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CTnow

Bartender Buddha

Eryen LaLonde at Sorella in Hartford

By MELISSA BYRON

Special To CTNow

12:00 AM EDT, April 17, 2014

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Q: From where do you draw your inspiration?

A: I draw inspiration by talking to my guests and finding out what they like. In addition I attend events that our liquor reps hold and I usually get a lot of ideas there. I tend to work with flavors from each season. When I'm on vacation I pay attention to what drinks are popular.

Q: What is the most interesting thing you've found in the bathroom at the end of the night?

A: It was right when we were closing and doing a walk through that we noticed the men's bathroom door was locked. We knocked and called out to see if anyone was in there, but it was silent. When my co-worker finally got the door open there was a guy just chillin' out by himself. He seemed pretty out of it. I have no idea how long he had been in there.

Q: What's your take on flavored vodkas?

A: I actually like them because you can do so much with them. It offers people more choices. It can make a cocktail light and refreshing or it can be bold tasting. The variety of flavors generates ideas amongst bartenders.

Q: Best party you've ever bartended?

A: Generally I don't get to interact with individuals because I'm so busy. I will say pub crawls are fun. The participants are fun, and the money usually goes to a good cause and it's an intense rush that will go away after about an hour.

Sorella is at 901 Main St. in Hartford. They are open 7 days a week, Monday to Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m; Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to midnight; and Sunday 4 to 9 p.m. Information: 860-244-9084 and sorellahartford.com.