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Bartender Buddha: Michael Koury

Our Q&A with bartender Michael Koury of Vito's by the Park in Hartford

By MELISSA BYRON

11:45 AM EST, December 2, 2013

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Michael Koury
Found at: Vito's by the Park in Hartford

 

What cocktails are you making for winter?

On our menu, we have something called "Infusion by the Park." Every week the infusion will change. We will be making a sweet-potato-infused vodka martini, an apple pie moonshine and for after the holidays a skinny cran-raspberry vodka martini. We make a cranberry puree. We also do our own barrel aging of bourbon, which we infuse with vanilla, peaches and cherries.

How is the bar scene different during the holiday?

The feeling is different, especially working downtown. This is our busiest time of year and generally people are in a giving mood and also indulge a bit more. There is a joy in the air. People are in the mindset of winter and we are mindful of that.

What does the restaurant do in the winter to draw people in?

We have intimate dinners and events that are charity-based; the proceeds going to Make a Wish Foundation. The holiday season is our absolute busiest time of year. Rob Maffucci, the owner, is the inspiration for everything we do. He's the curator of the events.