Assemble Cocktail Workshop: Lillian Oler

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When did you start your business? January 2022

What made you venture into business for yourself?
Assemble Cocktail Workshop was created once I came across the cutest cottage space in Downtown Boerne to lease. I have worked in hospitality as a server and bartender in amazing restaurants and for private events in the past and loved it. I always called it a “productive social life.” Then, during the pandemic, I, like many people, found the time to focus on priorities. After furloughs, wildfires and school shutdowns, my family and I moved from the Napa Valley, back here to the Hill Country where I grew up. I started event bartending for weddings and parties and realized there was room for improvement- cocktails should be elaborate and complex, not just some random tequila and bottled mix. I decided to create my own bartending business so I could help elevate the focal point of a celebration, the bar! Clients and guests were often curious about the process or ingredients involved in the recipe. In the back of my mind, I knew that a lot of people were interested in this kind of thing. Once I found the space downtown, it all came together and Assemble Cocktail Workshop was born.

What has been proven to be the most difficult part of getting your business going?
I built my own website and I do all the marketing myself. That has been very challenging for me, as I am not naturally tech savvy- just learning as I go. On the bright side, I feel very connected to my business and see each social media comment, message etc.

What has kept you motivated as your business grows?
Guests keep me motivated. Just thinking about how many other wonderful activities there are to do, and they chose to spend their outing here at Assemble Cocktail Workshop, means a lot. That gratitude will never fade. It makes me want to do everything 100% because each detail matters and is noticed.

What are your short and long term goals for your business?
A short term goal is to build a better website that is more streamlined with a better booking calendar and more information about workshop offerings. I’d also like to continue doing collaborations once a month with amazing business owners to bring unique experiences to Boerne. A long term goal for Assemble Cocktail Workshop is to start constantly offering cold press cocktail mixers, rather than just by special request.

Best business advice you have received?
If it were easy, everyone would be doing it” That advice puts things in perspective and makes me motivated to keep pushing on.

How has the community supported your business?
Yes! The community of Boerne has been wonderful. I rely on word of mouth to keep busy- and it seems to be working! Additionally, I joined the Chamber and connected with Visit Boerne. Networking within these groups has helped get to know, and share my business with fellow business owners and members of the community.
What is your favorite summer cocktail to whip up?
Cucumber Collins: see recipe below.

Cucumber Collins
The perfect summer cocktail!

Ingredients:
1.5 oz Gin
1 oz fresh lime juice
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz simple syrup
Topo Chico (or your favorite plain seltzer)
Seedless cucumber slices
Mint sprig (garnish)
Bitters (optional)

1) Prepare serving glass with thin cucumber slices inside on wall of glass
2) In a shaker tin, add all 2 cucumber slices and gin, muddle gently
3) Add simple syrup, lemon and lime juice, and ice
4) Shake until well chilled.
5) Strain over fresh ice into serving glass
6) Garnish with a fresh sprig of mint and a couple dashes of your favorite bitters to add some depth.

This is a crowd pleaser, refreshingly perfect for those warm summer afternoons by the pool or alongside a meal. Cheers!

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