Samantha Supinger: Bartender, Mirabelle Tavern

mirabelle tavern

Supinger’s cocktails at Mirabelle are just peachy. image: niko krommydas

A transplant from the Sunshine State, Supinger loves creating seasonally expressive cocktails. She told Pulse how roasted peaches make a helluva twist on an Old Fashioned.

Pulse: How did you start bartending?
Supinger:
When I was 14, I started working at Ragtops Motorcars in West Palm Beach. It was an antique car museum that doubled as a cool venue that would hold all sorts of parties. I started out as a greeter there, dressing as a fifties girl or flapper. But nothing sparked my interest more than seeing the bartender making drinks. After Ragtops I started training behind the bar of a local brewpub and got hooked.

What did you love about bartending?
I found it was a great way to express myself. My father was an artist at one time and that inspired me to look at [bartending] as an art.

What’s the difference between bartending in Florida versus New York?
In Florida it was a lot of tropical flavors and light cocktails. But here I need to try to match flavors to the various seasons. There’s no way I would ever recommend a light rum cocktail in autumn. Different seasonal changes call for different tastes.

What winter warmer are you making right now?
I try to incorporate a lot of brown spirits in our cocktail menu because of the comfortable atmosphere we have. Plus, I always seem to be cold, so I like to make drinks that keep you warm. [Laughs.] I’ve been on a big bourbon kick lately. I came up with a twist on the classic Old Fashioned using caramelized and roasted peaches that we sauté with a few cloves and a cinnamon stick. In a rocks glass I add two peaches—soft, with a muddled appearance—and about a quarter- ounce of a peach simple syrup that we also make. Then I add Makers Mark, Punt e Mes and a small splash of fresh lemon juice before rolling it and topping it off with seltzer, a dash of bitters and a cinnamon-sprinkled lemon wedge for a garnish. You can taste really every note.