Keeping it Light and Fruity

Maple Grove’s best bartender shares a popular drink she concocted herself.
Justine Olsen at the bar, mixing her frequently ordered fruit punch cocktail.

If you visit Mama G’s, on the corner of Hwy. 101 and County Road 30, chances are you’ll be greeted from behind the bar by the smiling face of Justine Olsen. She’s been a mainstay at Mama G’s for more than a decade. And she has a lot to smile about. First of all, you’ve just walked in. Secondly, she was voted Best Bartender in the 2015 Best of Maple Grove awards.

We asked Olsen to name a drink she makes often and she mentioned the fruit punch cocktail. “Customers don’t want to have an overpowering drink taste like alcohol, but they don’t want something weak,” she explains.

Olsen mixes equal parts Southern Comfort, amaretto and triple sec, and then adds pineapple, cranberry and a little 7-Up. “I like to shake the drink before straining over ice,” says Olsen. She adds a cherry or orange wedge (or both) to top it off.

Olsen doesn’t lay claim to totally creating this one. “It’s similar to a ‘liquid cocaine’ shot. I just add cranberry and 7-Up to it so it’s not super acidic with only pineapple,” she says. “A lot of times I give this to indecisive [customers] who want something that ‘tastes good.’ It’s flavorful with a good kick.”