Drink Up!

For four years our sister magazine, Stamford, has hosted a Best Bartender contest in bustling Harbor Point. This year, 350 parched patrons turned out to sample and vote on the the cocktail of their choice. It was a dead tie between Jill Rotanelli’s Italian (Aperol Spritz) Slushie and Judith Roll’s Bourbon Peach Pie. Here, we catch up with the mixologist wizards.

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Judith Roll
Owner, Judy’s Bar + Kitchen

What three ingredients do you always keep stocked at your bar?
Limes, mint, Fee Brothers bitters

What was your first (legal) drink?
Too many years ago to remember but I have memories of Amaretto, Midori, orange juice and pineapple juice

What’s your least favorite drink to mix?
Frozen concoctions. They’re boring.

What are the basic rules of being a good bar patron?
Do not talk on your phone. Look around and enjoy what is going on around you. Take it in.

If you could drink only one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon whiskey

Who’s your favorite kind of patron?
A customer who eats, drinks, laughs and makes us laugh.

What’s your favorite thing about Judy’s Bar + Kitchen?
That I know so many of my customers, and that the ones I don’t know want to introduce themselves because they enjoyed it so much.

How can you tell if someone is a good bartender?
They can talk and mix a drink and hear the phone ringing and look up to catch someone is standing at the bar looking to order a drink, all at the same time. Multitasking, and doing it with a smile, is a must!

If I didn’t work at a bar/restaurant, I would be…skinny.

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BOURBON PEACH PIE

2 oz. Bulleit bourbon
2 oz. peach juice
1 oz. lime juice
1 squeeze of maple syrup (about .25 oz.)
1 dash of peach bitters
Shake. Garnish with lime wedge and a
sprinkle of nutmeg


Jill Rotanelli
Beverage director, Fortina

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What three ingredients do you always keep stocked at your bar?
Bourbon, Sweet vermouth, Luxardo cherries

If you wanted to show off on a date, what would you order?
Harvey Wallbanger

What was your first (legal) drink?
Mike’s hard lemonade from the bodega

What hangover cure do you recommend?
A Bloody Mary

What’s your dream food-and-drink destination?
Italy. It always inspires me.

If you could drink only one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Aperol Spritz, made with Aperol, Angostura bitters and prosecco. It’s delicious.

How can you tell if someone is a good bartender?
When you don’t have to ask for a second drink.

What’s your favorite thing about Fortina?
It highlights the essence of simplicity.

The perfect cocktail should be…well-balanced with acid, [something] bitter and sweetness.

If I didn’t work at a bar/restaurant, I would be…traveling the world.

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Italian Slushie
(a.k.a. Jay Should Have Never Cheated On Bey)

1 part Fortina’s boozy Italian ice (“top secret”)
1 part Aperol
1 part prosecco

Blend and garnish with a lemon peel


Photographs:
 Garvin Burke

 

 

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