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“Bar Rescue” Star Lisamarie Joyce Reimagines the Beverage Experience at Babalu Tapas & Tacos

Abe Ruiz, CEO of Babalu Tapas & Tacos, and his team knew they’d need an expert to reinvent their beverage program across their nine locations.

“It was not just about writing up a menu, it was about creating a beverage experience. We had a solid drink program, we just needed to create the sensory experience with enhanced new bar recipes,” Ruiz stated. Ruiz reached out to service industry veteran, Lisamarie Joyce, one of the stars of the reality series ‘Bar Rescue’.

Joyce has created a batch of handcrafted, spirits-forward cocktails brimming with fresh-pressed juices and other aromatic ingredients. The new enhanced cocktail experience is now available at the Babalu Tapas & Tacos Midtown location.

“The emphasis is on simplicity and freshness,” says Joyce. “Working with Michelle Laverty, the head bartender at Babalu’s Memphis Overton location, we made sure to infuse a sense of fun into everything we did.”

Some menu items include:

Straw-Vocado: Grey Goose Le Citron Vodka, fresh avocado and strawberries with a splash of fresh-squeezed sour.

Cuban Cigar: Bacardi 8-Year Gran Reserva Rum, fresh orange juice, Havana & Hyde Bitters and a dash of smoked bitters.

Baba-Breeze: Bombay Sapphire Gin, fresh cucumber, ginger and mint with just-squeezed lemon juice and a splash of soda.

Bacardi Cuatro Daiquiri: a classic daiquiri made from four-year aged rum, freshly squeezed lime juice and sugar shaken with cracked ice, taking its name from the mining town on the southeastern tip of Cuba where the daiquiri was first invented.

Mango Coco-Jito: made with Bacardi Coconut Rum, fresh mango, mint, freshly squeezed lime juice and a splash of soda.

Babalu’s new beverage experience also offers a menu of “Mockteles” for business folks who want a fresh drink at lunch minus the booze.

After developing the new beverage experience for Babalu Tapas & Tacos as part of her consulting business, Joyce is now traveling across the South – including Atlanta – to teach and train each restaurant’s bar staff on how to make the new libations.


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