How Claudio’s Tavern Fuses Tiki Culture with Greenport’s Legacy


At Claudio’s Tavern & Grill in Greenport, a cocktail named Mitchell’s carousel is making waves. The story behind this drink blends Tiki traditions with a touch of local heritage.

“The cocktail is Mitchell’s carousel and its name was inspired by the carousel located in Mitchell’s Park in Greenport,” says Valentin Gonzalez, mixologist at Claudio’s Tavern & Grill. “When creating this cocktail, I focused on two of the biggest mentors and creators of the Tiki cocktails: Don the Beachcomber, the Founding Father of Tiki culture, and Trader Vic’s, which claimed to invent the mai tai.”

Mitchell’s carousel is made with 1.5 ounces of Jefferson’s Very Small Batch; .5 ounce of Havana Club rum; .5 ounce of lime juice; 1.5 ounces of watermelon puree; .5 ounce Orgeat, and is garnished with a lime wheel.

“I found inspiration in a few different cocktails, including the Q.B. cooler, mai tai, and the mai tai swizzle,” he says. “Mitchell’s carousel is a rum- and whiskey-based tropical mai tai that is fresh and easy to drink.”

Mitchell’s carousel is served on Claudio’s Prohibition Fridays menu, which  Gonzalez developed and launched with the assistance of Claudio’s manager, Helen, and has received positive feedback from guests, according to Gonzalez. 

“Claudio’s Tavern was established in the 1870s and was kept open during the Prohibition era,” Gonzalez says. “In fact, it was one of the few places that participated in rum-running and bootlegging, allowing stories to be told about how Claudio’s had a big participation during those years. We decided to [offer the Prohibition menu] on Friday, as a great way to kick off the weekend.”

Claudio’s Tavern & Grill is located at 111 Main St., Greenport and can be reached at (631) 477-0627 or claudios.com.