed by opening Clink at the Liberty Hotel, and then at Chef Jody Adam’s Rialto.

So after 11 years of touring the country in some of the finest establishments, Shannon settled in Salem, MA with her husband and 3 children. Currently she can be found many nights at FINZ – the place on the North Shore where she can enjoy all of the creative luxuries and freedoms she would have in the city, without the commute! And where Chef Serie Keezer has on hand or will find some of the best and freshest local ingredients available. Shannon takes pleasure in mixing up whatever cocktails strike her whimsy or that of her guests, and probably lamenting about the latest Red Sox developments.

In May 2011 Shannon was given the honour of being voted one of Boston’s Beloved Bartenders and featured in The Improper Bostonian Glass Acts article.

Here are three cocktails created by Shannon with the taste profile of Gosling’s Black Seal Rum in mind:

2 oz Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
3 oz sparkling water
½ oz simple syrup
Fresh ginger
2 grapefruit segments

In a Collins glass muddle fresh ginger and 2 grapefruit segments with 2 ice cubes. Add the remaining ingredients. Garnish with lime wheel.

This is Shannon's sailor inspired interpretation of a Dark ‘n Stormy® – the flavours of a Dark ‘n Stormy created by ingredients sailors could store on their boats, with the addition of the grapefruit to ward off scurvy… a drink with medicinal benefits!

¾ oz Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
¾ oz Rye Whiskey
½ oz Sweet Vermouth
¼ oz Benedictine
¼ oz fresh squeezed orange juice
2 dashes Angostura
2 dashes orange bitters

Mix all of the ingredients together and enjoy in a snifter over ice. Garnish with orange twist.

This is reminiscent of an old New Orleans cocktail Vieux Carre. Le vieux carre means “the old square” in french. The French Quarter was referred to this way. Le Vieux Quai is french for “the old wharf” – Salem is one of the oldest cities in the States, and was one of the first and most important maritime locations.

3 oz Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
½ oz fresh squeezed lime juice
½ oz simple syrup
Small handful of fresh arugula

Place all of the ingredients together, shake to all hell and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with small sprig of arugula.

Rocket, which is another name for arugula, is one of the greens that flourish in the wild in New England. Its prime growing season is May/June. It’s peppery, lemony flavour will pair beautifully with the molasses undertones of the rum.

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