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Know your bartender: Stephanie Andrews at Billy Sunday

Know your bartender: Stephanie Andrews at Billy Sunday
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

It’s hard to believe that Billy Sunday has only been around since 2013; the dimly lit Logan Square bar has quickly risen to institution status over the last four years. It’s no wonder, then, that Stephanie Andrews, the mastermind behind the beverage program, is such a gem when she’s on and off the clock. We checked in with her to find out more about what makes her tick.

How did you get into bartending? I worked at Slurping Turtle as a cook for a short period of time. Then I actually saw a Craigslist ad for the Aviary shortly after it opened, and I thought it would be a bridge between cooking and cocktails, because the service there is similar to the kitchen mentality. I gave it a shot and got dragged into the dark side.

What’s your favorite cocktail to make at Billy Sunday? The classic daiquiri. We have so many different rums, and it’s such a difficult cocktail to balance, in my opinion. The cocktail has so few ingredients, so the rum can really dictate how it goes.

What’s the most underrated cocktail ingredient or spirit? Aquavit. I love its herbaceous qualities; I love the spice. I think that it bridges the gap between savory and sweet in cocktails, which is really hard to do.

Where do you drink when you have the night off? Lost Lake is my go-to. It has so many different pours of rum that I’ve never heard of, and the cocktails are really fantastic. I also love a good glass of wine at Lula Cafe. And Osteria Langhe is my Monday hideout. They do the best Negroni in the city.

What are your home bar essentials? I always have cold bottles of rosé and sherry in the fridge. If we’re making dinner at home, I usually have a bottle of amaro on hand for sipping after dinner, too.

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