Jeffrey Lartey Mixology Spirit

Mixology Spirit: Jeffrey Okai Lartey

Our latest Mixology Spirit interview took us to the coastline of Westport, Connecticut where met up with Jeffrey Okai Lartey from La Plage. The coastal restaurant and oyster bar is part of The Inn at Longshore and offers customers beautiful indoor and outdoor seating overlooking the Long Island Sound. Jeffrey is a talented and welcoming bartender who enjoys building the classics and creating his own distinctive recipes. He built one of his own creations for us called the “Mulberry,” which features our Straight Bourbon Whiskey, along with muddled fig, and fresh lemon and grapefruit juices. Read on to learn more about Jeffrey’s experience and to get the full recipe for his delicious Mulberry cocktail.

Batchers: Welcome to Mixology Spirit, Jeffrey. Please introduce yourself to our audience.

Jeffrey: Thank you for inviting me to participate. I am Jeffrey Okai Lartey, Bar Captain, Curator for the beverage program here at La Plage.

Batchers: For folks not familiar with La Plage, describe the restaurant’s vision and what makes it unique?

Jeffrey: La Plage’s vision is to showcase fresh, local ingredients with a new, noble approach to coastal cuisine. The uniqueness comes from a core team of people who continuously work in sync of service to give our guests the best experience. We also have a hell of a view of the Long Island Sound.

Batchers: How long have you been bartending? How did you get started in the industry?

Jeffrey: It will be eight years in the summer. I got started when a family friend needed help in the kitchen and it blossomed from there.

Batchers: What do you love about it?

Jeffrey: The chaotic perception of things, which can go good or go bad, but force you to adapt, create, and grow.

Batchers: Do you have a special approach or process for creating your own cocktail recipes?

Jeffrey: The three B’s: Booze, Boost, and Balance. These are essential to crafting delicious, well-balanced cocktails. “Booze” is your base, which can be whiskey, tequila, gin, etc. “Boost” is the flavor enhancer for drink…think of liqueurs like Campari, Kahula, Aperol, etc. These help establish some of the flavor profile. “Balance” is the final B where you need to evaluate how everything works together to create nice layers and balance so no one ingredient overpowers the others.

Batchers: Got a good story about a hard night behind the bar?

Jeffrey: Yes, not from this bar though. A few years back, it was the day before Thanksgiving and it was a complete mad house. It seemed everyone was out on the town that night. A half hour or so before closing, a small group walked-in and before I knew it, the bar was 3 deep and I’m grabbing orders as fast as I can. Literally ten seconds after I served all their drinks, one guy started to cry profusely, which was followed by projectile vomiting. His friends felt so bad that they gave us a five hundred dollar tip without even finishing their drinks. Needless to say, that cleared the bar out for us so we could close up for the night.

Batchers: What is your favorite Litchfield Distillery spirit to build cocktails with?

Jeffrey: Their Straight Bourbon Whiskey because it has so many characteristics to play with and I appreciate that it’s distilled from 100% Connecticut-grown grains.

Batchers: When you’re not behind the bar, what do you do for fun outside of work?

Jeffrey: I love to cook and have friends over. I also like to write poems, and catch up on my sleep.

Batchers: What does The Spirit of Hard Work® mean to you?

Jeffrey: “The Spirit of Hard Work” to me means, maximum effort (yes, I’m a Deadpool fan). It means giving your all into every aspect because at the end of the day, people appreciate you more and the satisfaction in that alone is tremendously rewarding.

Jeffrey’s featured cocktail is called “Mulberry.” It features our double-gold medal Straight Bourbon Whiskey that is nicely balanced with fresh lemon and grapefruit juices. The Aperol and grapefruit juice add a little bitterness while the Luxardo Maraschino and Walnut Bitters add a layer of roasted nuttiness. We loved it!


Method: Muddle one fig in a shaker. Add bourbon, Aperol, Luxardo Maraschino, lemon & grapefruit juices, and walnut bitters. Add ice and shake vigorously. Double strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube. Garnish with a torched turbinado fig (slice fig and dip in turbinado sugar before caramelizing the sugar).

To learn more about La Plage, visit their website and be sure to connect with them on Facebook and Instagram. The restaurant is located at 260 Compo Road South, Westport, CT. To contact or make a reservation, please call 203-684-6232.


About Mixology Spirit:

Mixology Spirit is a Litchfield Distillery blog series dedicated to sharing the stories of creative and passionate mixologists who embody The Spirit Of Hard Work®Think you got what it takes to be featured? Drop us a line at

©2024 Litchfield Distillery. Photography & Editing Credits: Tony Vengrove

Don’t forget to follow Litchfield Distillery on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.


Mixology Spirit: Jordan Kenney

Mixology Spirit: Matt Gilbode

Mixology Spirit: Shannon Ciralli

Posted in ,