There are several key skills it takes to be a bartender, but there is one skill I believe is a differentiating factor between a good bartender and a great one, and that is creativity. My bartender for the month of October exudes this in many ways. I am speaking about none other than Joseph Visconti at Good Friends.
Joseph makes six years at this popular LGBT cocktail spot this Halloween. Hailing from Detroit, he moved to NOLA eight years ago and like many people fell in love with the city. We are lucky to have him. I mentioned he was creative, but that means so much more in his line of work then making premium libations. His uniqueness and charm shine in the way he interacts with his guests. He has a bold, stand-out personality that spotlights his endearing drive. He is professional in his approach with customers.
Now let’s discuss his cocktail prowess. He has created one of this city’s most playfully named drinks, the Fruit Loops, using the same slang name as the French Quarter area where most of the gay bars are located. This tasty treat is a combination of spiced rum with melon liquor and fruit juices topped with a little whipped cream. It is just as yummy as it sounds. When he does go out and about, his favorite drink of choice is a Greyhound.
Joseph is one of those people who excels behind the bar because he loves his job which you can tell. He told me that it doesn’t feel like work because he considers his co-workers among his friends and he enjoys meeting new people. It is a good thing, because Good Friends is one of the top LGBT bars in the city for locals and visitors alike. It also boasts one of the best balconies to watch the world sashay by. He describes Good Friends as one of the major hubs for the queer community.
What he really likes is when a customer comes in and tells him to make them something. He gets their flavor style like sour or sweet and what alcohol base they want. Then his creative juices start flowing and he creates a customized cocktail to quench their thirst. And we all know there are lots of thirsty men who come to these bars.
When I asked Joseph what he loves most about New Orleans, his answer did surprise me. It was the humidity. Everyone stays moist and we always look young, no wrinkles, he muses. Cannot argue with that.
Next time you are out and about in the Quarter, go to Good Friends and see Joseph and try a Fruit Loop. You can find him normally working Wednesday and Thursday starting at 5 p.m. and Friday and Saturday starting at 9 p.m. Good Friends is located at 740 Dauphine Street.