When Caitlin Turner is not road-tripping across the United States, dangling from aerial silks in India or catching waves in Costa Rica, she can be found mixing up her distinctive farm-to-bar flavors and refreshments as the bar manager at Bordinos. Over the last year in her new management position, Caitlin has charmed guests with her unique interpretations of classic cocktails. Her general zest for life is evidenced in her colorful seasonal shrubs and infusions.
“My favorite thing right now, especially for the time of year, is a pepper tequila infusion,” Caitlin said. “We drink a lot of tequila at Bordinos so it’s just a cool thing to do … to bring a little spice … since the fruits and veggies that I would want to use aren’t quite ready yet.”
The “farm-to-bar program” that Caitlin spearheaded is one of her main focuses in her role as manager.
“It’s something that we hadn’t done before and it is basically just trying to find local products that we can mix into our daily drinking and daily eating,” Caitlin said.
Recently she has featured both blood orange and cucumber shrubs (also known as drinking vinegars) that can be used in place of regular sour mix in the Bordinos Shrubrita, as well as enjoyed on their own as non-alcoholic alternatives.
“I think it’s really exciting, especially with a younger kitchen staff, too. We’re bringing in a new energy in trying to bring in things that maybe we haven’t seen before at our restaurant,” Caitlin said.
Caitlin’s ambitions for an elevated cocktail experience are born from her creative aspirations outside of the bartending world with performance art and dance being her most important outlets. She recently trained in India in aerial acrobatics but has since taken a break to focus on her strength and clarity in such a high-risk training environment.
“Work has been a total creative outlet for me and it’s really one of the only creative outlets I have right now,” Caitlin said, referring to her hiatus from performance art. “That’s why it is so important to me to keep coming up with drinks and making shrubs and weird infusions. I don’t have the same resources at my home to do stuff like that so it’s nice to have Bordinos as an outlet to create.”
With a supportive managment team and bar staff behind her, Caitlin also takes the time to travel as much as her free-time will allow. She recently returned from a roadtrip to the West coast and has spent time in India, Cuba, New Zealand and Costa Rica among other destinations.
“I’ve been pretty fortunate,” Caitlin said, “the way that Joe and Erin have allowed us to be ourselves and to take time off to travel and still come back is really unlike any other job I’ve ever seen. Being a part of Bordinos has always been about family and having a support system.”
In all of her travels there is one drinking tradition Caitlin appreciates the most – the custom of looking into another’s eyes when bringing two glasses together.
“When you do that it’s just a way of respect so you know it’s not really just about the drinking,” she said. “It’s really about the connection that you have with somebody else. That’s really for me what alcohol is all about. It’s not necessarily just about having a drink but it’s about the connection that you have with other people.”