Pull up a stool at the bar of Bijoux in Miramar Beach, and you are sure to have a relaxed and enjoyable time with bartender William "Binnie" Binford.
The posh, yet intimate, setting of Bijoux coaxes a fine-dining atmosphere, and yet the friendly Binford will lead you to believe you are right at home as you sip a specially crafted cocktail.
“I’ve gotten to know people and have good relationships with them over the years,” said Binford, when asked why he likes bartending. “It’s real laid back.”
However, while most bartenders enjoy the stronger spirits, Binford said his alcohol of choice comes from the grape variety.
“I’m more of a wine guy to be honest,” he said. “I enjoy a cab (cabernet sauvignon), or cab blend; any interesting red wine. They are a little more complex than any other liquor. Any time you think you know anything about wine, you learn something new the very next day.”
In fact, Binford is studying for his sommelier wine steward certification and has already completed the first level of his training.
“A lot of people start out with a cocktail, but then follow it with wine. I like to help people pair wine with food. People always think white wine is a must for fish, but that’s not always the case,” he said.
When asked what his favorite wine is at Bijoux at the moment, Binford said by the glass, he enjoys the Prime District 4 Red Blend out of Napa, California.
“We try to switch the wines up seasonally,” said Binford. “The most popular wines here at Bijoux are out of Napa Valley. We do have international wines available, but nothing crazy.”
As for his dream wine country trip, Binford said he would love to travel to Europe.
“France or Italy, simply because their quality is phenomenal and priced well for what they are,” he said.
As for his signature sip, Binford said he chose the most popular drink on the menu, the Jalapeno Watermelon Martini.
“We’ve had it on the menu since we reopened two and a half years ago,” he said. “Everybody seems to enjoy it. It’s refreshing, not too spicy, and we make our own jalapeno-infused vodka, which we allow to infuse for five to six days.”
Bijoux is in the Market Shops near Sandestin at 9375 U.S. Highway 98 West Suite 22 in Miramar Beach. Bijoux is open daily 5-9 p.m., and is open late until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Sunday Brunch is served from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.bijouxdestin.com or call 850-622-0760.