MONTHLY BARTENDER FEATURE - March 2016   The Farmhouse at Jessup Farm, Fort Collins, CO

Joel Bekken, Kristie Piquet and Willie Wilson of Jessup Farm

We are so thrilled to feature the bar team at The Farmhouse at Jessup Farms for our MONTHLY BARTENDER FEATURE Series. The Farmhouse opened in Fort Collins, Colo. in the fall of 2015 and has been getting glowing reviews from Day One.

The Farmhouse sets itself apart by sourcing locally and responsibly, providing excellent service and offering a seasonally influenced menu. Its values are in line with everything we love here at Montanya. Owner Jesse Doerffel describes the vision of what she and Chef Joel Navejas wanted to create as “elevated comfort.” This cozy, welcoming feeling comes across in all aspects of the space, and the experience is enhanced by the ‘Colorado Rustic’ food and drinks.

Bar Manger Willie Wilson, who came to The Farmhouse from the Kitchen Fort Collins where he was Head Bartender and Spirits Manager, is now in charge of spirits, wine and beer at The Farmhouse. Joel Bekken and Kristie Piquet round out the bar team, spending their nights making cocktails and serving guests in a renovated 129 year old farm house. This month, these three talented bartenders share their inspirations, their favorite Montanya recipes, and what they love about working behind the bar.

The Farmhouse at Jessup Farm - Fort Collins, CO

**As we highlight bartenders we have come to love, we’d also like to hear from you. If you have a bartender or bar/restaurant you’d like to recommend for future consideration, please click here to learn more. To see more installments from the Montanya Mixology Series, visit T-Zero LoungeThe Kitchen DenverJustice Snow’s, SnoozeLounge 5280 or Bin 707.**

Name: Joel Bekken

Job Title: “Not a Mixologist”
Years Bartending: 9 years

1. Who is your hero and greatest inspiration in your work?

John Cody, Bartender at the La Taverne at The Broadmoor (Colorado Springs, CO). John has worked at the Tavern for 30 + years. He is the first bartender who taught me how to care for a bar and to value your guests. He also taught me how to run a functioning bar with speed and accuracy while putting out the best possible product. Another is Mario Enriquez, now a sommelier at the Wynn hotel. Mario’s passion for craft cocktails supersedes most people I know. People who taught me about care for ingredients and the history of bartenders and cocktails.

2. What do you wish more people knew about bartenders who develop craft cocktails?

I wish people knew about bartenders who develop craft cocktails! We waste so many ingredients finding the right balance. It’s a way of life for us. I dream about cocktails to try on people, sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. We love stepping out of the box to push the envelope on what’s possible with flavors. The important thing for us to always remember is the history of where we came from as bartenders and to never skimp on learning the classics. We all love the classic cocktails more than any of our creations.

3. What is your favorite rum cocktail?

My favorite rum cocktail is a Zombie. I still remember my first Zombie at Steuben’s in Denver, I got it at first just to catch a buzz. Then the flavors blew my mind, the balance of the rums in this drink is simply outstanding. You have the whimsical Jamaican Rum telling you to have fun, the orgeat comforting you, the fruits making you feel sexy, and the Overproof rum telling you to be careful! Just an awesome cocktail that tells a sweet story!

Favorite Montanya Cocktail:

Plunder the Coop
2oz of Montanya Exclusiva
.75oz of Aperol
.5oz Dolin Blanc
.5oz Blueberry syrup
1oz egg white
Dash of Peychaud’s and Acid Phosphate

Method: Add all ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into another shaker and shake without ice. Strain frothy mixture with a fine mesh strainer into a chilled coup glass. Garnish with 2 blueberries on a skewer and a flamed orange swath.

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Name: Kristie Piquet

Job Title: Libation Engineer
Years Bartending: 15 Years  

1. What Makes a Great Night of Bartending?

To me, a great night of bartending usually consists of full reservations, lots of walk-ins and happy guests. This means we are doing something right. The best part of bartending is always your surroundings. You thrive and make a living off of your surroundings. The staff makes up half, the wonderful people you meet make the other half. I enjoy making people laugh, having great conversation and making someone want to return, with someone else new! To me, it’s a family affair.

2. What is your favorite thing about working with Colorado Craft Spirits?

My favorite thing about Colorado Craft Spirits is the love put into them. You can talk to any of the distillers and they have such a passion for their craft. They truly love what they do … to be able to work and love your job, that’s a beautiful thing.

3. What sets your bar program apart from others?

Our bar program is amazing. We are able to bring ideas to the table, what works and what needs tweaking… eventually we come up with something spectacular that brings a smile to each of our guests faces.

4. What do you wish more people knew about Montanya Rum?

I wish more people knew about Montanya Platino. Its smooth and dry palate feels the exact opposite of what most people remember white rum to be at their first college party. It’s incredibly versatile.  

Favorite Montanya Cocktail

RumBerry Sweetness:
1.5oz Montanya Oro rum
.5oz Blueberry syrup
.25oz Lemon Juice
3 muddled raspberries
one large ice cube

Method: Muddle Raspberries with blueberry syrup.  Add Montanya Oro Rum and Lemon Juice and shake with ice. Strain over 1 large ice cube into a rocks glass. Garnish with 3 Raspberries on a skewer.

Willie Wilson, Bar Manager

Name: Willie Wilson
Job Title: Bar Manager
Years Bartending: 7 Years

1. What’s the inspiration for your cocktail?

This cocktail is a twist on a Greenpoint, which is a twist on a Manhattan, (hence the “Green”). The “Butte” acknowledging Crested Butte where Montanya is made. Using Montanya Exclusiva, or ‘Exclusive’, which has a high end feeling. I looked up Exclusive in our Thesaurus and “Swank” is a synonym for Exclusive. Sorry if that’s too much information.

The Green-Butte Swank
1.5oz Montanya Exclusiva
.5oz Green Chartreuse
.5oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
1 Dash Bittermen’s cocoa mole bitters

Method: Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled absinthe glass. Garnish with an orange swath.

2. Who is your hero and greatest inspiration in your work?

The Green-Butte Swank

Steve Peters. If you have ever sat at a bar where Steve was working, then you have experienced true hospitality. He’s one of the cleanest and most efficient people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. He has inspired me to come into work every day and be the best at my craft. His knowledge and enthusiasm trumps any other bartender I’ve ever met. You can catch Steve most nights rocking the bar at The Kitchen in Boulder.

3. What’s the most memorable cocktail you have had with Montanya Rum?

My friend and fellow bartender Mathew Tobeck made a twist on a classic Rum Club with Montanya Oro. I wish I could remember his recipe because I would share it. You could sit on a patio and enjoy one of Colorado’s 300 plus days of sun and finish a pitcher of Matt’s Rum Club concoction (Dangerous? Only a little).

Video: The making of The Green-Butte Swank - a cocktail at The Farmhouse At Jessup Farm in Fort Collins, CO