Art’s Big Deck at Westy’s Irish Pub is home to some of the island’s liveliest entertainers and friendliest staff. That’s why we thought it was the perfect place to start our search for this week’s mixologist master. The search ended as quickly as it had begun as soon as we were introduced to E.J. A bartender for 25 years, this is second summer as a member of Westy’s staff. And he’s loving every second of it. “The staff is great. And it’s such a beautiful place,” stated E.J. as he gestured toward the deck’s oceanfront view.
He got his first start in the bartending biz at his family’s bar in the Gray’s Ferry section of South Philadelphia. North Wildwood is sure glad he made the move. When he’s off the clock, E.J. likes to take it easy and hang out with friends. “I’m not a complicated guy,” he jokes. E.J. also likes to play the green at Avalon Golf & Country Club. E.J.’s drink of choice is a classic Coors Light bottle, but he recommends that those who are new to Art’s Big Deck sample his latest creation – the Frozen Strawberry Lemonade. Made with a masterful mixture of strawberry vodka and daiquiri mix, the Strawberry Lemonade’s key ingredient is actually Westy’s Celtic Lemonade. This Westy’s signature cocktail is made with only the finest Ireland-made liquors. First, Westy’s starts with Celtic Honey Liqueur. Next, Boru Irish Vodka, otherwise known as “The Vodka of Kings”, is added to the Celtic Lemonade concoction. It is made in Ireland from the “finest local grain and pristine Irish spring water.” Last but certainly not least, Country Time Lemonade gives Celtic Lemonade its sweet, citrus base for these fine Irish liquors.
By Meg Kummer