Not one to waste time, Amanda got an early start in hospitality. “I began working in the service industry at the young, spry age of 15 as a bus girl and hostess at a small fine dining restaurant. Fifteen years later I have worked almost every position front of house, and I also studied Hotel and Restaurant Administration at Oklahoma State University. Ultimately, I ended up in the part of the industry where I truly belong, doing what I am most passionate about: working with spirits.” She found herself behind the bar for the first time in Texas. “I worked as a waitress at a small cocktail bar in Austin after moving there in 2010. I had almost zero cocktail knowledge and basic spirit knowledge, but my passion quickly developed. I learned as much as I could as fast as I could because I knew I wanted to get behind that beautiful bar as soon as possible. Luckily, it didn’t take that long.”
So what keeps Amanda so involved in the industry? “Doing what I love and am most passionate about, drinking and creating, is what keeps me involved. The more I learn and the experiences and relationships I continue to gain is what really feeds that passion. Community is probably what I love most about the industry. The sense of family and understanding that comes from a shared passion especially when that passion is spirits, is enough to warm your heart (and belly when the first sip of delicious whiskey goes down).”
Her first experience with Angel’s Envy was all thanks to one of our most senior Whiskey Guardians. “I have a very distinct memory of sitting at the bar after a long night at work and Larry Miller, my coworker at the time, poured me a neat pour of Angel’s Envy Rye (because I was on a rye kick and asked for a special one to soothe my bones). My eyes lit up and Larry smiled and let out a “Yeeeeeaaahhh.” I had never had anything like it and was truly impressed and continued to pick Larry’s brain for information, and more whiskey of course.”
When she’s not behind the bar, Amanda pursues her other passion. “I am a musician, so playing music (mostly just singing karaoke at this point) is something I love to do. I am on a bowling league too(we were undefeated last season no big deal). I also have three boyfriends: my dog, my actual boyfriend, and the beach. All three of whom I love almost all equally, but differently of course.” Be sure to look for Amanda at Angel’s Envy events (or karaoke nights) around NYC, and if you like rye whiskeys, ask her to recommend one.