“If it grows together, it goes together” is often a mantra for pairing flavors; for this week’s Cocktail of the Week, Bar Tulia bartender Joe Zino takes pairing to a new level of flavors for you.
Originally from New York, Zino moved to Southwest Florida when he was 13 years old. He’s worked every position under the sun in the restaurant business, from bus boy to food runner; but he has found his niche at Bar Tulia in downtown Naples.
“He’s really passionate about what he does,” said bar manager Christie Hawley.
Zino has about 4 years of experience behind the bar; and is the newest craft cocktail mixologist at Bar Tulia after joining their ranks in September. He’s already made an impact with some tasty concoctions!
Inspired by his passion for cooking and the humid summer weather here in Naples, Zino takes a more culinary approach to making drinks and recently created the ‘Blind Melon’ craft cocktail, aiming for a “lighter, sweeter cocktail that has a bit of spice to it.”
“Cooking is a good jump-off point for flavor pairings,” he said. “I was looking for something refreshing for the summer months. Cucumber and melon are a very good pairing.”
The tequila-based beverage lacks the typical bite of a margarita thanks to the array of fruity flavors that masks the tequila’s taste.
The muddled cucumber subdues the sweeter flavors of the melon and simple syrup, along with one of Bar Tulia’s many unique ingredients in their craft cocktails: a dash of thai chili tincture. Just a couple drops adds a spiciness typically unseen in a sweeter craft cocktail.
“The flavors accentuate each other very well,” Zino says of his refreshing summer cocktail.
Zino’s “Blind Melon” will leave those who drink it feeling refreshed, without the sweet aftertaste left from your typical sugary, fruity mixed drinks.
Cocktail of the Week
The Blind Melon
Where it can be found: Bar Tulia on Fifth Avenue, right next door to Osteria Tulia
- Silver Cimarron Tequila
- Clement orange shrubb (an orange-flavored rum to add some spice)
- Muddled cucumber
- Dash of fresh cantaloupe juice
- Simple syrup
- Lime juice
- Thai chili tincture
IF YOU GO
462 Fifth Avenue South
Naples, FL 34102
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