Featured photo: An Old Fashioned cocktail prepared by Joanna Foster of Wine Country Bistro & Bottle Shop. Photo by guest blogger Judd Smith.
Editor’s Note: This post brings to a close a series of three contributions on local cocktail culture by guest blogger Judd Smith, author of the Beard and Barrel blog. Full disclosure: Judd is employed by Cadre Hospitality Group, who own Wine Country Bistro. See his posts about the bar programs at 2Johns and Zocolo for more of Judd’s perspective on local cocktail culture. -Chris Jay
If you’ve ever been to Wine Country Bistro on Line Avenue, I’m almost positive that you’ve met Joanna Foster. She’s the pistol of a bartender that has basically run the bar there for the last three or four years. She also happens to have been crowned “Best Bartender in Shreveport-Bossier” by popular vote in SB Magazine’s 2014 “Best of SB” edition.
Joanna says her favorite cocktail to make is either an Old Fashioned or a Sazerac, although her favorite to drink is a pomegranate martini.
“You can’t go wrong with a classic,” says Foster when choosing a drink to recommend at her bar. She goes on to say that they are both very precise cocktails that need to be made with skill. “Too much bitters or not enough muddling of the sugar cube and you’ve already screwed up the Old Fashioned.”
To be the best, you have to think like the best. What better way to hone your cocktail game than a trip to the town that is world famous for its cocktails? She says that one of the biggest inspirations in changing the way she looks at cocktails and service was a trip to New Orleans. Really, every time she visits the Cresent City she returns to Shreveport invigorated by their cocktail culture. The honor of the best cocktail she has ever had goes to the Sazerac Bar in the Roosevelt Hotel. Not the Sazerac though, it was the Old Fashion that changed her mind. According to her, “It was so perfect, I couldn’t have just one.”
Joanna takes a lot of pride in her bar, her cocktails and taking care of her guests. Fans of cocktails would definitely appreciate a visit with Ms. Foster.
Please drink responsibly and please do not drink and drive.