Mill’s Tavern’s Beverage Director Shelby Miro may be new to Mill’s, but she has already clocked seven years at various Encore restaurants, and has spent nearly half of her life learning the food and beverage industry. She will be performing a dual role at the restaurant as bartender and beverage director.
Most people know what a bartender does, but few understand the job of beverage director, which is “all about the numbers to give guests the best value,” explains Shelby. “I am responsible for knowing my inventory, placing orders for highest quality product, knowing my vendors, invoicing and observing what moves off the shelf.” More importantly to the thirsty and sophisticated clientele, tending bar requires her to know how to stir, blend, shake and pour every drink out there, including the latest beverage trends and how to refine drinks to suit a customer’s preferences.
A URI graduate, Shelby was born and raised in North Kingstown where she hails from a family of fishermen. She may be the only beverage director with a boat named after her.
What are the drinks that are trending these days?
“Vintage cocktails are back, like Champagne cocktails and Sidecars, but I tweak them to create something more contemporary. Every city I visit has its own drinking style. Providence is funky and enjoys trying something new.”
What makes a great mixologist?
“Knowing what you have to work with, what the trends are and constantly developing new drink ideas. And get to know your guests. Do they prefer sweet, floral or savory? Be able to suggest something new that they might enjoy. For example, I like to contrast flavors, pairing a salty dish with a slightly sweet drink.”
What is your favorite summer drink?
“Clean, crisp cocktails. Something like a ‘spritzer plus,’ not sweet like a piña colada, but fun and fresh; maybe a margarita with fresh squeezed limes and a touch of jalapeño.”
The compact garden not only features kitchen staples like heirloom tomatoes, basil and pepper, but it also houses a variety of unique items including cow horn pepper, chocolate mint, peas, broccoli, and Thai basil.
The garden’s signature is a mysterious tall, railroad track-like metal structure that rises twenty feet above ground. Sources at the Rhode Island Historical society think that it was most likely part of the East Side Railroad tunnel, the entrance of which is behind the restaurant. What could it be? Let us know if you have an educated guess!