Crisp as a Cucumber Catelli Duo Osteria & Wine Bar | Voorhees, N.J.
Catelli Duo’s clientele skews female—about 60 percent are women. Tailoring beverage options to female preferences makes sense, and explains the popularity of light, produce-centric cocktails like the Cucumber Martini. “Each day we peel and juice seedless English cucumbers, then run them through cheesecloth to strain out any of the fibers,” says John Polizzi, Director of Operations for Catelli Duo. “We’re left with a clear cucumber water, which you can do so many things with.” The martini combines the cucumber water with Van Gogh Melon Vodka, simple syrup and a squeeze of fresh lime. It’s shaken and strained into a martini glass, then garnished with a cucumber wheel.
“It’s got a very light, refreshing, cucumber flavor with a little bit of sweetness—not like a strong, alcohol-forward martini. It’s a great summertime drink,” he says of this No. 1 seller. “Female consumers love it and probably order it 3 to 1 over men.” Polizzi estimates Catelli Duo sold some 40,000 Cucumber Martinis in 2015. “Everything we do is built around the consumer—that’s why a drink like this is so successful.”