Mixology Spirit Julio Enriquez

Mixology Spirit: Julio Enriquez

Our latest excursion took us to Greenwich, CT where we met up with the talented Julio Enriquez. You’ll find him behind the bar at Hinoki restaurant, an amazing Asian fusion restaurant located on Greenwich Avenue. Julio loves to serve up the classics, but also delights in crafting his own unique, fresh drinks that pair with Hinoki’s exquisite menu. With springtime officially here, Julio chose to feature a craft cocktail he conceived called, “Pura Vida.” It features our award-winning Litchfield Distillery Gin, which he appreciates for its full-bodied mouthfeel and approachable, citrusy profile. Read on to learn more about Julio’s talented approach to mixology!

Batchers: Welcome to Mixology Spirit. Can you please introduce yourself and let everyone know your role?

Julio: Thank you for inviting me to participate. I am Julio Enriquez, and I’m the Bar Manager here at Hinoki.

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

Julio: Hinoki unites relaxed tapas-style Asian cuisine known as Izakaya with an exclusive chef’s table experience known as Omakase in a casual, fine dining atmosphere on Greenwich Avenue in Greenwich, Connecticut. Both concepts are brought together under one roof and separated into distinguished seating areas. The menu features several types of Asian-inspired cuisines as sharable appetizers and main dishes. These distinctive cuisines are reimagined with an elegant twist by skilled chefs from some of the most prestigious restaurants in the world. Top-quality ingredients are sourced from the best distributors, purveyors, and markets including Tsukiji in Japan.

Batchers: How long have you been bartending? How did you get your first break in the industry?

Julio: I have been bartending for about 8 years but have about 20 years in the industry. I got my first big break working at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. I worked in the kitchen for six years and decided to make a switch to the bar. My approach to working the bar is to treat it much the same way I would the kitchen.

Batchers: What is it about the craft that you enjoy so much?

Julio: I enjoy experimenting with combinations and flavors that will cause my guests to experience a “ratatouille moment”…when all the ingredients comes together to create an extraordinary taste experience. I also love the interactions I have with guests at my bar, who I appreciate very much.

Batchers: Do you have a special approach or philosophy when it comes to creating your own cocktail recipes?

Julio: I tend to “follow my heart” with cocktail development but also use the classics as a base. “We owe it to the classics,” is a philosophy I always keep in mind.

Batchers: For those who enjoy making cocktails at home, what is the most important tip they should incorporate? What is the one mistake they should avoid?

Julio: I feel like mistakes are something you shouldn’t shy away from. I actually recommend experimenting and following your curiosity. It’s how I learned. I would also recommend buying a cocktail book to study cocktail history and classic recipes, which will help you build a foundation. I recommend Meehan’s Bartender Manual.

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

Julio: I wouldn’t say it was a hard night, but it definitely threw me for a loop. We had a really busy service and I was trying to manage the “push.” I looked up to welcome two guests and my jaw dropped because it was Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel! I’ve never had a moment when I didn’t know how to react. But in this moment, all that came to mind was, “Hi.” lol

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

Julio: My favorite Litchfield spirit is their Gin…for its full bodied texture and approachability.

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

Julio: When I’m not behind the bar I make kombucha. I have my own company (Feel Good Booch), which is based in Peekskill, NY. When I’m not doing working on the business, I love to hunt for the best burger in town.

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

Julio: It means pushing not only yourself but the people around you to their maximum potential. It’s about learning what you can and teaching others to grow together, so we improve the quality of our craft and our industry.

Julio’s featured cocktail is called, “Pura Vida.” It features our Litchfield Distillery Gin, watermelon juice, Torino Vermouth and agave syrup. It’s exceptionally well balanced and we’d say it is definitely pure refreshment–a great cocktail to sip on throughout the spring and summer seasons. 


  • 45ml Watermelon Juice
  • 45ml Litchfield Distillery Gin
  • 15ml Acid Water*
  • 15ml Agave Syrup
  • 5ml Torino Vermouth
  • 5ml Aperol
  • 5 drops Saline

*To make acid water, combine 40ml citric acid, 20ml malic acid, 1000ml water.

Method: Combine all ingredients in shaker and shake with ice. Double strain into rocks glass and garnish with black-salt rim and Shiso leaves.

To see more of Julio’s work, be sure to follow his Instagram page. To learn more about Hinoki, visit their website and connect with them on Facebook and Instagram. The restaurant is located at 363 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich, CT. To contact or make a reservation, please call 203-900-0011 or email info@hinokigreenwich.com.


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 info@litchfielddistillery.com.

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

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