SPVAQ42020 - 64

BEHIND THE BAR

Kati Rose, Adrift, White Stone
BILLY FELLIN

K

ati Rose and her husband, Devin
Rose, were born and raised in Virginia's
Northern Neck. Kati is a descendant of
"local royalty Robert 'King' Carter," and
Devin comes from a line of watermen and
a restaurateur. Both moved away as young
adults, reconnected, married and began
working at top American restaurants-Devin
as a chef trained at the Culinary Institute of
America, Kati in front-of-house positions.
With a young son and River Country roots,
they returned to the region, bringing culinary
inspiration from Aubergine at L'Auberge
Carmel in California and the Inn at Little
Washington in Virginia. The Roses opened
Adrift in April 2018 and have received high
reviews. Devin oversees the kitchen, which
turns out seafood and other local highlights,
with Kati working front of house and behind
the bar.
How did you become a bartender?
I fell into it, and it came naturally. When we
began serving liquor [at Adrift], magic had
to happen. We started with an exclusive
three- or five-course experience. Although
a little pretentious in hindsight (we wanted
to share our Relais & Châteaux training with
our hometown), this allowed me to gather
my bearings and flourish for the first season.
By November, we decided to make the move
to a la carte and invite more of the highpaced bar traffic. Now, we offer both, and
our restaurant is centered around both the
kitchen and the bar.

64 VIRGINIA ABC | ABC.VIRGINIA.GOV

How have you improved your skills as a
bartender?
Experience. Everyone's taste buds are very
different, so trusting the people around you
is important. I have fun because I'm able to
riff off what the kitchen is doing, like what
clarified juices they might have. The more we
step away from premixed citrus and sugars,
the product completely changes.

Are your customers at Adrift locals or visitors
or a mix?
Definitely a mix. We have a lot of guests
that are staying at local hotels, B&Bs and
marinas. Crazy enough, we have more than
a few guests traveling from Fredericksburg
or Williamsburg or Richmond just to enjoy
Devin's food since we received four out of
four stars in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

How has COVID-19 impacted the restaurant's
business?
Drastically. We have a young family, and
our employees end up like family. Also, the
vast majority of our consumer base is in a
vulnerable age bracket. We do not exactly
have the option of isolating. That is why I
love masks!

What are some customer-favorite cocktails?
Manhattan, Magnolia's 75, Mojito,
Pomegranate Fizz, and Gin-Rummy Slushie.
The Gin-Rummy Slushie is a concoction that
came from Devin and me being down in New
Orleans doing "research and development"
in January. It's a riff off of a Pink Lady, with
Roku gin-floral and earthy-Mount Gay
Eclipse rum, grenadine, house sour mix,and
a touch of apple brandy. We mix that up in a
Vitamix, top it off with Luxardo cherry juice,
add a twist of lemon. It's really refreshing.

Have to-go cocktails helped Adrift during
the pandemic?
Allowing restaurants to maintain such a vital
stream of revenue in such a challenging time
is commendable.
Do premium spirits provide the best base
for quality cocktails?
Absolutely-as examples, the Manhattan and
Old Fashioned, because they're primarily
liquor. I always have a higher-end alcohol.
We try to find that perfect balance-you
want something hearty that warms your
soul, but we find that if we try to serve up
things of a lesser quality ... it just cheapens
the experience.

What cocktails go well with Adrift's seafood
dishes?
The Magnolia's 75 is a take on Hemingway's
French 75 with the subtle aromatics of
magnolia blossom (harvested from my
favorite tree at my childhood home) and it
is amazing with raw oysters. The fried oyster
bahn mi sandwich is killer with a Mojito, too.
What's your go-to cocktail?
My go-to, guaranteed-to-enjoy cocktails are a
Manhattan or Old Fashioned. -Annie Tobey


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SPVAQ42020

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