Celebrating National Cocktail Month

March is National Cocktail Month, but with warmer longer days right around the corner, local bars are primed for a summer surge in business. You’re watching the “Local NEWS Network” brought to you by Kroegers Ace Hardware and Serious Texas Bar-B-Q. I’m Connor Shreve. Spring and summer bring to mind things like sunshine, flowers, and a nice breeze. Things that Stephanie Sarussi tries to impart in her cocktails at San Juan Sips.

Spring and summer means it is exciting times are moving, it’s project time, we are developing new recipes. Kind of bringing back, getting rid of like any winter or fall flavors and bringing in like herbaceous floral flavors, anything that goes well with warm weather.

The long-time bartender owns San Juan Sips, a vintage rebuilt horse trailer that’s now a mobile bar inspired by a trailer she saw in California years ago.

And I kind of always had it in the back of my mind, and then I saw this old trailer one day and I was like, “I think it’s time.” And so then I got that, I learned to sandblast, paint it. I had a lot of old barnwood, thank goodness, and so I was able to build it out from almost 100-year-old barn that had been torn down. So it’s all very Colorado milled wood out of Mancos.

As a long-time service industry professional, Sarussi feels like the trailer is a natural evolution.

I love connecting with people and I love being a part of a celebration. And it’s always, I mean, most people, many, you know, are not in a bad mood when they’re at a bar with their loved ones or celebrating, sharing a drink with their friends and family, especially weddings. And it’s been really wonderful to just kind of be a part of that.

Her first summer with the trailer promises to be a busy one based on early bookings. Sarussi wants to add more community events.

Any private events, I love birthday parties or baby shower. Anything that can be a little small and intimate. And you can do smaller weddings, I mostly do weddings. Yeah, I think just anything that, you know, is a nice local celebration, I would love.

As for you home mixologists looking to brighten up your cocktail routine, Sarussi’s approach might help.

I think with spring, with everything blooming and everything fresh and new, I always try to… I lean into florals a little more, which is not everyone’s favorite, but it’s, you know, short-lived, and then we kind of go into summer flavors. But yeah, I have anything that is like floral, fragrant, waking up from like a dark, you know, sleepy winter drinks. You know, everybody loves like whiskey and stouts in the winter. And now, it’s kind of time to bring on the colors and fragrance.

Sarussi’s favorite spring cocktail is a twist on the French 75, an elder flower, gin, and Prosecco drink. You can book San Juan Sips for your event online. To learn more about this story, visit durangolocal.news. Thanks for watching this edition of the “Local NEWS Network.” I’m Connor Shreve.

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