bottoms up> Tully Nut has been a secret for more than 40 years

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FT-BU-Tully-Nut-8-26 #1 Tavern

The Super Tully Nut is made at the #1 Tavern at First and Atlantic avenues.

But this is one drink you can’t make at home.

Only one person is said to know the secret recipe, and that’s Mark Tully, who first came up with the formula in 1969. Tully, whose real name is Romolo Leomporra, performed on Broadway and nightclubs with entertainers like Billie Holiday, Phyllis Diller and the Smothers Brothers.

He said he took the stage name of Mark Tully because he was afraid that he wouldn’t be able to get work using his own name.

After finishing a tour of the show “Bells Are Ringing” in the early 1960s, Tully came to North Wildwood and opened a small hotel. That venture eventually allowed him to buy the #1 Tavern.

The Super Tully Nut is the bar’s signature cherry-red drink, renowned for its potency and secrecy. Tully said that when he was experimenting with the formula, a few different versions were made first. There were two drinks using four liquor combinations and two drinks with five. He tested the concoctions on his family members and a few trusting employees, and they all picked what is known today as the Super Tully Nut as their favorite.

The one they chose is made with a combination of five different liquors – but Tully said the way it is put together is equally important.

“I have a special room where I make it in big vats. It takes about four days for all the ingredients to marry. Each day there is something I do to it until it's finished,” he said.

In 43 years, Tully said, he has never changed the formula.

Tully said he even has a plan for the secret recipe in the event of his death.

He said he has the recipe on audio, video and written down at a location that only one other person knows. That location, he said, can only be accessed by his wife, but even she isn’t privy to the secret.

“When I die, that person will tell my wife, and she'll be able to go there and get it,” he said.

And don’t try guessing the special combinations of five potent liquors, because even if a guess happens to be right, Tully won’t tell you.

 

 

This county loves to have a good time, especially when fancy microbrews, dirty martinis or a shot of Jack are involved. Follow Freetime reporter Lauren Suit each week as she hops the local bars to drink in Cape May County’s social scene and connect with the people who shake it and serve it.


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