Soul Sister: Becci Visconti West, House Mixologist at Autre Monde Café & Spirits
Visconti West began her career in the hospitality industry 26 years ago, quickly developing a passion for bartending when she moved to Wicker Park and started working at—and soon managing—The Pontiac, a position she held for the next 10 years. Aside from mixing a mean martini, she's also exercised her management chops, working with mentors Dan Sachs and Brian Duncan at Spruce and Bin 36, as well as Michelin Star-awarded West Loop hot-spot Sepia.
In 2015, she missed bartending and engaging with customers on a one-to-one level, so she joined Autre Monde as house mixologist. Her subsequent promotion to bar manager puts her at the helm of its cocktail and mixology programs, as well as conducting monthly mixologist classes focusing on classics with a twist.
How she unwinds:
"We usually head down for breakfast after about an hour. Making my kids breakfast is one of my favorite ways to relax. Lone is seven and has started creating the menu and helping me cook. I am in the process of showing her how to prepare vegetables, make smoothies, break an egg with one hand, etc. She loves making mocktails with all of my shakers, jiggers, and fancy ice molds. We make simple syrups together and experiment with different flavors.
"After breakfast, I pour myself a mimosa and start reading my ever-growing stack of books. I'm reading several cocktail and wine books at a time and am always in the process of writing cocktail classes and researching new recipes. I realized recently that my book collection was growing, but I hadn't made time to read any of my new books. So, with a full belly and a mimosa nearby, I carve out an hour to read and relax. Dinner is next on the agenda. I try and come up with creative dinners for our family of five. There is always 80's music blaring and lots of dancing with the kids, my mom, even our dog, Charlie. Then it's time for board games. We all sit down around the table and play games. Clue is the current favorite, and we try to keep the kids from peeking at our cards."
"Baths, jammies, and reading in bed to the kids in quick succession follows so that I can enjoy a glass of wine with my husband, Wes. I try and write out my weekly to-do list just before bed on Sundays. Once I have a plan for the next week, I can relax and get some rest."