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.
- 1 oz Cinzano Bianco Vermouth
- 1 oz Macchu Pisco
- 1 oz Citadelle gin
- 2 dash Bitter Queens NorCal Nancy Eucalyptus Bitters
- edible flower garnish
- Stir all ingredients over ice in a chilled pitcher.
- Strain and serve up.
- Garnish with edible flower.
About the Drink
“When we were thinking of new ideas for the menu, I was looking for new products. I met this guy at Tales of the Cocktail who makes these really fun bitters called Bitter Queens. I just knew we had to have these in the South End. He has some basic orange bitters, but he also has Thai spice bitters, Chinese five-spice bitters, eucalyptus, and he gives each one a persona. For example, Thai spice is ‘Bangkok Betty.’ For this cocktail, we’re using the eucalyptus bitters, which is ‘NorCal Nancy.’ Bitter Queens is out of San Francisco, so it’s their hometown bitter.
“Jenna and I were talking about trying to do a cocktail that was a stirred pisco drink, because you rarely see pisco that’s used in any way other than shaken with citrus and usually an egg white. This is our take on a martini with pisco. We ended up deciding to go with a split between pisco and gin.
“There are times when Jenna and I are banging our heads against the wall for months trying to make a cocktail work. This was one of those cocktails where the first time was perfect, which never happens.”
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