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XX Files: Gull & Firkin's Ashley Alton doesn't serve finger snappers
Our weekly item on Toronto's better bartenders

XX Files–our weekly item on Toronto’s better bartenders. Name/alias Ashley Alton/Ash Current bar Gull & Firkin How long bartending 3 years Your first drink/drunk Christmas Eve when I was too young. It started with a couple sips of cherry whiskey on a horse-drawn sleigh ride around the town… I’m from the country, obviously. That lead to a friend of mine passing me amaretto and coke all night while our parents played cards upstairs. Merry Christmas. Influences The seasons inspire me the most. It just makes sense to cater our beverages to the weather. Cucumber and watermelon infused cocktails in the summer to cool us down, warm and spicy bevvies in the winter to keep us toasty. Right now, it’s the classic Rusty Nail–smooth, mellow, perfect for the fall. Best barfly At times he’s my favorite–at others he’s my biggest nightmare–a man named ‘Crazy Mic’ who walks with a cane and talks like a pirate. Favourite cinematic bartender I’d have to say Moe from the Simpson’s. Hey, it’s what I grew up watching. Rules Well, this is the service industry after all. I’m happy to get people whatever they want as long as they’re nice about it. Please, no finger snapping. Celebrity experiences I served Robin Williams a while back. He loves his Pinot Grigio. He’s a very nice guy and very funny, of course. Best late night or morning after places In the summer I head down to the beach for a fire and some drinks after the bars close. Best tip ever I was given a half of a hundred dollar bill with a, “Here, I’m sure it’s worth something.” As it turns out, the bank gave me half its worth. $50 for a $5 beer? Thaaaank you. Watch out for The Firkin is the best place in the Beach to catch the Leafs on Saturday night. Hockey is paired best with beer, Canadian beer specifically, $5 Molson draft during the Leafs games is always a popular choice. We have a huge base of regular customers and that makes for a really warm “Cheers”-like environment. I’ve worked at a number of bars in the past and this one is by far the most enjoyable because of that. Gull & Firkin, 1943 Queen Street East

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