Food & Drink

Anne Robinson on Crazy Customers, Tequila, and the Drink She's Ready to Retire

Anne Robinson Westlight Bartender
Noah Fecks

Before stepping into her current role as head bartender at Westlight, the much talked-about rooftop bar atop the brand-new William Vale hotel in Williamsburg, Anne Robinson had a long and notable history in NYC’s bar scene. The Boston-born bartender kicked her career off strong at Jim Meehan's famed speakeasy PDT, where she went from being a waitress to making her mark on the bar’s impressive cocktail menu. She then went on to open up another quasi-speakeasy, the late Sasha Petraske's Dutch Kills, before making her way to Momofuku's recently closed and deeply mourned Booker and Dax. In 2014, Robinson joined Noho Hospitality to head up the beverage program at both Little Park and Evening Bar. Now at Westlight, she’s crafted a menu that perfectly blends the classics with bright originals, like the New Kind of Kick with Scotch, fernet, lemon, and suze, to match chef Andrew Carmellini’s menu of elevated small bites.

What spirit defined 2016 for you?
Tequila. Margaritas fueled a lot of the adventures I got into this year, plus I tasted the first añejo that I like. I never thought that would happen!

What's the craziest thing that happened in your bar this year?
A woman sent back her vodka soda because I made it with seltzer.

What drink are you ready to retire in 2017?
I might finally be ready to stop drinking Powers on the rocks.

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Lucy Meilus is Thrillist's New York Editor and would be a terrible bartender. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram