In the Know: Where can I get Naples’ signature cocktail?

TIM ATEN
Naples signature cocktail, The Naples Original, is made with rum, coconut cream, lime juice, club soda and mint. David Lopez

Naples signature cocktail, The Naples Original, is made with rum, coconut cream, lime juice, club soda and mint. David Lopez

Q: In early 2012, Stoney’s Steakhouse had a contest to choose a specific Naples cocktail, and the Coquito Mojito was the chosen favorite, according to the NDN. It was to be avail­able in all Naples Origi­nals restaurants, though I have yet to find one bar­tender among three of the Originals who knows what it is. Do you know which restaurants know of this drink and where we can try it? Thanks! The infor­mation in your column is invaluable.

— Carole, North Naples

A: Not all Naples Origi­nals restaurants are on board yet with the new drink, which — although it is a coconut-flavored moji­to — is actually named the Naples Original, said Beth Preddy, a spokeswoman for Naples Originals, a group of local restaurants. At least nine area eateries offer the The Naples Origi­nal, made with rum, coco­nut cream, lime juice, club soda and mint, although Preddy said some Naples Originals restaurants do not have full bars and are less likely to make it.

Naples’ signature cock­tail is served at these Naples Originals restau­rants: Bayside Seafood Grill & Bar, Chez Boet, Ciao, The Dock at Crayton Cove, M Waterfront Grill and Stoney’s Steakhouse; as well as at these local restaurants: Alberto’s on Fifth, Flava, and Le Lafay­ette, Preddy said.

The special mojito edged out Basil Lemonade and bested four others in the cocktail contest vote to be named the Naples Original. Mixologist David Ortiz created six original cocktails in an effort to capture the spirit and flavor of Naples.

Because Ortiz used artisanal creations from the American Still Life collection, for which he is the Florida ambassador, the unique spirits are not easily obtainable.

One of the rums comes from Dancing Pines Distillery, a small, family distillery that handcrafts small batches of spirits. It was chosen because it pairs well with Naples Originals’ local mission, Preddy said.

The Dancing Pine Oak Cask Rum used in the Naples Original is produced in a copper still and aged in a charred oak cask.

“The result is an unexpectedly mellow spirit reminiscent of the cane molasses from which it was made,” according to the Dancing Pine’s website, dancingpinesdistillery.com.

The recipe for the new signature cocktail:

THE NAPLES ORIGINAL

INGREDIENTS

¾ oz. Dancing Pine Oak Cask Rum

¾ oz. Coconut Flavored Rum

¾ oz. fresh squeezed lime juice

¾ oz. Coco Lopez Coconut Cream Splash of club soda

3 sprigs fresh mint, plus one for garnish Lime wheel garnish Coquitos (marble-sized coconuts, optional garnish)

DIRECTIONS

1 Lightly muddle the mint in the coconut cream.

2 Add lime juice and rums.

3 Fill with ice to the top and give it a long, hard shake.

4 Pour through strainer into a glass over ice.

5 Add a splash of club soda.

6 Garnish with mint sprig, lime wheel and coquito.

Photo with no caption

JOE’S STONE CRABS COMING?

Q: Is Joe’s Stone Crabs from Miami opening a branch in the Naples area? I heard a few months ago it was going to do so.

— Linda Starling, Naples

A: Although the iconic Miami Beach dining spot already has two sister locations — in Chicago and Las Vegas — Joe’s Stone Crab is not interested in tampering with its longtime success.

“We don’t really want to dilute the quality of what we do,” said Brian Johnson, general manager.

Joe’s Stone Crab, which opened in 1918, is famous for its seasonal stone crabs served with mustard sauce. Joe’s does not accept reservations, so diners commonly wait more than two hours just to get into the South Florida landmark, which occupies an entire city block.

Photo with no caption

Denying a Joe’s Stone Crab expansion here, Johnson indicated that the reader may have mistaken the trendy Florida tourist spot for a seafood chain with a similar name.

“It might have been Joe’s Crab Shack,” Johnson said.

