It’s likely you have heard of the local cocktail catering company, Mint and Mirth. Started by a dynamic female duo in 2013, it’s been going strong ever since and has changed the way we think of events and bartenders! The team at Mint and Mirth will design signature crafted cocktails for you and create a unique bar experience for your event. New owner, Kate Bolton, brings 20+ years of experience to this already successful local business and her dedication, vision, and passion are the perfect fit to keep it going and take it to the next level. Read on to learn more about Mint and Mirth!
Owner of Mint & Mirth, Kate Bolton. Photo Courtesy of 209 Gin
Where are you originally from? And how long have you been in Portland?
I (Kate Bolton) was born in the beach cities outside Los Angeles, although my parents had just moved there from Eugene before I came along — so I was almost an Oregon baby! I continued to make my way north, stopping in the Bay Area for about 10 years before moving to Portland a couple years ago.
What is your favorite thing about Portland?
The changing of the seasons, but mostly the way it blooms in spring.
What is your favorite spot or thing to do in Portland?
Berry picking on Sauvie Island or free summer concerts in the park. Or just exploring all the nooks and crannies of the different neighborhoods. Or going on bike rides that end in a pizza and a few beers before biking home. Too many to choose just one, clearly!
How long have you owned Mint and Mirth?
Mint and Mirth was established here in Portland in 2013. I became owner of it about 6 months ago.
What people/training/experiences/opportunities led you to this career path?
Having worked in the restaurant/hospitality industry for 20 years, I decided to make the short jump over to the events side of the industry. I love being a part of the big moments in people’s lives and helping to create an amazing experience for everyone involved.
Photo Credit: Myles Katherine
How would you describe the importance of your role and why do you feel a couple should hire a professional bartender for their wedding day?
Bartenders are natural facilitators of fun. We are about creating a great experience. It’s what we do. Plus, the cocktail hour is often one of the first moments the guests start experiencing a wedding — whether it’s a welcome cocktail or a post-ceremony cocktail hour, a good bar team can help guests relax and get in the mood. They are often a first impression, much like a host would be at a restaurant. Add that ingrained sense of hospitality to some delicious, seasonal, signature cocktails and you’ve got an event that will blow people away!
What is the best part of your job?
When a client trusts that I will take care of them and their guests — that I will provide not only great drinks but genuine service — that is the best feeling all.
What do you find most challenging about your specific line of work or weddings in general?
I’d say the waiting game. I’m usually so excited at the prospect of taking on a new client or event that sometimes, it’s hard to wait to hear back from people!
Photo Credit: Love Lit Photography
Do you work solo or do you have a studio and/or team?
A little of both. I have a team of bartenders that come to work with me for various events, but the planning and orchestrating is all one-on-one with me and the client.
What do you attribute to your success as beverage caterer? What do you think makes you stand apart from others in your field?
My sense of hospitality that I have honed as a skill working in the restaurant industry for so many years. I am very creative when it comes to cocktails, I have an extremely intimate knowledge of how bars and people work, I have patience for days, and I absolutely love making people happy.
At what point in the wedding planning process should clients hire you?
Beginning, middle, or end…whenever! We’re pretty flexible. We just need at least a few weeks notice to pull an event off. Of course, the sooner the better, as our calendar does fill up!
Where do you draw inspiration? Are there any current trends you are excited about?
Oh my goodness…I draw inspiration from everywhere: the seasons, my colleagues, restaurants I eat at — mimicking flavor combinations is fun; I once had a maple honey mustard dip for some chicken fingers at a ski resort and turned that into a fun variation on a Bee’s Knees cocktail with gin, lemon, honey, maple, and grain mustard.
Owner of Mint & Mirth, Kate Bolton. Photo Credit: Allison Weber
What is your best advice for wedding clients?
Do your research, go with your gut, and then trust your team.
Anything else you’d like couples to know about you?
This summer we are excited to launch our sister company, Silver Julep! A one-of-a-kind mobile bar custom-built into a shiny, new Airstream trailer! We will also be available for weddings, parties, and events and capable of doing wine, beer, and cocktails on tap. Check out our Instagram @silverjulep!
Featured image on this post by Maria Lamb Photography.