You’re unlikely to find someone in Connecticut who cares more about the integrity of the cocktail they’re creating for you than John Ginnetti, co-owner of 116 Crown. It’s also unlikely that you’ll share his level obsessive devotion -- but that’s why you go to the experts when you want something done right. All of the mixing and drink creating as at the service of the spirit. “One of the tenets is that all of the ingredients are natural,” says Ginnetti. That means that the stuff that gets put into your drink is pure and good, just like the liquor it’s being used to accentuate. “We have Coke and 7-Up, but they don’t make it into the cocktails, ever,” says Ginnetti. “Base spirit is always the most important thing.” He adds: “We have good liquors.” 116 Crown will celebrate its fifth birthday in August. Over those years Ginnnetti and his crew have witnessed the full flowering of the American cocktail craze. One good thing associated with that is that the attention to detail has spread to other ingredients for the creative bartender. “There’s always been high-quality spirit makers,” says Ginnetti. “It’s nice now that the mixers are sort of catching up with the alcohol.” Some of Ginnetti’s creations involve things like quail eggs or maraschino liqueur, but in the end it’s about the booze base. “The spirit is the picture,” he says, “everything we add is the frame.”
Winner of Best Place for Specialty Cocktail and Best Martini in the New Haven Advocate Best Of Readers' Poll 2012.