Monthly Bartender Series - Adrift Tiki Bar of Denver
Montanya Distillers Monthly Bartender Series
Adrift Tiki Bar
218 S Broadway, Denver CO 80209
In this springtime return to our popular bartender feature, we talk with Zachary Sipherd, general manager at Adrift, and Les Baker, head bartender. Together they discuss how they use Montanya rum, what they wish people knew about bartenders, a most exciting cocktail-making ingredient, and what sets their bar program apart from the crowd.
**As we highlight bartenders and restaurants 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 Social of Fort Collins, Butcher’s Bistro, Snooze AM Eatery, The Farmhouse at Jessup Farm, T-Zero Lounge, or The Kitchen Denver.**
Zachary Sipherd, General Manager, bartender for 5+ years.
Favorite rum drink: Old Fashioned
Les Baker, Head Bartender, bartender for 8+ years
Favorite rum drink: Corn n' Oil
How do you use Montanya Rum in your bar program?
We are currently featuring the Montanya Platino Rum in our very popular shareable “Skull-Bowl” Cocktails. We have a variety of shareable cocktails that will satisfy everyone’s flavor palette. Not only are these group drinks fun for a crowd, but also the “shock and awe” presentation is unforgettable.
What do you wish more people knew about bartenders who develop craft cocktails?
Zach: The Ladies and Gentleman behind the bar who craft next-level drinks have precise attention to detail and truly care about every aspect the cocktail has to offer. The time and effort it takes to prepare an excellent craft cocktail requires someone really passionate about the art of the pour. Creating a craft cocktail isn’t something someone can learn overnight. It takes years of understanding of all of the diverse ingredients and how to make them compliment one another. Many of our drinks include up to twelve ingredients, making it a combination of science and art.
Les: That inspiration can come from anywhere. It's not always based on the drink, flavors, or spirits involved. A lot of the time I want my drinks to convey a story. I draw inspiration from sci-fi and it's often reflected in my cocktails or general personality.
What ingredient do you think is most exciting in rum cocktails, besides the rum itself?
Zach: Orgeat. I have been involved with Adrift for about a year now and I have learned a lot about Authentic “Tiki” recipes. I have worked with Orgeat at other establishments, but haven’t been around such a wide variety of rums from all over the world. I feel that Orgeat is a perfect complimentary mixture with rum.
What makes for a great night of bartending?
Les: I always love a high-energy night. When the flow of guests in and out of the bar is just right, it creates the perfect atmosphere for people to get excited and enjoy themselves. Guest interaction is key. I love to see the expressions on people’s faces when something gets set on fire, or smoke is added. Always keeping the people in front of you on their toes and involved is what makes the job for me.
What sets Adrift's bar program apart from all others?
Zach: The main attribute that sets us apart is our amazing bar staff, all of whom are incredibly dedicated to helping grow Adrift’s reputation as one of the best cocktail programs around town. We strive to set the standard when it comes to the rejuvenation of the Tiki movement, which means sourcing awesome ingredients like Montanya Rum from our home state of Colorado or using unique flavors from the Polynesian Islands.
from Lead Bartender, Les Baker
1.25oz Montanya Platino & Oro
.5oz jackfruit purée
.5oz kaffir lime syrup
.25oz tyku coconut sake
.25oz galangal juice
For more recipes with Montanya rums, check out our recipe page.