Fall is closing in on Northwest Florida, and who better to procure a harvest cocktail than Rhode Island native Travis Worley? Worley – who has lived in South Walton for four years now – said his seasonal cocktails focus on local produce as well as fall flavor trends.
“All of our cocktails run with the seasons,” he said. “For example, our fall flavors will emulate fall spices, and flavors such as pumpkin and rhubarb – we will have a variety of late-summer and fall-themed cocktails.”
In following this flavor profile, Worley chose his brand new cocktail, the Old Fashioned Jacket, as his signature sip.
“This is sort of our spin on an old fashioned, but we are also adding in Jack Daniels and dark cherries,” he said. “I use Italian cherries called Fabbri cherries. I used to use Luxardo cherries, but then I found these and fell in love with them.”
Worley explained the cherries offer a sweet, yet tangy, taste to the cocktail to give it a balanced, subtle late-summer flavor.
However, when asked for his favorite drink on Roselie’s menu, Worley said that would have to be the Crushin’ It, which features Langley’s Gin, basil, cucumber and lemon simple syrup.
“If I had to choose a favorite spirit, I would have to say gin,” he said. “Gin is really versatile, and I like the herbaceousness of it. It’s so different from gin to gin, more so than bourbon to bourbon or vodka to vodka, and it pairs well with both herbs and citrus.”
When asked what first brought him to the world of craft bartending, Worley said while working in another restaurant, his manager told him he just had the right personality for it.
“I’ve been bartending almost three years now and I kind of just jumped straight into it,” he said. “I think it’s a personality thing more than anything, being a good conversationalist is a huge part of it.”
As for his favorite part of the job, Worley said the creativity of the craft is what keeps him coming back for more.
“I love getting out of my comfort zone,” he said. “I kind of go through phases. Like right now I am playing around with different bitters and I recently experimented with egg whites and different liqueurs. I like when I can taste layers and pick out different parts of the cocktail.”
Roselie Dining & Seafood Bar is at 12805 U.S. HWY 98 Suite E101 in Inlet Beach. Hours are Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-10 p.m. For more information, visit www.roseliedining.com or call 850-909-0400.