Meet Joel Ziegenhorn of LuLu’s Destin

Savannah Vasquez
The 'Bama Breeze is a refreshing summery drink that embraces the laid-back beach feeling of LuLu's in Destin. [SAVANNAH VASQUEZ/DAILY NEWS]

Joel Ziegenhorn has been in Destin since 1989, and he has been bartending almost as long. He said he remembers a time in Destin when there were very few places to go out at night.

“There was not much around,” he said. “Fudpucker’s and Elephant Walk were about the only things out here and Fish Heads and Night Town were the big group; it was like a circuit.”

Considering the number of restaurants and bars in Destin today, Ziegenhorn said he never would have imagined such an economic boom in just three decades.

“The growth is unbelievable,” he said. “I’m not sure if there is room for much more.”

Ziegenhorn is now a surgical technician by day and a bartender at LuLu’s by night. He said although his day-job is taxing, the people are what keeps him coming back to the bar.

“The lifestyle and the late nights, that was my life back then,” Ziegenhorn said of his first draw to bartending. “Now, it’s more of a customer service standpoint. I enjoy making people happy.”

When it comes to a signature sip, general manager Mike Butler said the ‘Bama Breeze is what really delivers that LuLu’s lifestyle.

“The ‘Bama Breeze is named after our tiki bar in Gulf Shores, and it’s also Jimmy’s (Buffett) song, which is an ode to bars in Alabama that have been damaged by hurricanes,” Butler said.

The bright red drink features muddled limes, coconut rum, grapefruit vodka, cranberry juice and simple syrup. Ziegenhorn said the refreshing drink is perfect for a family-friendly evening with your toes in the sand.

“It’s one of our most popular drinks,” he said. “Here you can carry your drink everywhere while the kids are running barefoot – it’s a very beachy place.”

LuLu’s Destin is at 4607 Legendary Marina Drive. For more information, visit or call 850-710-5858.


'Bama Breeze


• 2 ounces Deep Eddy grapefruit vodka or Absolut Citron vodka

• 1 ounce coconut rum

• 2-3 ounces cranberry juice

• 1/2 ounce simple syrup

• 3-4 slices of lime


Place limes into tall glass and muddle.

Fill will ice then add vodka, rum, simple syrup and cranberry juice.

Place mixing tin atop glass and shake contents.

Garnish with lime wedge and enjoy your 'Bama Breeze.

'Bama Breeze