Food + Dining Main

Bartenders' Favorite Drinks

We asked those behind the bar what they prefer to pour.

BY October 6, 2017

Joe Zino, Bar Tulia

“My favorite cocktail on our menu is the Toronto, which is an old-fashioned-style cocktail with Fernet Branca. Fernet is an acquired taste. So if someone comes in and orders a shot of Fernet, you know they are likely in the bar business. This drink is a great introduction to Fernet, which is very medicinal on its own.” Naples,


Ricky Jackson, The Bevy

“I think the Italian 75 really sums up what we are doing at The Bevy, which is classic craft cocktails with a twist. This is a take on French 75, but we are using this rosemary- and lavender-infused vodka and prosecco instead of Champagne. It’s simple but delicious, and every ingredient is carefully selected.” Naples,

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Tom Gambino, Momentum Brewery

“My favorite beer to brew is The Machinist. It’s a sour beer—a Berliner Weiss style—so it undergoes a different process than the others. We use bacteria to produce the lactic acid that gives it the sour flavor.  It takes a special kind of skill to make a sour beer taste right.” Bonita Springs,


Brian Weaver, The 86 Room

At The 86 Room, making a traditional cocktail doesn’t mean making something boring. For a Sazerac, the bartenders send the New Orleans classic up in flames. Weaver says the signature drink starts with a lime twist coated with a little sugar and then set on fire in an absinthe-washed glass. “It just gives the drink this sweet caramelized flavor that’s a little different than a typical Sazerac,” Weaver says. Fort Myers,

Photography by Michael Caronchi

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