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.
Peas and Thank You
- 1 egg white
- 1 ½ oz Citadelle gin
- ¾ oz lime juice
- ¾ oz snap pea syrup
- ½ oz Luxardo Bitter Bianco
- thyme sprig garnish
- Add all ingredients to shaker and shake once without ice.
- Shake again vigorously with ice for about 30–45 seconds.
- Double strain and serve up.
- Garnish with sprig of thyme.
About the Drink
“For the fall/winter menu last year, we had a cocktail called the Carabinieri, which had matcha powder in it. There’s a thing I call ‘the Mojito effect.’ There are particular drinks that, when they hit the tray and get walked through the restaurant, all of a sudden everybody wants that drink. It’s often driven by color or garnish. It turns out that green cocktails have this incredible appeal, probably because you don’t see green in cocktails that often.
“When we were writing the spring menu, I thought this is probably the time to have a green drink, since we now have lots of green things available to us. I started thinking about what kinds of ingredients could possibly turn a drink green, snap peas being one of them. So, we made this really delicious snap pea syrup that has an incredible texture.
“Luxardo Bitter Bianco is a new product. A lot of times, when you want to add bitter notes to a drink, you have to add a lot of color. There are some clear bitter liqueurs that are really intense, but this is a mild bitter that has lots of orange notes to it. We’re also using Citadelle gin for this, which is made by the Pierre Ferrand distillery. It’s really mild and floral, just a really nice compliment to everything else going on.
“With egg white cocktails, they don’t normally carry a lot of aromatics, so we always like to put something on the top of the cocktail. A lot of times, it’s just a twist that you discard, so that you leave the foam looking beautiful. But, it’s always a nice point where you can make a decision that enhances the cocktail. Jenna and I were rummaging through the walk-in, trying to figure out what to put on top of the cocktail. We toyed with edible flowers and with pea greens. Then, we realized that thyme would smell really nice with the cocktail.”