The Great Georgiana has everything one can hope for in a local cocktail bar: the drinks are made with care, the music is great, and the room feels as if it’s filled with old friends. You can find it on the corner of Dekalb and Vanderbilt in Fort Greene, Brooklyn and while the brick and candles give off a quiet ambience, the place is known for bustling in the evenings until closing time (open ‘til late).
We met up with Cassie Mills, bartender of The Great Georgiana and The Daisy, after her most recent bartending competition to get her take on all things drinks.
What is your current go-to drink?
Honestly, any traditional cocktail. I’m very fond of tequila gimlets – I love egg white drinks as well. And always on the rocks. Okay, wait I can get specific, a Santara reposado gimlet on the rocks.
What’s your hangover remedy?
My hangover remedy actually starts the night before. I take some Vitamin C and Vitamin B12 before I go to bed and when I wake up I make myself some green or nettle tea with lemon. Definitely works for me.
What was your first drink experience?
Hmmm, If I remember correctly, I was sixteen and my Dad let me drink some vodka with him around a campfire in the Berkshires. I think I was mixing it with OJ… I hope I was mixing it.
Where’s your end of the night pit stop for food?
This may need to be another place I’d recommend to out of towners. I love Ethyl’s on Upper East Side – not just for food but as a terrific bar. The drinks are great and I love the music and go-go dancers. The Fi-Dolla Burger and disco fries are how all nights should end.
Alive or dead, who’s your dream drinking buddy?
If I had to pick one I’d say Carolee Schneeman. She did the most powerful feminist art and performances back in the 70s. If I could add a third to the party it would be David Sedaris – that’s a table I’d love to sit at.
How’d you get started in the business?
I graduated college and was taking dance performance gigs but I needed some extra cash to stay afloat. I started as a busser at a place called Harlow’s working my way from runner, to server, then cocktail waitress, and now as a bartender. With a little experience the industry opened up and I got to choose where to work and now I’m either at the Daisy in the Upper West Side or The Great Georgiana here in Brooklyn.
Have any advice for anyone starting up in this world? Words to your younger self?
Stick with it. It’s not always fun but if you work your way up you get a certain amount of control and respect. Just keep on moving and don’t let the man get you down.
What’s the last bartending competition you did?
Recently, I came runner-up in a Johnnie Walker Special Edition “Jane Walker” competition. The competition took place with this Special Edition of its Black Label Whiskey complete with a “Striding Woman” logo in time for Women’s History Month. It was a great competition and ended with a mystery box of ingredients to work with – that was tough. I had a blast and at the end of the day for every bottle produced Johnnie Walker is donating a dollar to women’s support organizations so it was all for a great cause.
What’s your theme song behind the bar right now?
Alternating between “Dirty Back Road” by the B-52s and “Nasty Gal” by Betty Davis.
You can follow Cassie Mills @cassandra_sioux
Or find her at:
The Daisy, 1641 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028 – (646) 964-5756
The Great Georgiana, 248 Dekalb Ave (corner of Vanderbilt). Ft. Greene, Brooklyn -firstname.lastname@example.org