Our latest installment of Mixology Spirit brought us to Edison Kitchen in Bethel, CT where we met up with Bar Manager, Ryan O’Toole. We’re always on the lookout for bartenders to feature on Mixology Spirit and when we recently put the word out that we were seeking our next guest, multiple people told us, “you got to meet Ryan at Edison Kitchen!” We’re glad we did! As you’ll read below, Ryan has a lot of industry experience, makes fantastic cocktails, and brings an infectious spirit to his work. We had a great time chatting with him as he built us an amazing cocktail featuring our Coffee Bourbon, which he calls the Cappuccini.
Batchers: How did you get started in the business? How long have you been slinging drinks?
Ryan: I grew up with both of my parents working in the restaurant business. I have been behind the pine off and on for over twenty five years now. I also learned how to make a Manhattan from a real pro – my grandmother. She taught me at an early age how to make her Manhattans just right.
Batchers: What do you love about building craft cocktails?
Ryan: My most favorite part of building craft cocktails is the look on the guest’s face when they take their first sip. That’s the moment that you know you’ve nailed it and created exactly what they were looking for or perhaps created an unexpected surprise.
Batchers: Since Edison Kitchen is a fairly new restaurant, tell us a little about its vision and unique offerings.
Ryan: Although we are new to Bethel, we are hardly new to the business. Chris Bruno has owned multiple restaurants and the vision is the same as it ever was: be on the forefront, be a leader not a follower. Our food and cocktails are a fusion of rich, deep flavor with fresh ingredients. The raw bar is located at the apex of our bar and features four different types of oysters and clams–oyster shooters are also a huge hit. We offer live music several times a week and our Sunday Brunch with our new Bloody Mary bar is amazing.
Batchers: What makes a great cocktail versus just a good cocktail?
Ryan: A good cocktail is exactly that…lackluster. A great cocktail is what I aim to do–something that has fresh seasonal ingredients or a classic cocktail with a little twist to it.
Batchers: Got a great story about a hard night behind the bar?
Ryan: I think the hardest night that I ever worked was when the ice machine and air conditioning broke. It was 95°+ outside and we had a packed house. We had great neighbors and friends who came to our rescue with portable air conditioners and another restaurant owner provided us with all the ice that we needed. You can always count on your industry friends to help you in a time of need. His drinks were on the house that night!
Batchers: What is your favorite Litchfield Distillery spirit to work with?
Ryan: I’m a fan of the Litchfield Blueberry v\Vodka for many summer-type cocktails. But my favorite Litchfield Distillery spirit to date is their Batchers’ Coffee Bourbon. I have incorporated it into quite a few cocktails and it never disappoints.
Batchers: What does The Spirit of Hard Work® mean to you?
Ryan: Having great coworkers that have the same passion and drive is so important. Being surrounded by a group of people that want to not only succeed, but improve themselves and create new ideas is The Spirit of Hard Work.
Ryan chose to feature a cocktail he calls, “Cappuccini.“ It features our Litchfield Distillery Coffee Bourbon, which won a silver medal at the 2018 NY International Spirits Competition. Our Coffee Bourbon is proofed down with real, cold-brew coffee made from Zero Prophet coffee beans, so it’s packed with real authentic coffee flavor. To learn more about how we make it, click here. Ryan’s Cappuccini is liquid dessert with bold coffee and bourbon flavors intertwined with sweet, creamy deliciousness. Check out the recipe below!
- 1 oz. Litchfield Distillery Coffee Bourbon
- 1 oz. Fresh Espresso
- 0.75 oz. Bailey’s Irish Cream
- 0.75 oz. Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur
- 0.25 oz. Luxardo Maraschino
- 0.25 oz. Espresso Simple Syrup
Method: Add ingredients to a mixing tin with ice. Shake vigorously to achieve a nice froth. Single strain into chilled martini glass. Dark chocolate and cinnamon dusting for garnish.
To learn more about Edison Kitchen, visit their Website and follow them on Facebook or Instagram. The restaurant is located at 186 Greenwood Avenue in Bethel, CT. To contact or make a reservation please call (203) 628-7490 or email email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2022 Litchfield Distillery. Photography & Editing Credits: Tony Vengrove