Winter is certainly in full swing, which means it’s the perfect time to sip some tasty rum cocktails. Ben Rojo is known for seasonal libations using Don Papa Rum that highlight the juxtaposition of grunge and glam and are sure to take you to a place of decadence and glamour.
We had the opportunity of interviewing Ben for our “Master Mixologist” about his career and Don Papa Rum.
How do restaurant and bar guests encourage your creativity?
Here in New York City, I get the chance to entertain guests from across the globe each and every day. I’m constantly inspired by the diversity of their experiences and the idiosyncrasy of what they like to eat and drink. Conversations across the bar are almost always an opportunity to expand one’s horizons, especially in a city as big as this one.
What are some of your favorite infusions and how you like to use them in drinks.
I love dry tea infusions for the dark tannin content and aromatic intrigue that they provide. They work brilliantly in long drinks where dilution and carbonation allow one to enjoy the breadth of the tea’s bouquet. I also like to infuse spirits with skillet-toasted spices. Peppercorns, coriander seeds, cinnamon, cloves, and anise alike all benefit from a bit of dry heat. Infusing spirits with toasted spices often makes for deeper and earthier expressions, perfect for savory and cold weather cocktails. Fat-washing spirits yield a dramatic effect, contributing to ethanol’s effectiveness as a solvent. Infusing liquors with fats like walnut oil, brown butter, or rendered prosciutto trimmings lend rich aromas and lush texture, perfect for a stirred, stiff drink…