Coming from the West Coast, Jenna would make the move east to develop her music career at Berklee. She would ultimately develop a career within Boston’s hospitality industry, working at establishments like The Blue Room and Bistro du Midi. Developing her bartending skills working under John Gertsen at Drink, she would end up accepting a position at No. 9 Park as a bartender under Ryan Lotz. She and Ryan worked together for years as Jenna continued to hone her bartending skills, ultimately becoming No. 9 Park’s principal bartender. She would continue there after Ryan’s departure until she made the decision to join him at Bar Mezzana. Read her Bar Mezzana interview.
When characterizing Bar Mezzana’s cocktail program, it can be easy to assume a synthesis of its creators’ working backgrounds. Both Ryan Lotz and Jenna Rycroft have roots in renowned Boston craft cocktail programs: Drink, The Hawthorne, and, most notably, a shared experience at No. 9 Park. However, it’s their bond of friendship as well as their goal to channel the Italian cultural identity of their establishment that truly empowers Bar Mezzana’s cocktails.
“Tiki” Cocktail Recipe
- 2 oz Privateer Tiki Gin
- ½ oz Aperol
- ½ oz liliko’i (passion fruit) syrup
- ½ oz lime juice
- Shake all ingredients with ice and serve up.
About the Drink
“In the past, I didn’t have much experience making cocktails. Ryan forced us, because he liked making us do things we didn’t like to do. This one started out of a small love affair that Ryan and I have with a local distiller named Maggie Campbell. She is Head Distiller–Vice President at Privateer, a rum distillery in Ipswich. A couple of years ago, Privateer came out with a gin—a tiki gin actually. It’s infused with a lot of tropical fruit notes along with gin botanicals. It’s a really unique product, really bold. So, I wanted to use that in my cocktail.
“The cocktail is called ‘I’iwi. It’s actually the Hawaiian word for a native bird known as the honeycreeper. I’m part Hawaiian, so I wanted to use this to recognize some of my culture. I was imagining this beautiful tropical bird when I made this cocktail.”
*Individually crafted cocktail brought to Bar Mezzana from previous location.