Joe’s Crab Shack, a national seafood restaurant chain, has a location in Naples at 1355 Fifth Ave. S., on the edge of the Gordon River. Both a local manager and a spokesman for Ignite Restaurant Group, the eatery’s parent company, said the chain does not have plans now to expand beyond its existing Naples and Fort Myers locations.

Cafe Alfredo is expected to open in mid-April in the former location of Pizzaiolis, which closed about three months ago after operating for two years at the Galleria Shoppes at Vanderbilt, 2359 Vanderbilt Beach Road, in North Naples.

Photo by TIM ATEN // Buy this photo

Cafe Alfredo is expected to open in mid-April in the former location of Pizzaiolis, which closed about three months ago after operating for two years at the Galleria Shoppes at Vanderbilt, 2359 Vanderbilt Beach Road, in North Naples.

MORE LOCAL RESTAURANT NEWS

Cafe Alfredo is targeted to open next week in the former location of Pizzaiolis, which closed about three months ago at the Galleria Shoppes at Vanderbilt, 2359 Vanderbilt Beach Road, in North Naples. Although its name evokes a creamy pasta sauce, the local restaurant is named for Chef Alfredo Bajraktarevic, who co-owns the cafe with his wife, Tina.

Bajraktarevic, whose 40-year restaurant career began at age 14 in Rome, Italy, also is the founding chef and still co-owns Panevino Ristorante, a northern Italian restaurant that opened in 1996 in Marketplace at Pelican Bay. Cafe Alfredo will specialize in authentic northern Italian cuisine, as well, featuring fresh pastas and wood-fired pizzas. The 3,600-square-foot restaurant includes a full bar and an open kitchen with a prominent pizza oven.

Outdoor seating is available for dinner in the front, and for quiet cocktails on the east side of the family friendly, casual restaurant.

“It’s going to have a unique atmosphere,” said Tina Bajraktarevic. “We want it to be fun and we want it to be relaxing.”

Cafe Alfredo, located on the northwest corner of Airport-Pulling and Vanderbilt Beach roads, is open daily 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch, 4 p.m. for cocktails, and 5 p.m. for dinner. The restaurant will close midday to allow preparation for dinner, Bajraktarevic said. The restaurant’s permanent signs won’t be up until later this month. 239-431-8605.

Whisk! Treats and Eats opened April 6 at 935 Third Ave. N., next to Richie's Restaurant, just off U.S. 41 across from NCH Hospital in downtown Naples.

Whisk! Treats and Eats

Whisk! Treats and Eats opened April 6 at 935 Third Ave. N., next to Richie's Restaurant, just off U.S. 41 across from NCH Hospital in downtown Naples.

Whisk! Treats and Eats opened Friday at 935 Third Ave. N., next to Richie’s Restaurant, just off U.S. 41 across from NCH Hospital in downtown Naples.

You can’t miss it because Whisk’s motto spans the front of the eatery in all-cap, orange letters: FRESH FUN FOOD FAST. The gourmet-to-go shop, a sister business of French Bread Oven in East Naples, features breakfast and lunch as well as snacks and treats.

The breakfast menu includes egg and cheddar croissants and paninis with a choice of bacon, sausage or ham, while sandwiches are available for lunch with a variety of breads, meats, cheeses, toppings and condiments.

In addition to multiple fresh breads and baguettes, baked treats include fruit turnovers and danishes, brioche, elephant ears, cookies, brownies and cinnamon knots and rolls. Pastries include eclairs, Napoleons, cream puffs, and fruit ganache and tarts. Patrons also can try Whiskshots! — shot-size portions of chocolate mousse, tiramisu, cheesecake, key lime pie, apple pie and other desserts.

Whisk! is open 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Considered part of Trinity Plaza, the new eatery/bakery is in the former space of Spa Excel, behind the Simply Cupcakes store. 239-263-3707.

Senor Tequila's Fine Mexican Grill plans to open its third location May 1 in Marquesa Plaza, 13040 Livingston Road, on the corner of Pine Ridge Road.

