Creative Cocktails: Featuring Marissa Wyant

Marissa Wyant moved to Oxford in 2015 from Saint Petersburg, Florida, to work towards her PhD in political science at the University of Mississippi, which she completed in August. She worked in several restaurants in Tampa Bay as a bartender, bar manager and general manager, and she has been creating interesting and unique handcrafted cocktails for over a decade. She favors an approach to cocktails that uses fresh, seasonal components including fruits, vegetables and herbs that work to complement the characteristics of the base spirit. She believes overly complicated, overthought recipes are also overrated, and that highlighting quality, in-season ingredients is the best approach to elevated and balanced cocktails. Since moving to Oxford, she has worked at the Green Roof Lounge, ravine and Saint Leo, where she recently assumed the position of bar director.

Pick up our September magazine for more creative cocktail recipes from another accomplished local bartender, Taariq David.


Recipes by Marissa Wyant

Photographed by Joe Worthem


Poolside Chill

1 ½ ounces Seersucker gin (or another botanical gin)

1 ounce Rosemary Sauvignon Blanc Syrup (recipe below)

2 ounces fresh squeezed pink or ruby red grapefruit juice

Rosemary sprig for garnish


Shake gin, Rosemary Sauvignon Blanc Syrup and grapefruit juice with ice; and then strain into a martini or coupe glass, or serve on the rocks. Garnish with a small rosemary sprig.


Rosemary Sauvignon Blanc Syrup

1 cup Sauvignon Blanc

½ cup sugar

Rosemary sprig


Combine ingredients in a saucepan and simmer over medium heat until wine reduces by about half.


Strawberry Gingersmash

2-3 ripe strawberries

2 ounces bourbon

¾ ounce lime juice

½ ounce simple syrup

Ginger beer

Strawberry slices for garnish


In a shaker tin, muddle the strawberries. Then add bourbon, lime juice and simple syrup. Shake, and strain over rocks into a rocks glass. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with a thin strawberry slice.

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