In this month’s Montanya Mixology Series, we’re exploring the Flatirons of Boulder, Colorado and highlighting The St. Julien Hotel & Spa’s T-Zero Lounge. This bar offers a modern, yet contemporary rendezvous for signature cocktails, handcrafted with love and inspiration by some of our favorite bartenders, like Andrew Amaro.

Andrew is a great friend of Montanya’s and a recipe of his is featured in Montanya’s upcoming cocktail book (details coming soon)! In this post, he talks about what sets the T-Zero Lounge apart from others, his favorite rum drink, and he shares the recipe for The 401, named after a popular mountain biking trail in Crested Butte.

**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 The Kitchen Denver, Justice Snow’s, or Lounge 5280.**

Andrew Amaro

Beverage Manager of T-Zero Lounge – St. Julien Hotel & Spa

Years of Bartending Experience:

8 years

What sets your bar program apart from all others?

We are so lucky to be living in Colorado; the unique landscape, beautiful mountains, the abundance of amazing cocktail bars and the great community of Colorado bartenders. We aren’t afraid to step out of the box and create cocktails that are true expressions of creativity. 

At the St. Julien’s T-Zero Lounge, we showcase our creativity through house-made syrups, bitters and juices. Our guests demand freshness and quality. I like to call this ‘healthy drinking.’ By juicing our own fruits, we can provide the freshest cocktails and deliver a high quality drink. Our passion is on display at the bar and we love to pass it on to our guests.

T-Zero Lounge at the St. Julien Hotel

How do you use Montanya Rum in your bar program?

Montanya Rum is an integral part of our bar program. We try to use as many local spirits and products as we possibly can. When showcasing that, we make sure that guests are properly educated about the passion Karen Hoskin [co-founder and owner of Montanya Rum] and her team puts into distilling their rum and creating rum cocktails. It is evident in the taste and the ability to showcase passion in a cocktail.

What makes for a great night of bartending?

It’s really about getting into a flow with your fellow bartenders. Reading each other is critical to ensuring proper service to our guests. When you are at the height of the busiest point in your night and you can craft drink after perfect drink and get in that zone… well, that’s when you know you’ve achieved a great night of bartending. After all is said and done and each bartender is still smiling, you know you’ve conquered the night.

What’s your favorite rum cocktail?

My favorite Montanya Rum cocktail is the Jamaican Rum Crème. I remember my first visit to Crested Butte, Colorado; we had just skied a full day and headed into Montanya. I had one sip of this amazing cocktail and fell in love with it. I believe I had about three or four Jamaican Rum Crèmes before I moved on to try another! I have tried to recreate it several times, but it’s just not the same as the one I had in Montanya’s rum bar.

Recently Featured Montanya Cocktail at T-Zero Lounge

At T-Zero we have a cocktail called The 401, named after a popular mountain biking trail in Crested Butte, Colorado.  The cocktail features Montanya rum, of course.

THE 401

1.5 oz. Montanya Oro Rum

1.5 oz. Strawberry-basil shrub

1 oz. fresh pineapple juice

.5 oz. fresh lime juice

2 to 3 dashes of Wormwood bitters

Shake and strain into a martini glass. Top with four drops of black pepper tincture and garnish with half a strawberry.