Claudiane Philippe, 27, sips in style on her Instagram feed @nailthecocktail. The Waltham resident snaps photos of the most delicious and Insta-worthy drinks around Boston — accompanied by a fresh manicure. We chatted with Philippe about how her passion for bartending turned into a popular page among foodies and tourists alike.
What got you started in the world of cocktails?
I used to bartend in undergraduate and graduate school at Brandeis University, on campus and for a private agency, for about 6 1/2 years. After I left school, I bartended for about a year, and then I started my job in healthcare. I realized I missed making drinks, but I never had time to take a bartending job again. I needed to find a way to get back into it without being behind the bar and noticed that there were no pages that featured just drinks in Boston.
What is your process for finding cocktails to try and bars to visit?
I tend to look for hashtags like #Bostonfoodies, and I look for restaurant menus and blogs. I look at cocktail menus, too.
Cocktails can be pricy . . . how do you finance your hobby?
I go out with friends, so we split the bill. If we go out and get two drinks each and there are three of us, that is six drinks to try and photograph. It’s definitely a social thing.
What is your favorite drink to photograph?
Maybe a gin fizz or anything that has layers to it. That is always pretty to photograph.
And your favorite drink to drink?
Yes, a gin fizz is my favorite drink of all time.
In all of your shots, you always have beautiful nails to match.
I get my nails done once every two weeks, so if I go to two places in that amount of time or 10, it’s whatever I have on my nails. But yeah, I thought that “nail” the cocktail had a fun ring to it.
Since you created the account, what has been the reception in the foodie community on Instagram?
It’s crazy. I remember sometime last summer, I had gone to Saltie Girl with one of my friends and I took a picture of a prickly pear drink and after I posted the picture, it was my first viral picture and got reposted by big accounts, and ... I grew 700 followers in less than 48 hours. Now people come to my page as a resource. They can look at the ingredients and the look of the drink and see what they want to order. I think people have taken my account as a drink guide to the city, where it used to be just finding pretty pictures.