Raising the Bar at Harry’s: Taylor Malinowski pours creativity into every cocktail she serves

airlie staff spotlight taylor
airlie staff spotlight header
Like an artist in her studio, Taylor Malinowski is in her element behind the bar, where she loves to create flavorful compositions. Taylor’s palette of ingredients includes much of what you’d expect — rum, vodka, grenadine, etc. — but also some less expected choices.

“I’d love to get my hands on some fresh lavender, or hibiscus,” she said. “There’s so much I can do with those two ingredients.”

Fortunately, spring is just around the corner and she’ll soon have a wide variety of herbs and other ingedients from Airlie’s organic garden to choose from. We can’t wait to see what she comes up with!

Read on to learn more about Taylor.

What is your official job title?

Bar Manager of Harry’s

How would you describe your job?

It’s fun, and fast paced.

Why do you love your job?

I love that I get to be creative behind the bar and play with different ingredients to create something different and delicious. Also as a bartender, you come across all different kinds of people and you develop relationships with some of them. I think that is pretty cool.

How did you originally get into your current line of work?

I started working with my best friends in a bar back in Connecticut, and continued working behind the bar when I moved down here in Virginia.

Describe a typical workday.

A typical work day for me generally starts in the evening. I come in, open up the bar and make sure I have everything I need for the evening, and then I basically stay behind my little bar and make drinks for guests.

What is your favorite beer served at Harry’s?

I love the New Belgium. I’m a huge fan of them.

Favorite wine?

The Barboursville Rosé is one of my favorites. Rosé all day!

Do you have any recommendations for beer/wine pairings with Harry’s food?

The Barboursville Cabernet Sauvignon and a good piece of meat, like prime rib or steak is a match made in heaven.

What’s your favorite drink to make?

Definitely a mojito. They are fun to experiment with!

What do you think is the most awful drink on Earth?

Ugh, Irish car bombs. So gross.

What advice would you give an aspiring bartender?

Just have fun with it. Don’t be afraid to experiment. And don’t be afraid to be yourself!

What is your favorite thing about Airlie?

My favorite thing about Airlie, is the view I get from Harry’s looking out across the lake. When it snows it literally looks like a snow globe. It’s just so pretty.

What did you do before you came to work at Airlie?

Before I came to Airlie, I was the bartender at Black Bear Bistro on Main Street in Warrenton.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An Egyptologist

How would your friends describe you?

I think they would say that I’m very ambitious, I’m very motivated, and maybe a little bossy! But I’m also a great listener, and I like to think I’m always available for them to talk to about anything.

Do you have any hobbies?

I love to read, I always have a book with me.

What is your favorite book of all time?

That’s a tough one. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, A Wrinkle in Time, Ender’s Game, and The Giver.

Are you a sports fan?

I am! I was born and raised a New York Giants fan, and my fiancé is a baseball player. So I guess I’m a baseball fan by default!

What’s your favorite movie or TV show?

My favorite tv show is The Office. I’ve watched it though about 5 times now. It never gets old.

Do you have any pet peeves?

When my fiancé takes out the trash and doesn’t replace the garbage bag. Or when he washes clothes with a fitted sheet.

Speaking of pets, are you a dog person or cat person?

Both! I have a dog named Larry and two cats named Suzy and Penny.

What is your favorite food?

I’m torn between sushi, or a caprese salad.

If you had a super power, what would it be?

Invisibility, definitely.