Rayuela Mixologist Junior Merino to Uncork His Latino Cocktail Program on FridayJunior Merino, the young mixologist who drew national attention at the Modern, enjoyed the praise but had his eyes trained on something bigger all along: New York’s first major Latin cocktail lounge. And he plans on launching it at Rayuela, the big new Pan-Latino restaurant opening on the Lower East Side on Friday. Most discussion about the restaurant has centered on Maximo Tejada, its Nuevo Latino chef who has run some of the city’s top Latin kitchens, including Patria and Lucy. But given that the entire ground floor of the place is devoted to bar and lounge space, it will likely be Merino’s drink menu that the place fails or succeeds on, especially since it’s in the lounge-happy Lower East Side. “Since I’m Latino, I grew up with a lot of different fruits and flowers that people wouldn’t think of eating, and that’s where my knowledge of ingredients is larger than most people’s,” Merino says.