After five years spent slinging tequila and nachos at Margaritas in Orono during his college years, Patrick Morang decided it was time to up his game. While walking in Monument Square he noticed a sign in the window at David’s about an opening for a part-time bartender. Although he knew his background in the business wasn’t nearly of the same caliber, he decided to take a chance. Eight years later, he is a manager and an integral part of the empire that chef David Turin has built in southern Maine.
“Restaurants are very competitive, and I never want us to be out of the loop,” Morang says, “So I just keep asking questions, learning from David, my peers, and my salespeople to build a beverage program of which I’m very proud.”
Morang’s signature cocktail, the Harvest Moon, hearkens back to his years spent growing up in Gardiner when the luminous fall moon would linger over the field during Friday night football games. He infuses Jim Beam with Thai chilies and toasted macadamia nuts, serving the cocktail over ice with Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur and ginger beer.
“Every part of your mouth should be feeling something from this,” he says, noting that with a slice of grilled orange as garnish, “The moon is full.”