Ryan is a mixologist at both Bethany Blues in Lewes and Stingray Sushi Bar + Asian Grill in Rehoboth Beach. “I love people and I need people,” he says, explaining that the social aspect of working behind the bar was always a draw for him. “Making drinks is only a small part of bartending, because you’re really affecting the lives of your customers.”
He dabbled in mixology when he started working at 99 Sea Level. “I learned it was OK to muddle, shake and strain and to take the time to make a ‘clean’ drink.” He helped build the restaurant’s cocktail menu which ignited the flame to invent his own signature drink. “I didn’t want to make other people’s cocktails; my dream was to make my own universal cocktail.” In recent years, that dream has become a reality.
In 2018, Ryan won a Woodford Reserve Cocktail Competition taking both “People’s Choice” and “2nd Place Overall” with his original creation, The Prospector. You can find it on the menu at Bethany Blues as “Ryan Minnick’s Prospector” as well as at Stingray Sushi Bar.
How do you make sure your drinks leave a lasting impression?
My first rule is no one should have to eat their cocktail. Whatever you muddle or shake, you have to strain it out. Even if it’s just bits of ice. You only want the flavor, not all the stuff.
How important is measuring ingredients?
SO important. Balance is everything. You can free hand for speed, but every drink has a recipe that should be followed.
What is the best food pairing when ordering The Prospector?
My drink, The Prospector, goes best with red meat, lamb or a chocolate orange dessert.