Tarra Wixom loves things with history, which may be the reason the new craft cocktail bar, 1835 Porch Bar appeals to her. The bar is built on the back porch of one of the oldest homes in Destin, and its name is steeped in local history.
Wixom explained that in 1835 Leonard Destin set sail with his brother and father from Connecticut to Florida looking to salvage wrecks in Key West. A hurricane struck, and Leonard’s ship was the only one brought to safe harbor in modern day Destin.
“The 1835 Porch Bar is an homage to the lineage of Leonard Destin,” Wixom said. “If it weren’t for that hurricane, Destin would be named and known as something different.”
An overqualified bartender, Wixom has a degree in anthropology and teaches it at University of West Florida in Pensacola. Her love of history runs deep as she has also worked as an archaeologist for the federal government and in the Destin History and Fishing Museum.
“You can tell when things are original and when they are a façade,” she said of her love of historical things. “I like things with real character.”
As for the cocktail menu, 1835 Porch Bar features drinks such as the 1835 Hurricane, The Lafitte and the Florida Smash, all three spins on classic cocktails. Wixom chose the Florida Smash as her signature sip as it is one drink that will continue on the menu through the fall season.
“In the Florida Smash, we use bourbon, a house-made thyme simple syrup and freshly squeezed orange juice,” she said. “All of our citruses are hand-juiced, and everything from the drinks to the food is literally made from scratch.”
When it comes to her own drink of choice, Wixom said she has an interesting request when drinking out.
“I love gin and I love bourbon, but most of the time when I roll up to a bar I drink an Aperol and soda with an orange,” she said.
As for her fleeting spare time between family and work, Wixom said you can find her relaxing at home or exploring the area with her better half.
“I like to cook and garden and I love my dachshund,” she said. “Also, if it involves food or travel, I’m in!”
1835 Porch Bar is at 200 Harbor Blvd. in Destin between Dewey Destin’s Harborside Restaurant and Tailfins. For more information, visit https://www.1835porchbar.com/ or find them on Facebook by searching 1835 Porch Bar. The 1835 Porch Bar is open Sunday-Thursday 5-10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 5-11 p.m.