Photo by TIM ATEN // Buy this photo

Senor Tequila's Fine Mexican Grill plans to open its third location May 1 in Marquesa Plaza, 13040 Livingston Road, on the corner of Pine Ridge Road.

Senor Tequila’s Fine Mexican Grill plans to open its third area location this spring. The new family operated restaurant is targeted to open May 1 in a large space that was vacant for more than two years at Marquesa Plaza, 13040 Livingston Road, on the corner of Pine Ridge Road, said Elvia Fletes, who co-owns the restaurant with her husband, Miguel. The 5,567-square-foot space will be the largest of the Senor Tequila’s locations, including Golden Gate and Bonita Springs, which opened in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

The new location, formerly Sharks Cavern restaurant, will feature the same popular menu as the original restaurants, Fletes said.

The Counter Custom Built Burgers is targeted to open between June 30 and July 15 in Mercato in North Naples.

Photo by TIM ATEN // Buy this photo

The Counter Custom Built Burgers is targeted to open between June 30 and July 15 in Mercato in North Naples.

The Counter Custom Built Burgers is making it clear that it is opening this summer in Mercato in North Naples.

A construction divider with full-color photos of burgers piled high with avocado slices, mushrooms and jalapenos is now being displayed at the future eatery’s 1,300-squarefoot corner store at 9110 Strada Place, the same block as Bravo! Cucina Italiana.

The Counter is the California- based chain that has patrons design their own burgers by checking off items on an extensive list of ingredients on a clipboard.

The new Mercato store is targeted to open between June 30 and July 15.

___

Have a local question? Email it with your name and city of residence to intheknow@naplesnews.com.

"In the Know" is published Mondays and Wednesdays in the Naples Daily News. Find a complete archive of "In the Know" columns at naplesnews.com/intheknow.

© 2012 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 29

angrytxpyr writes:

Blue Martini a mile North on 41 outside City limits will give you real Cocktail. Unlike the watered down slushy you get in the City limits of Naples Mercato provides several fine establishments that provide fine drink and dining. Oh yeh make sure you have a designated driver especially if your used to the watered down crap you get on Turd St. South or 5th Ave South.

itmattershere writes:

Water & lemon is the Naples cocktail, it has been for a long time, since 1990 at least.

Beachtowel writes:

Joes crab shack is the biggest steaming Terd in Naples. Worst meal I've had here. Gyrene burger has the best cheeseburgers in Naples.

tanyacasonclark writes:

I agree... I was a server for 10 years in Naples and the standard joke (in both the public/private rest.'s) was that someone ordered a Naples cocktail again (lemon and water).

Here4Now writes:

in response to Beachtowel:

Joes crab shack is the biggest steaming Terd in Naples. Worst meal I've had here. Gyrene burger has the best cheeseburgers in Naples.

Ditto to the Joe's comment.

As much as I want to dis Gyrene, I keep hearing good things about them. Guess I better shut up and try it.

Here4Now writes:

BTW - that truly is a Naples cocktail, because it's a complete rip-off. Look at the picture - with so much crap stuffed into that little glass, you'd be lucky to get three sips out of it! And, you just know it's gonna cost ten-twelve bucks. Yep, Naples alright.

Gifted1 writes:

Bogus drink! Why would you develop a drink specifically for Naples, then use Liquors that are nearly unobtainable? This is Bozo public relations!

Here4Now writes:

in response to Gifted1:

Bogus drink! Why would you develop a drink specifically for Naples, then use Liquors that are nearly unobtainable? This is Bozo public relations!

Because Naples is all about appearances, superficiality, and lies. It's the perfect drink. Although, it should include a splash of grape Kool-Aid!

Toolong_Inthesun writes:

The true signature area cocktail is:

2 oz. self importance.
1.5 oz. unaccountably.
.25 oz. indifference.

Hurriedly mix, perhaps skipping a step, always substitute a cheaper ingredient, if cold serve warm, if warm serve cold. Accompany with loud music.

jt1120 writes:

Before Senor Tequila expands more, they might want to try getting their food right first. I've been there twice and would rather go to Iguana Mia (hurl) than Senor Tequila. I guess I'm already in La Fogata withdrawal.

