Joshua Packtor

Connecticut native Joshua Packtor of Sayulita knows his Mexican cuisine. "It's second nature in San Diego," he says, referring to his decade of restaurant and bar management experience in sunny Southern California. With a baby on the way, he decided to move back East to be closer to family, and he reconnected with family friend Bill Driggs, who was about to open Sayulita in South Glastonbury. Driggs brought Packtor on board to run the beverage program. Packtor's knowledge of tequila, mezcal and Mexican-inspired cocktails was a natural fit for the restaurant, and he's created an array of margaritas and other libations to match the vibrant and beachy fare. Drinks are thoughtfully composed, with fresh-squeezed citrus, housemade syrups and unique flavor profiles. The Mayan ($11), with mezcal, ginger liqueur, lemon, chipotle nectar, bubbles and chipotle salt, is "wild," Packtor said. "It's an explosion of flavor in your mouth. Definitely an adventurous one." Other distinctive cocktails include the "Border Dog," with house-infused coffee tequila, (using local joe from So.G Coffee Roasters) vodka and housemade horchata. There's also a twist on a Moscow Mule, with tequila and Chambord. Like its kitchen, Sayulita's bar features the freshest ingredients possible. "'People will say, 'I don't want any sour mix,'" Packtor said. "[I'll say] 'Don't worry, we don't use it. You're right here, you're perfect.'" --Leeanne Griffin, lgriffin@courant.com See more of Sayulita's cocktails at www.ctnow.com/sayulita.

Stephen Dunn
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