Roberto's bar manager Justin DeGioia, known as "JD," brings more than a decade of experience to the new tavern. The Hartford Restaurant Group alum decided to create a list of classic drinks for the East Windsor bar — "simple ingredients, but just a different take on them," he says.
These include a smoked maple Sazerac, featuring Knob Creek's maple bourbon; a Mediterranean mule with fig-flavored vodka and ginger beer, a Paloma swapping tequila for smoky mezcal, a "birch and bourbon" with Woodford Reserve and Hartford Flavor Company's Wild Moon birch liqueur and a gimlet with New Amsterdam coconut vodka and lime juice.
"They're all two or three ingredients, nothing too crazy," he says. "It's stuff people can understand; it's approachable but it has a little twist on it." Cocktails are priced at $8 to $12.
A pomegranate lemon drop, a gin cooler with elderberry liqueur and lemonade and a "Roberto Palmer" with Deep Eddy lemon vodka and fresh-brewed iced tea are ready for the upcoming patio season. Margaritas and sangrias will join the list for summer; these are already in rotation for a popular all-you-can-eat Taco Wednesday promotion, where best-selling flavors include hibiscus and spicy strawberry, made with chile de arbol-infused tequila.
"We take the seeds out so you get more of the green flavor of the chili, and less of the striking heat," DeGioia says.
Guests also enjoy 18 draft beer lines, 16 of which rotate frequently and often feature rare, small-batch allocation beers. DeGioia also plans to make good use of local produce in his drinks during the spring and summer growing season, offering market-fresh cocktails.
"I'd like to keep to seasonal products [like] fresh fruit," he says, referring to the many farms in East Windsor, South Windsor and other surrounding towns. "This area is really ripe for it."
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