Recipes, bartender interviews, photos and more in this monthly bartender feature from Montanya Distillers!

Courtesy of The Kitchen Denver

One of the most fun things we get to do at Montanya Distillers is meet some incredible bartenders whose creative energy inspires exceptional Montanya rum cocktails. Their passion for what they do is amazing to experience, and today we’re bringing them to you through a feature highlighting some of the very best in the biz.

Our monthly Montanya Mixology Series features some of our favorite bartenders, as well as our favorite places to drink Montanya Rum. 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, let us know

To kick things off, we’re starting with our colleagues at The Kitchen Denver, a garden-to-table restaurant known for consciously sourcing and serving up delicious cuisine in an incredible eco-friendly urban space with a wonderful cocktail menu. The following article features three of The Kitchen Denver bartenders and four impressive recipes they have been generous enough to share with us.  

Kyla Ostler, Bar Manager at The Kitchen DenverFirst, we asked The Kitchen Denver’s Bar Manager, Kyla Ostler, about her favorite rum drinks and how she uses Montanya. Her answers, as well as favorites, recipes and insights from three other bartenders from The Kitchen Denver, lead our series.

Kyla Ostler

Bar Manager of The Kitchen Denver

Years of Bartending Experience:

5 years, managing for 3 years

At Montanya Distillers, we know that Kyla plays a critical role in hand selecting spirits and guiding her bartenders to use Colorado craft spirits.

Kyla's Favorite Rum Cocktail at The Kitchen Denver:

Oliver’s Raddington (with Montanya Oro) or a Hemingway Daiquiri (with Montanya Platino)

How do you use Montanya Rum in your bar program?

What I love about Montanya Rum is that it makes rum so approachable. I have found that there are a lot of people who had a really negative early experience with rum (coconut rum + high school, terrible combinations like that) and as a result they have written rum off completely. Such a mistake. So, to be able to tell our guests that we have a Colorado craft rum that uses Louisiana sugar cane and is made in Crested Butte - that’s an easy conversation, how can they say no? You have to try it! It’s aged in Colorado Whiskey Barrels, come on!

What sets your bar program apart from all others?

I’m incredibly lucky to have a super creative, passionate, talented and very knowledgeable bartending team that uses The Kitchen’s philosophy of letting good ingredients shine. I think our most successful cocktails combine the best of what the season has to offer with Colorado spirits in simple, delicious ways. 

Oliver Weinberg, Bartender at The Kitchen DenverOliver Weinberg

Bartender at The Kitchen Denver

How do you use Montanya Rum in your bar program?

I think that we use Montanya Rum to enhance our guests experience by showing them a product that they can connect with because it’s made locally by real people.

What’s your most memorable cocktail with Montanya Rum?

I would say that the Raddington is probably my most memorable cocktail with Montanya Rum because it was the first one that I did at The Kitchen Denver. It has been a great experience to get to learn about all of the amazing distilleries, breweries, and farms that we work with at The Kitchen. I think that the Gold Fashioned might be my favorite Montanya Rum cocktail that I've created so far. I love that the presentation and ingredients are so familiar and approachable and I think it really highlights the Montanya Oro Rum beautifully. 

What makes for a great night of bartending?

Just a bunch of happy people on both sides of the bar!  That's the main thing that I try to bring to work every day and even when I go out to eat or drink. It's all about having fun and enjoying the experience!

 Oliver’s Favorite Rum Cocktails:

The Raddington CocktailThe Raddington

1.5 oz Montanya Oro Rum

.5 oz Lillet Blanc

.5 oz Grapefruit

.5 oz OJ

Plus Leopold Bros Absinthe for rinsing

Shake in a cocktail shaker, not including the absinthe.

Use a small bit of absinthe to rinse a coupe glass, pour drink, garnish w/ a grapefruit swath.

The Gold Fashioned

The Gold Fashioned Cocktail at The Kitchen Denver

2 oz Montanya Oro Rum

1 sugar cube, soaked w/ Peychauds, (approx. 4 dashes)

1/4 of a grapefruit  

Muddle the sugar and the grapefruit then add Rum, stir. Pour into small rox glass with big cube.

Garnish with a grapefruit wedge on the glass rim.

Other Rum Favorites from The Kitchen Denver Bartenders:

Mia Provenzano of The Kitchen Denver

Mia Provenzano’s favorite cocktail is perfect for spring/summer:

Corpse Reviver #2a

1 oz Montanya Platino Rum

1 oz Lillet blanc

1 oz Cointreau

1 oz lemon juice  

Shake in cocktail shaker.

Serve in a coupe glass with a lemon swath twist.

Jack Simpson, Bartender at The Kitchen DenverJack Simpson’s, Favorite Rum Cocktail:

Captain Jack’s Tiramisu

2 oz Conscious Coffees espresso

2 oz half & half

1.5 oz Montanya Oro Rum

1 T Demerara Sugar

Shake in a cocktail shaker.

Pour over crushed ice. Top with whipped cream and dust with cinnamon.