Today we’d like to introduce you to Madelyn Adams.
Hi Madelyn, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
My name is Madelyn and I’m 23 years old. I’m from Waterloo Illinois and I’ve worked in the industry since I’ve been 15. I moved to St. Louis after I graduated high school to seek better opportunities with work. I’ve worked in a lot of different kind of bars and restaurants but I never did fine dinning and craft cocktails until I started at Blood & Sand (which has been a great opportunity).
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I definitely wouldn’t describe it as a smooth road getting to where I am today. I got really lucky and was In the right place at the right time when I got the blood and sand job offer. I had no idea what I was signing up for but I’m very grateful I did because at that time I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.
When I started to work at blood & sand, I didn’t even know that cabernet was a grape. I knew nothing about quality spirits and didn’t know half of the things that were on the food menu. I got down on myself a lot at first and thought I wouldn’t be able to do it.
I started as a server, but dreamed of being able to be behind that bar and do the things the bartenders at that time were doing. I’m so very happy I kept pushing myself to learn more because now I’m studying to be a sommelier. I love that I work in an atmosphere than I’m learning new things everyday and only advancing and furthering my career.
As far as making the cocktails in the spotlight, that’s what we live for at work. We do a lot of really long days, and late nights working on making the drinks even better. Whether that’s altering spirits, ingredients, or the the way we make the ingredients that go into the cocktail. For example: The way we prepare a syrup or clarify a juice can change the cocktail completely! Customer satisfaction is our number one priority. There’s nothing more heart filling than when you put a cocktail down in front of someone and all you see is their face light up like a little kid on Christmas morning. We do what we do to make stuff like that happen. We get a lot of celebrations and special occasions at Blood and Sand so seeing how happy and pleased people are with our work is really what keeps us going some days. Our work is art, and we take everything we do very seriously and take pride in it.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I work at a craft cocktail and fine dinning restaurant. We do everything from 5-10 course meals, chefs tables, and spirited and wine dinners. My job in a nutshell is doing science with cocktails; some days I feel like I’m doing science projects making things. Half of the time we do a bunch of prep like juicing and make syrups, washes, tinctures, etc. then the other half of the time were able to actually play and make the cocktails. We create every cocktail on the menu, name it, and make most of the stuff for the cocktails from scratch. At Blood & Sand we have alot of really unique and rare things on our back bar and menu, so it is also our jobs to help navigate and educate the customer with the information they want on something. Same goes for food: our menu is very complex and is constantly changing so I’ve definitely learned a lot about food as well since I’ve started there.
Do you any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
My mom and I used to come to St. Louis to go to the art museum, the boat house, city museum, all kinds of stuff. The best is when she’d let me skip a day of school and we’d go do something fun. Those were my first memories of the city which is why I think I loved it so much and always wanted to move here and work here.