By Denny Patterson
A bar may be what draws patrons in, but a great bartender is what makes their visit worthwhile and keeps them returning.
On Tuesday-Saturday, you’ll find Jason DiFusco pouring your favorite drinks at Tulio’s Tacos and Tequila Bar in Wilton Manors. Also known as Jay the Bartender, he is a self-taught mixologist who has been in the business on and off since 2008. Not only does he love meeting and taking care of people, but he also says strong, great tasting cocktails are hard to find. He knew he could do better.
Tulio’s is a vibrant Mexican style bar and restaurant developed by long-time friends Brian Parenteau, Doug Herbst and Tulio Alas located in the heart of Wilton Manors. The culinary and hospitality teams work together to provide a unique quest experience with amazing cocktails, fabulous food, great ambiance, and amazing service. Tulio’s is a place where friends come together and great memories are made whether you are drinking or dining.
OutClique caught up with DiFusco and asked him some questions.
DP: Let me begin by asking, what do you enjoy the most about being a bartender?
Jason DiFusco: Every night is a new experience with different situations and conversations. It keeps me interested and motivated.
DP: What is your favorite part about working at Tulio’s?
JD: Definitely working with our bar team, owners, managers, and Tulio himself. Working in a bar, especially on a busy weekend night, can be challenging. Just knowing that I have my colleagues behind the bar with me, and the support of Tulio and his kitchen staff, our managers, Jeff and Todd, and our owners, Doug and Brian, really helps when dealing with busy situations and challenging guests.
DP: Do you have a favorite drink to make?
JD: The Smoked Pineapple and the Endless Summer Paloma. These are my recipes and two of our best craft cocktails. I find the flavors well-balanced, and I get great feedback from our guests about them.
DP: Which cocktail is your personal go-to choice?
JD: Our Mango Margarita. This is, by far, our most popular craft cocktail. We use fresh lime juice, real mango puree, agave nectar, and Rock and Roll Mango-infused silver tequila. It tastes great, and it’s strong.
DP: What is something every beginning bartender should know?
JD: A good cocktail should be strong and taste great. This is a concept that many people, especially on the Drive, get confused about. If the taste of the spirit is too overpowering, the drink is not enjoyable and it is difficult to drink. It is possible to make great-tasting cocktails that have a high alcohol content, but also can be enjoyed and re-ordered.