Okay, just a disclaimer. I profiled Chris Seelbach back in May with the Seelbach Cocktail, and offered the opportunity for a similar feature to any other candidate. Yvette Simpson was the only other candidate who I contacted who wanted to a) talk about her candidacy with a food blogger and b) had a cocktail or spirit named after her. There are others who certainly qualify! So as not to be partisan, if any other Cincinnati City Council candidate for 2011 out there would like equal time, I’m happy to give it– as long as you have a cocktail that matches your name. Fair? Cocktails will have to be found on cocktaildb.com and can’t be of your own devising. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to chat by November 4th– that’s tomorrow!
Creme Yvette is a very interesting spirit. It’s purple naturally– not fake purple like “grape”– with flavors of berry and violet, for an interesting, sweet-but-floral flavor. The Yvette cocktail takes these flavors and mixes them with gin and softens them with cream for a very different drink.
The Yvette Cocktail
2 parts Dry Gin
Juice of one-half Lime
1 part Crème Yvette
1 part Sweet Cream
Bar spoon of sugar
Shake well with ice.
Yvette Simpson is rather interesting candidate. She overcame many struggles as a child to graduate from Miami University and the University of Cincinnati. After practicing law with Frost Brown Todd, she decided to forego the lucrative legal field and instead help young people at Miami University by directing their Pre-Law program. Now she’s running for Cincinnati City Council with the endorsements of the Democrat and Charter parties. I sat down with her at Japp’s in Over-the-Rhine to talk with her about her campaign and her position on small business in Cincinnati.
Her emphasis is bringing more people into Cincinnati by focusing on small businesses. She wants to make Cincinnati a place for small businesses by building bridges between government and small businesses, providing incentives for small businesses and small businesses with multiple locations to open in the Cincinnati city limits, and even simple things by making a big deal with a “welcome wagon” for small businesses– including a ribbon cutting– to show neighbors that new businesses have opened and to make the businesses feel as if the City cares. She wants to eliminate some of the bureaucracy that hinders small business by creating a “One Stop Shop” for anything that a small business would need from the city.
She is a passionate advocate for the streetcar — she’s a supporter (and against Issue 48) as she feels that the streetcar and other possible rail transit will bring more small businesses into the area and that Cincinnati needs more transit options so that people don’t leave Cincinnati for the suburbs. Her office, shared with Jason Riveiro, is located just off the proposed route on 12th and Vine.
I brought up some of the issues that the city has been having with food trucks, and she said, “We need to tell small businesses what they can do, not what they can’t do” and that we need to be flexible and creative. “We need to embrace change like food trucks,” said Simpson, noting other cities with vibrant street food scenes as well as supporting bricks and mortar businesses that give Cincinnati character.
And, of course, I always ask about fun stuff– what she likes to eat and drink in town. She’s pictured with a chocolate martini (which “always makes her day”), and she loves mojitos. Her favorite restaurants include Sung Bistro, Nada, Aunt Flora, Melt and Cilantro– she calls them “yummy goodness” (which is her highest compliment, apparently).
Thanks for sitting down with me, Yvette!