Bartender Buddha: Art Gagnon of The Grist Mill in Avon

Art Gagnon
Found at: The Grist Mill (Avon)


What infusions are you making?

I'm in the process of changing things up now. A soon as my herbs come up I will be doing infusions with basil, cilantro and thyme. I plan on doing a thyme citrus vodka with fresh lemon juice. I'm experimenting now with a strawberry and cilantro. Martinis are my specialty. I also plan on doing a lot of fresh fruit purees.

What's the best way to become a bartender?

I think the best way to become a bartender is to start off as a bar back, get some cocktail books and learn. I was a server and worked in the kitchen and the passion of bartending grew. I've been in the business for 33 years, bartending for 15 years; it's what I like to do.

What's the worst date you've ever witnessed?

I witnessed a proposal refusal. A few years ago, a guy got down on one knee, presented the ring and the woman's jaw dropped and she walked out the door. We all felt terrible for the guy.

What cocktails are you making for spring?

The Cucumber Lime made with gin, muddled cucumbers, limoncello and a splash of cranberry juice is the most refreshing one. The combination of lime and cucumber is both bold and intense.