Man walks into a party. Orders a Manhattan. From a six year old.
Tha six year old bartender was James Menite, a savvy youngster who learned at an early age to keep his aunt and grandma happy by mixing up their favorite cocktails, perfectly.
After a couple of decades keeping his relatives happy, Menite graduated to the big leagues (aka New York City) where he’s tended bar at such notable establishments as Artisanal , Porterhouse New York and Crown. His passion for hospitality was ingrained at a young age when he stood behind the bar at family parties and it has imprinted Menite with a unique style that enables him to welcome new and returning guests to his bar and make them feel as if they are family.
Menite’s drink repertoire stretches from classics like his beloved Manhattans and Sidecars, to his current springtime sipping favorite; Beefeater, Fee Brothers Grapefruit Bitters, and tonic. An expert in drinkology, Menite regularly reaches for gin, rum and that uniquely rare single malt when customers look to him for drink inspiration. Guiding guests through their beverage choices, James takes a moment to assess their needs, offering aperitifs for those about to sit down in the dining room, fine wines for his connoisseur guests, and exquisitely crafted cocktails for those in need of stronger libations and lots of fun.
Exploring product viability is as exciting to Menite as keeping guests happy and, while he is fond of the classics and has customers who return for his Manhattans again and again, he prides himself on creativity and the ability to incorporate new ingredients into his cocktail menu.
James’ creativity makes him a fierce competitor in the cocktail circuit, one who has won his fair share of first prizes. In recent years, he has won 9 national championships. His most recent competition will be in June for COCHON 555 at the Aspen Food & Wine Festival.
When not behind the rail at Crown, competing to create a buzz about new cocktails, or sitting in the judges seat at cocktail competitions like the DonQ international finals in Puerto Rico and the Bacardi Legacy NY finals, Menite has a high media profile, having been featured on the Cooking Channel and the Food Network and in national magazines such as MAXIM, GQ, ESQUIRE, and the New York Times.