Meet Xander Dodson of Village Door
Xander Dodson of John Wehner’s Village Door in Seascape Town Centre is the type of bartender who will make you want to pull up a bar stool and stay awhile.
He has a confidence about him and, yet, he eases into conversation like he’s known you for years, even if it is the first time you’ve met.
“I’m from all over, an Army brat,” he said when asked where he was from. “I came down here for spring break while in college and told myself, ‘I’m definitely coming back.’ I worked in my career for three years, then hopped in my car and drove here on a whim 10 years ago and never looked back.”
Dodson’s former career is impressive. He has a masters degree in mechanical engineering and helped design things such as headlights for new cars. But, he said, the excitement of that job wore off when he realized most of his life would be spent at a desk in a room full of introverts.
“Just being able to interact with people is what I love about bartending,” he said. “I have been bartending for 15 years. I watched the fast pace of it all and thought, ‘Wow, people really love this guy.’”
Dodson said, behind the bar, he can be creative and still be himself — the people person whom everyone wants to be around.
“I like to make shots and martinis. I like to experiment,” he said. “Currently, I’m experimenting with beer cocktails, mixing liquor and beer to make cocktails.”
Right now, Dodson said his favorite combination is Jameson (Caskmates IPA Edition Irish Whiskey) and Goose IPA.
As for his signature sip, Dodson chose to feature one of Village Door’s most popular drinks, the Alien Candy Fun Bowl.
“It’s like liquid marijuana — smooth and bright green in color,” Dodson said laughing. “The Alien Candy is basically all alcohol, but it’s such a great combination.”
Dodson explained the 45-ounce drink has coconut rum, spiced rum, Midori melon liqueur, Blue Curacao, sour mix and pineapple juice.
As for the other fun bowls on the menu, the large fruity drinks include names such as Rock Fad, Energy Shark, Purple People Eater, and Unicorn Passion.
When he’s not behind the bar, Dodson said he can be found in one of three places.
“When I’m not bartending, I like to take my dogs to the beach, I’m an avid laser tag player and I’m a movie buff, so I go at least once a week,” he said.
John Wehner’s Village Door at Seascape Towne Centre is at 60 Seascape Drive #101 in Miramar Beach. Visit www.thevillagedoor.com or call 850-610-8464.
Alien Candy Fun Bowl
• 3 ounces spiced rum
• 3 ounces coconut rum
• 1 1/2 ounce Midori melon liqueur
• 1 1/2 ounces Blue Curacao
• 4 ounces sour mix
• 8 ounces pineapple juice
• 2 orange wheels
• 1 cherry
Combine all alcohol in 45-ounce bowl.
Mount with ice.
Top off with pineapple juice and sour mix.
Garnish with orange and cherry.
Enjoy with a buddy!