New cocktails are shaking up at The Exchange.
Seeing Zach Ruoff walk behind the bar is kind of like watching your favorite musician pick up a guitar. There’s a moment where the performance starts, a sort of jolt into action, a familiarity built over years behind the stick that lets you know immediately – this is a professional.
The soft, afternoon light floods through the patio bar windows, creating a perfect spotlight for making, and drinking, deliciously fresh handcrafted cocktails. Today’s tasting is a relatively new drink Zach is particularly fond of – The Creamy Colada.
“We joke around and call these our Patio Pounders, but they really are."
Of the new summer menu, 2 drinks featuring sparkling wine as a dominant flavor profile. Another is built around the refreshing effervescence of champagne. There’s also a new frozen bourbon and frozen margarita station (spoiler: they’re amazing). “We joke around and call these our Patio Pounders, but they really are that,” Zach said. “All the same, guests can still find favorites like Exchange Old Fashioned, The Cocktail with No Name, and other stiff drinks on the menu.”
Zach, now the Bar Manager at The Exchange Pub + Kitchen, is one of the longest tenured members of owners Ian & Nikki Hall’s ever growing staff, having started with the company when they were a small gastropub on Grant Line Rd in 2010. “It was a small crew back then and we had to do whatever it took to make it work,” Zach said. “We were pulling a lot of our influences from London based gastropubs back then. There’s still a lot of what we did on Grant Line that shapes who we are today.”
Zach has since continued to grow with the company. He’s met his wife here, created countless cocktails, was an operator at Longboard’s, and now trains and manages eager young bartenders in the ways of mixology. But it’s behind the bar, a shaker in hand, surrounded by friends and local barflys, where Zach feels that old, familiar calling.
You can find The Exchange Pub + Kitchen’s current cocktail list here.
You can make reservations for The Exchange Pub + Kitchen here.