There’s nothing Jamie Smith likes better than a crowd of thirsty people. The head bartender and floor manager at Wellington’s Forts Tavern can serve the drinks up with the best of them and still have the energy for a smile and conversation with her customers.

Although business has slowed during the pandemic, Smith still knows her cocktails. The woman who won Best Bartender recognition in 2018 always recommends a spin on one of her favorites as her quarantine cocktail of choice.

“Margaritas were my go-to drink, not only for myself but for my customers, too,” she says. “So many flavors to choose from — my favorite new one is the ‘ColadaRita.’ It is simply a traditional lime margarita with a splash of pina colada mix, then shake or blend!”

Smith says the ColadaRita is a nice choice, no matter what the weather. “It’s great on a hot day or on a cold day when you want to feel like you are on a beach somewhere,” she explains. “The tequila will keep you nice and warm on days like the latter.”

But as we slip into the dark, cold days of January, Smith’s must-haves include the many Christmas ales available this time of year. But if her customers want something a little more unique, she can accommodate that, too.

“Something we all love around the bar is an awesome cider cocktail — Smirnoff caramel vodka with cider,” she says. “It’s simple but delicious and you can drink it cold or warm it up in a coffee mug for those cold nights, days or mornings — whatever your preference. No judgements here!”