Gifted1 writes:

in response to jt1120:

Before Senor Tequila expands more, they might want to try getting their food right first. I've been there twice and would rather go to Iguana Mia (hurl) than Senor Tequila. I guess I'm already in La Fogata withdrawal.

May want to reconsider Taco Bell. They have gone to the good folks at Doritos and have come away with their secret Dorito shell recipe for their hard shell tacos!...LOL

beetlejuice writes:

in response to Toolong_Inthesun:

The true signature area cocktail is:

2 oz. self importance.
1.5 oz. unaccountably.
.25 oz. indifference.

Hurriedly mix, perhaps skipping a step, always substitute a cheaper ingredient, if cold serve warm, if warm serve cold. Accompany with loud music.

Coquitos (marble-sized coconuts, optional garnish) FROM PUERTO RICO no less
non native coconuts
spare me

Here4Now writes:

in response to Gifted1:

May want to reconsider Taco Bell. They have gone to the good folks at Doritos and have come away with their secret Dorito shell recipe for their hard shell tacos!...LOL

Taco Bell = God's food. And a Doritos taco shell - pure inspired genius! Haven't tried one yet, but will. Anyone out there have a review? Also, it's been a long time since I've been to Flacos. Is it still good? - always considered it to be in the past.

babbas writes:

in response to Toolong_Inthesun:

The true signature area cocktail is:

2 oz. self importance.
1.5 oz. unaccountably.
.25 oz. indifference.

Hurriedly mix, perhaps skipping a step, always substitute a cheaper ingredient, if cold serve warm, if warm serve cold. Accompany with loud music.

You can also substitute 2 oz of "I'm The Center Of The Universe" for the 2 oz of self importance. They both work for Naples!

LSPinNaples writes:

More burgers? When will there e too many burger places? Only the strong will survive. Darwin burgers will be next. Perhaps Gyrene will start serving Cool Aid with their burgers.

cozyboy writes:

I bet I'll these goofy upscale bars could'nt even mmake a boilermaker.

donsense writes:

The true Naples Cocktail is the "GREEN FLASH". Drink it at the Naples Beach Hotel Beach Bar. Drink enough at sunset and you will see the Green Flash!

Here4Now writes:

in response to johnwaynegacy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I was thinking prune juice and Geritol

Heraclitus writes:

in response to Damyankee:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You forgot my personal favorite:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVKsd8...

Here4Now writes:

Where can I get Naples’ signature cocktail?

Drop me a line - I'm excreting one right now!

PressleyJ writes:

Oh good. Just what the Vanderbilt Collection needs - another Italian restaurant. That makes what? About 8 Italian restaurants within a 1 mile radius? How about a thai or Indian restaurant?

wolfgang1 writes:

More originality coming to Naples in the off-season...ANOTHER Friggin' Italian restaurant, ANOTHER Greaseburger joint, and more offspring of a very mediocore Mexican restaurant. All we need now is for Chrissy to open a new place....

Here4Now writes:

They talk about Nerples as a foodie place - NOT. Try CA, or Dallas, or Boston, Or PGH, or anywhere except America's wang.

Here4Now writes:

in response to Here4Now:

Where can I get Naples’ signature cocktail?

Drop me a line - I'm excreting one right now!

First one's on the house!

framda writes:

Flaco's was one of my favorite places to eat until '09 or '10. I think that they must have changed hands overnight because they went down hill overnight.

Here4Now writes:

in response to framda:

Flaco's was one of my favorite places to eat until '09 or '10. I think that they must have changed hands overnight because they went down hill overnight.

Thanks for the info

VivaLaBeachStore writes:

I'll take a Harold's Place Burger. Best in Town and same as it ever was.

Max_Headroom writes:

in response to Damyankee:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

i'd bet you have no friends, that's why you 'drink alone'.

swfl_ff writes:

in response to fingerbang:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Nana's Diner (no longer Nana Vettas) is under totally different ownership the past 3 years. Much cleaner than it use to be. The new owner has done a great job turning the place around. You may want to try it again.

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