Bartender Hall of Fame: Highlighting Tahoe Top Shelfer, Trudy Ceccareli

“From grey to deep blue, the water really is a different color every day.”

Trudy Ceccarelli

Momentous Mixologist

Atomic Bootlegger Lounge (Sparks, NV)

“There’s no one like bartenders and cocktail waitresses,” says Trudy Ceccarelli. And she’d know; she’s worked with them since her 20s, and she even liked one enough to marry him. (That’s how she wound up with an Italian name, which sounds like “check-er-EL-ly.”)

Plenty of couples meet in bars, but Trudy is one half of a match made in bartending Heaven. Back in the casino days, she was his cocktail server and he was her bartender … for decades. Now they’re married and, she points out, “We even still like each other!”

After joining the U.S. Bartenders’ Guild–initially for the camaraderie–Trudy fell in love with the educational side of bartending. So, last year, she hopped to the other side of the bar, joining the inaugural team at Atomic Bootlegger, where this “geek at heart” loves constantly learning, expanding and–most of all–teaching customers about the evolving methods, styles and flavors of craft” cocktailery.

“Most people live in a drink comfort zone,” Trudy observes. “They get used to ordering the same thing every time. But what I love about my job is getting to know people and their palate, then earning enough trust to suggest letting me make them something totally new. Then, when they take that first sip and they love it … it’s just so cool.”

The Stats:

  • Trudy and her husband live in Spanish Springs, NV and spend “as much time as we can” living the #LakeTahoeSpirit on the water and in the mountains, which they’re proud to have in their backyard. In wintertime, they’re snowboarding, skiing and snowshoeing. In the summers they’re hiking, biking and paddle boarding.FB_IMG_1449001701196


  • When she stands atop a rocky peak or ski run, Trudy takes a thoughtful moment to really look at Lake Tahoe. “From grey to deep blue, the water really is a different color every day.” And she’s moved by them all.
  • As much as Trudy loves people, there are some who stand out. Trudy told us about one (making sure to stress that this was NOT at the Atomic Bootlegger). “During the week of Burning Man, I happened to notice a slender blond girl across the room. I thought it was odd that she was wearing a bikini in the casino. Upon closer inspection … that was NO bikini. Just some very pronounced tan lines!”
  • As a day shifter, Trudy makes a LOT of bloody marys with her go-to: Tahoe Blue Vodka. So many, in fact, that one of the first things she does when she starts work is stash a bottle of TBV in her speed rack!


If you’re lucky enough to show up when Trudy’s slingin’, prepare your taste buds for one of these:

Trudy’s Atomic Tahoe Blue Bloody Mary

What’s In It:

  • Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Little bit of Simple Syrup
  • Tahoe Blue Vodka
  • Fresh Tomato Juice
  • Demitri’s spicy bloody mary mix (as hot as you can handle!)
  • Olive, Lemon Wheel, Nevada Brining Co.’s Whiskey & Fresno Pepper “Boozy Pickle”


Trudy's Tahoe Blue Atomic Bloody Mary

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