In 2017 Tim Lipman opened The Parched Pig as an annex to his popular Coolinary Café in Palm Beach Gardens. Katy Galluccio came on board as bar manager six months later and has created a succession of arresting and delicious craft cocktails. Here, Galluccio shares details about her creative process and The Parched Pig’s newest venture.
PBI: Why did you become a mixologist?
Galluccio: I started working in restaurants at 15 and stuck with it to make some extra money in college. I graduated with a degree in exercise science and worked as a personal trainer, but I kept coming back to hospitality. I’m attracted to the creativity of it; there’s always something new and interesting, and it never gets stale. It’s a completely different world compared to 10 or 20 years ago.
Are most of the customers at The Parched Pig waiting for a table at Coolinary Café?
Some are, but increasingly we’re seeing people spend the evening exploring cocktails, tapas, and small plates. Both places strive to provide a high-end experience in a casual setting.
Tell us about your latest venture, the Teacup Social.
The Teacup Social was launched as an extension of The Parched Pig and an opportunity to create a specialty cocktail experience off-site for special events such as weddings, corporate events, and more. The name was inspired by a little “teacup” pig. The response has been great so far. Some of the signature cocktails include our hibiscus margarita and tequila old-fashioned.
What’s your process for coming up with new cocktails?
I wish we had a process! Everything seems to inspire us, so we just brainstorm until we come up with an idea; we look at the ingredients we have and speculate on what we can do with them. Tim and Jenny [Lipman] have created a special team atmosphere where we hold each other accountable, so we always taste each other’s drinks for quality control.
Why make your own shrubs and syrups?
We get a better product, one that’s fresher and less expensive. We can make them in smaller batches, and we also know exactly what’s in them. It’s important that the shrubs be fresh because they have a flavor profile that many guests aren’t familiar with. It’s easier to get used to the taste of apple cider vinegar if the shrub is well made.
Are garnishes important?
They’re crucial because the customer sees the cocktail before they taste it. We want them to be so struck by the appearance of the drink that they photograph it before they take a sip. I’ll torch dehydrated starfruit to smoke a glass or use rice paper images on top of egg white cocktails. I want the garnishes to be attractive but also edible.
What are some of the hot trends this year?
Ice sculptures continue to get more intricate and attractive. Sours are popular, and foam is making a comeback. Cocktails are becoming slightly simpler and less ostentatious.
What makes a good bartender?
Competence—that’s what brings a bar to life. I want guests to get the experience of competence, where they know they’re in good hands and everything will turn out well.