After growing up in Ohio and spending time living in New York, where she and her husband hardly saw each other, Carly Rossmeissl knew it was time for the pair to make a move—south. She started out paying her dues as the overnight baker at Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden in Austin, quickly moving up the ranks and earning a spot on Zagat’s “30 Under 30” list. These days, when she’s not working, the celebrated executive pastry chef at Juliet in Austin heads outside with her husband, who works for Save the World Brewing Co., and their two dogs to enjoy being able to be outside year round.
I’ve read you’re the Queen of Dough. How’d you get your crown?
That’s funny. When I moved to Austin, I started and helped open Easy Tiger, regarded as one of the best bread bakeries in town. They serve wholesale accounts, have their own bakery and serve the top restaurants in Austin with their bread and pastries. I worked there for three years before Juliet.
Juliet (image: Paul Bardagjy)
What do you like to drink when you get off work?
I typically go for Belgian-style beers. I find them super refreshing and approachable, and they’re on the lighter side. I also have a ton of them available to me because my husband works for a Belgian brewery. Even before he worked there, I was gravitating toward hefeweizens or wits. After work, I like something light and refreshing, even a saison.
Do you have any favorite cocktails at Juliet?
There’s one cocktail on there now that I recently tried that’s awesome: the Barrel-Aged East Side Manhattan. The base is Angel’s Envy bourbon, and whiskey is my favorite spirit. This bourbon is barrel-aged; I think it’s finished in port barrels. It makes it more complex. It has a rich chocolate flavor and a good amount of citrus, so it’s also refreshing.
Juliet’s Barrel-Aged East Side Manhattan, made with Angel’s Envy bourbon, amaro, sweet vermouth, orange bitters and orange peel (image: Justin Rouhier)
What are some local spots you like to hit for drinks when you’re off work?
I really like District Kitchen + Cocktails. They have a diverse cocktail menu, but I go there for one thing: their frozen margaritas. It’s the best I’ve ever had. It’s really refreshing and only $5 at happy hour. Whisler’s is another popular craft cocktail bar. They just do things that are different. I would call their list inventive and super creative. A dive bar is Shangri-La for a cold Lone Star or PBR.
Have you found any cocktails that inspire your cooking?
I’ve done some things here at Juliet that are cocktail-inspired, which is fun. For instance, we took part in Negroni Week last June. We did a special cocktail menu but also some food items that were Negroni-inspired. The dessert was a Negroni Sorbetto—our Negroni batch mix (gin, vermouth and Campari) mixed with lemon juice, and I made a Campari-toasted meringue served with candied orange zest.
Juliet (image: Paul Bardagjy)
What do you like to serve at a dinner party to kick things off?
Mostly anything sparkling, so a prosecco. One of my favorite sparkling wines is Gruet from New Mexico.
Any guilty pleasures you like to drink when no one is looking? Oh, my god, yeah: Arbor Mist blackberry merlot. It’s a type of wine, but I don’t know how they can call it wine. It’s super fruity chilled grocery store wine. It’s more like grapefruit juice with a ton of sugar that guarantees a hangover. That’s what my mom used to drink, and I caught on to that. It’s the most lovely blackberry juice I’ve ever had.