august 2014 bartender of the month: shane markley
Name: Shane Markley
Establishment: Bartender, Dusk Nightclub at Caesars Palace Atlantic City and Inferno Brick Oven Bar
Recent Gigs: Shane Markley spent his first few years in the service industry working for corporate restaurants doing a number of different jobs from dishwashing to serving tables and training. In 2002, Markley migrated over to the nightclub scene to work security and eventually worked his way up to bartending/bar management. Markley has bartended in a number of different types of establishments ranging from pubs and golf resorts to sports bars and nightclubs. His passion lies in the high energy atmosphere of nightclubs. Markley is currently a bartender at Dusk Nightclub at Caesars Palace in Atlantic City and the bar manager at Inferno Brick Oven Bar in State College, PA.
Why did you become a bartender?
I love all aspects of my job. I enjoy going to work every night and interacting with people. One of my favorite parts of bartending is creating new drinks with the use of the latest liquors, garnishes and techniques in the fast paced, ever-changing, exciting world of mixology. As bartenders we get to create a fun and exciting atmosphere for customers that they cannot get at home. We create delicious cocktails, provide entertainment, and go that extra mile to make people feel special.
What are some fun flavors you’re working with?
I have been hung up on dessert cocktails for quite some time now so I have been working a lot with chocolate and vanilla. These flavors also play a role when creating some of my favorite manhattans. Most recently, I have been doing some work with spices to add a little heat to a dessert beverage. You get quite a delicious creation.
What are you doing different from the norm in your beverages?
Not necessarily different, but I already try to incorporate some type of showmanship into all aspects of bartending, especially mixology. You cannot beat the combination of an artistic, tasty drink made with a little flair. If you are able to get customers to not only snap pictures of your final product, but also you making it, then you are doing something right.
What's in the mixing glass or shaker for your customers?
I currently work in a number of different environments so my mixing glass stays pretty diverse. At Inferno in State College it is a lot of craft cocktails/beer. At Dusk Nightclub in Atlantic City, it’s a lot of Red Bull Vodkas and Long Island Iced T's. At the Backyard Bar (The Dusk Complex's outdoor sports bar) its primary frozen umbrella drinks (Miami Vices, Margaritas, Daiquiris, etc.)
What are you sipping on and why?
My default is usually a dirty vodka martini, but lately it has been a lot of bourbon and scotch. Nothing tops off a dinner or a long bar shift like a Manhattan or an Old Fashion.
What are you dancing to while mixing?
Nothing keeps the high energy of an Atlantic City Nightclub going like EDM. This is by far my favorite atmosphere to bartend in. Aside from that, anything by Michael Jackson goes well in just about any environment. Who doesn't like watching a bartender moonwalk?
What are some quirks/quotes you are known for?
Organization is something I am obsessed with. I often get comments for having my station exactly the same way every night or for turning a liquor bottle a quarter of an inch to face the label more towards the customers.
A couple favorite quotes:
"Running a bar is not just a business. It's a science." - Jon Taffer
"No chipped paint. All the horses jump." - Walt Disney
"Live life like a Corona commercial."