Bartender of the Week 8/9-8/15

Rio Station of Rio Grande has been the talk of Cape May County since its debut 26 years ago. In my quest for this week’s master mixologist, I decided to sit down and chat with Rio Station’s most tried and true bartender, Tammy. Tammy has been an employee since only months after the restaurant’s grand opening and is happy to be celebrating her 26th anniversary at this family owned and operated hot spot. “The restaurant is owned by a family and the employees really act like one big family. We even love to hang out outside of work,” Tammy explains. And aside from Rio Station’s distinct “family” vibe, Tammy also loves the customers she has gotten to know over the years. A Cape May County original, Tammy was born and raised in Erma. In her down time, she loves to hit the North Wildwood beach with a good book.

Though you would never know it by her humble demeanor, Tammy is somewhat of a Rio Station legend and even has her very own namesake drink. Titled “The Tammy T”, this killer cocktail consists of Beefeater Gin, Cruzan Rum, Jose Cuervo Tequila, Stolichnaya Vodka, Coca Cola, and Sour Mix and can be considered an improved version of a basic Long Island Iced Tea. Tammy uses a premeasured porter each time she mixes a “Tammy T”, ensuring that every single one contains the perfect proportions and same great taste. While Tammy assures me that this cocktail contains a LOT of liquor, it does not at all taste strong. In order to protect Rio Station patrons from this irresistibly good concoction, Tammy enforces a strict three drink “Tammy T” limit. Tammy also gave us her professional recommendation for the “Mango Twist” Rio signature. Her personal favorite? Definitely “Dan’s Margarita”, Tammy assures us. Dan happens to be the Rio Station owner’s brother, and a fan of the Patron margarita. This Rio Station classic contains three premium liquors – Patron, Grand Marnier, and Quantro – and truly tastes superior. The Patron tequila gives Dan’s Margarita its super smooth texture while the orange peel taste of the Grand Marnier adds a hint of sweetness with each sip.

Sample these or a number of alternative Rio Station signatures at their extended Happy Hour Mondays through Thursdays from 4 to 7 pm and Friday from 4 to 9 pm. Say a friendly hello to Tammy while enjoying drink specials and a number of discounted appetizer choices.

By Megan Kummer