Cocktails and Conversations with Camacho

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    After beginning her career at MJ’s at Buttonwood Manor in Matawan about four-and-a-half years ago, Monse Camacho worked her way up the ladder proving to be quite the jack-of-all-trades and loving every second of it.

    BEHIND HER ROLES

    According to Camacho, she started off as a catering server, then became a server and onto bartending and now she manages as well. The excitement that Camacho has for her job at MJ’s lights up her face the moment she talks about it.

    “I love it so much,” she said. “I love that we have a lot of different specialty cocktails, different martinis and then also we have our beers, our drafts. So it keeps us busy.”

    While Camacho was new to MJ’s those four-and-a-half years ago, she was far from foreign to the location. “I actually worked here when it was the Buttonwood back years ago, during high school, so 2007 for like five years as well,” she explained. “So it was crazy for me to come back here.”

    With multiple positions under her belt, Camacho also assisted with MJ’s Bayville during its grand opening last summer. She was managing and bartending in Bayville as well all summer.

    CUSTOMERS AND COCKTAILS

    When asked what her favorite thing about working at MJ’s is, Camacho had no hesitation in her answer.

    “I would say I love our customers,”  she said. “We have an awesome clientele. They make it a great environment so it’s fun.

    “They’re great and I love trying to make everyone happy, so that’s why I’m here pretty much,” she added with a smile.

    Camacho shared that while they have plenty of regulars, the weekends bring in new crowds as well.

    “So, we see the same faces, but then we also get different faces as well every weekend,” she explained. “And since we get the weddings downstairs, they come up to get a drink before they go to the wedding. So we see all different sorts of people come in. It’s nice.”

    When it comes time to craft cocktails, she loves making MJ’s Chocolate Martini. She shared that customers love the Vacation In A Glass and Surfin’ In A Hurricane, which are the most popular.

    Camacho’s current personal cocktail crush would have to be Don’t Mess With Texas! This delicious Texas Winter-Peach Tea is made with Tito’s Vodka, Snapple peach iced tea, peach liqueur, blackberry puree, mint leaves and lemon. A dollar from each Don’t Mess With Texas! cocktail is donated to Jersey Shore’s Rescue Ridge Pet Shelter, which Camacho shared she likes a lot.

    The seasonal menu changes are also fun for Camacho when it comes to creating new cocktails for her customers. “So right now we’re actually coming up with new ones, summer ones,” she said.

    As much as she loves the changes, she also enjoys that one or two of the specialty cocktails that customers love will make the cut through each menu change. “Vacation In A Glass and Surfin’ In A Hurricane, people love them so it’s nice that they keep that,” she said.

    “And I love learning new recipes. It gives you ideas.”

    CATCH HER BEHIND THE BAR

    Catch Camacho behind the bar every Friday and Saturday, crafting cocktails and conversations with her customers. When she makes your cocktail you can guarantee that it will taste delicious and look picture-perfect.

    “I love being creative with the drizzle, with the sprinkle, the rims,” she said. “It’s fun, it’s not just boring. And there’s places that could be, so that’s what I really like about this.”

    Guests can look forward to all the various promotions MJ’s offers Monday through Friday, which is something Camacho notes that she enjoys as well.

    “We always have a band here, karaoke, trivia .. We always have something going on. So that’s what keeps us moving,” she added.