I can’t be the only person hurting for my favorite bartenders right now. Pouring a beer for myself doesn’t taste the same, much less mixing my own cocktail. My current go-to is Mother Earth or Sutler’s gin with whatever fizzy water is in the fridge and a lime.
I’m a bartender by trade, yes, but beer is really the name of my game. I just don’t have the patience for cocktails. There are plenty of brilliant, out-of-work bartenders (mixologists, if you prefer) in Wilmington who allowed me to pick their brains for great quarantini recipes.
But good advice ain’t cheap, and it certainly isn’t free. So I’m including their Venmo information so they can be compensated for their expertise. If you take a whack at one of these creations and you enjoy it, tell the bartender with your dollars! Enjoy, wash your hands, and please stay inside!
Blood Orange Margarita
Bartender and bar manager Nathanial Fabian recommends making PinPoint’s house marg during quarantine. The ingredients are easily found at the grocery and ABC stores, and it’s delightfully refreshing for the end of a work-from-home day, or as a perfect punctuation to afternoon yard work. He made sure to mention this is the house recipe, and all tips received will go to all staff.
1.5 oz tequila
.75 oz fresh lime
.75 oz blood orange juice
.75 agave nectar (or simple syrup)
Shake hard and pour with ice. Salt the rim if desired, add some chili powder to your salt for an extra kick!
PANACEA BREWING COMPANY: Fire Cider Virgin Mary
Panacea is known for its delicious, healthful elixirs, and their quarantini is no exception. Owner Robin Hill advises, “Alcohol lowers immune function, but if you want to add vodka, please, feel free.”
Check out Panacea’s Facebook page for daily updates on food specials, and kombucha and beer offerings.
Panacea’s staff can be tipped on Venmo: @panaceabrewingco
Makes 1 pitcher
Heart of celery (3 innermost stalks and leaves)
2 tsp horseradish
Dash Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp kosher salt
12 dashes of Tabasco or 3 dashes of Panacea Hot Sauce
Juice of 2 limes
Blend in a high speed blender.
Add 48 oz tomato juice
Add 3 oz Fire Cider
Mix on low, garnish and serve
END OF DAYS DISTILLERY: Quarantini
EOD is the newest kid on Wilmington’s proverbial booze block (they’re also giving away free hand sanitizer, right now; page 6), nestled at the edge of the Cargo District at 19th and Castle. The distillery offers vodka, gin and white rum.
Owner Shane Faulkner took the classic approach for his quarantini, but strongly suggests at-home mixologists try it with EOD’s Port of Entry Vodka, available at ABC stores and the distillery. In lieu of Venmo tips, Faulkner urges folks to buy a bottle of spirits or some merch, available at the distillery and online at eoddistillery.com.
1 Pack of Emergen-C (any flavor will do)
4 oz of water
2 oz of vodka
Squeeze of honey
Pinch of nutmeg
Place all ingredients in a shaker with ice (a pint glass will work if you don’t have a shaker). Shake/stir, strain, pour and enjoy! Here’s to better days ahead!
DOCKSIDE: Cucumber-Lemon Quarantini
Dockside is best known for its waterfront views, frozen concoctions, and bangin’ Bloody Marys. But Lilli MacKay, employee of seven years and bartender of two, has an affinity for the restaurant’s cucumber gin fizz. Here’s how she makes it at home. R
Start with 2 cucumber slices and 2 smaller lemon wedges in a glass
Add sugar or simple syrup to taste (not too much or it won’t be as refreshing)
Muddle (if you don’t have a muddler you can you the backside of a wooden spoon)
Add as much vodka or gin as you would like (I recommend Tito’s vodka and Hendrick’s gin)
Shake with ice; strain, if preferred. Pour into a martini or wine glass, and top with a splash of soda water. Garnish with cucumber slice and lemon wedge.
MANNA: Quarantine Sour
Beverage director Fred Flynn may be best known about town for his silky smooth voice and mad guitar prowess, but he also makes a mean cocktail. Flynn has been working at Billy Mellon’s manna for over a year now, fine-tuning his cocktail game. His recipe for a Quarantine Sour is sure to please.
1.5 oz whiskey of choice (I use Elijah Craig small batch bourbon)
0.5 oz lime juice
0.5 oz lemon juice
0.75 oz simple syrup (1 part sugar 1 part water)
Dry shake egg white for 20-30 second, then add ice and all ingredients, shake vigorously. Pour in a coupe or rocks glass and garnish with orange and cherry.
RX RESTAURANT: Rx Cure
Rx boasts a seasonal farm-to-table menu, a hyper-local beer list, and a creatively curated wine situation. All of that is considered when the bartenders fabricate their cocktails, like the one below. For an extra fancy beverage, at-home mixologists can try pickling their own cucumbers.
Fill shaker tin with ice
2 oz vodka (we like to use NC-distilled Social House)
1 oz pickle juice (either sweet or garlic dill)
Pinch of black pepper
Hard shake and strain into martini glass. Garnish with pickles