Toast to Jenna Athey, Women’s History Month

Jenna Athey is one of our Chilled 100 Clearwater members.

She currently tends bar at Seaguini which sits inside Opal Sands Resort in Florida. The bar’s view of the Gulf is, according to Jenna, “the best I’ve seen on Clearwater Beach” and of its extensive cocktail list, she say’s “it sets us above the rest.” We spoke to Jenna about the strong female influences in her life and why she became bartender.  


What inspired you to become a bartender? 

My great aunt Margie watched me as a kid during the summer and she ran the local VFW. I got to meet a lot of war veterans over those years that didn’t have anyone left. They loved seeing Margie; her endless wit, heavy pouring hand, and the nicknames she gave them. They would tell her about their day, old war stories, and bring her presents on her birthday; it made me realize that a big part of her job was just being a friend. 


Who has been most influential in your development as a bartender? 

A fellow Chilled 100 member, Julia Melucci, has been the most influential in my development as a bartender. Starting at VFW teaches you the social skills you need to bartend, but craft cocktail training was by no means readily available. Moving to Florida exposed me to a myriad of new cocktails, and Julia helped me to learn not only how to make these classic cocktails but to understand the chemistry that makes them taste great. 


Do you have any advice for novice/ at home bartenders? 

Don’t take it too seriously, stay creative, and keep experimenting. My favorite cocktails I’ve ever made always started with a “mistake.” 


What is your favorite ingredient right now and why? 

Butterfly Pea Flower. I’m a science nerd and the reaction of Butterfly Pea Flower Tea and citric acid is awesome to watch and gives a beautiful result. I also love using natural ingredients and this is a great way to get a brilliant color without using artificial dyes 


How do you go about creating a cocktail? Is there a specific process or simply a moment of inspiration? 

Creating a cocktail starts with a moment of inspiration and then lots of experimenting. I always try to cover my main spirit, any supplemental spirits, then I consider how much acid and how much sugar I’ll need to get the result I want. Then you decide if you need a rimmed glass, if it will be served up or on the rocks, and what garnishes it may need. 


Do you have a special technique you use or a tip for making a particular drink? 

I think we all have our little tips and tricks we learned along the way. My main techniques: if there are seeds-a double strain is necessary, never shake something with bitters in it, and don’t shake champagne/soda-always top it at the end or it can flatten out. 


Where do you see the bartending/cocktail culture headed? 

I see growth. In spite of COVID and everything the pandemic has changed in this world, people haven’t stopped being creative and curious. Everyday we’re finding new ways to create cocktails and how to serve them. This industry has proved to be willing to adapt to what’s current, and for that we will continue to see growth and expansion for years to come. 



Gypsy Dream


  • 2 oz Hendricks gin 
  • ¾ oz lemon juice 
  • ¾ oz simple syrup 
  • ¾ oz Butterfly Pea Flower Tea 

Preparation: Combine gin, lemon, and simple in a tin and shake. Prepare a rocks glass with lemon juice and purple sprinkles rim. Fill glass with fresh ice and strain. Slowly pour butterfly pea flower tea across top (using the back of a bar spoon can help) and watch the magic happen. Option to use edible glitter if you’re feeling extra dreamy.





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