Photo, above: Maura, far left, celebrating her Moovers & Shakers Best Cocktail win with her team from Mateo.
In our June bartender feature, we talk with Maura McGlaughlin, currently serving at Ophelia's in Denver, and previously a bartender at Mateo in Boulder. Maura first appeared on our radar at the Moovers & Shakers Mixology competition in Boulder with her prize-winning cocktail creation, the "Mai-Tainapple.” The event was such an honor for Montanya because all drinks at the event incorporated Montanya rum. The event was filled with incredible energy and the cocktails were amazing! We loved everyone’s unique spin, but Maura’s definitely stood out, which included infusing Montanya rum with grilled pineapple – delicious! We love being able to introduce you to our favorite bartenders and Maura is one of the best. If you’re in Denver, stop by Ophelia’s and say hi!!
Maura McGlaughlin, Bartender and Server, 9+ years of experience in the hospitality industry
Favorite rum drink: Mojito... "I love the combination of fresh-squeezed lime juice and rum. I use a lot of mint for my mojito. The mint is so aromatic and makes for a really refreshing cocktail."
What is your most memorable Montanya Rum Cocktail?
My most memorable Montanya Rum cocktail is the “Mai Tainapple,” a drink that I created for the Moovers and Shakers competition at the Dairy Center for The Arts in Boulder. Montanya Rum was the Colorado spirit that was used by each bar team. My drink was inspired by the classic Mai Tai. I infused the Montanya Rum with grilled pineapple. My colleague, Amy (currently bartending at Mateo!), made a hibiscus-and-thyme tea simple syrup (although less sugar than a typical 1:1 simple), and I made an Orgeat with dried apricots and Mezcal, as opposed to adding brandy or vodka. I then added Contratto Aperitif, an Italian bitter orange liqueur (an organic and all-natural answer to Aperol) that uses Barbera grapes. The last ingredient was fresh-squeezed lime juice. You can try the cocktail featuring Montanya Rum at Mateo Restaurant in Boulder!
What is your favorite aspect of Montanya Rum?
My favorite aspects of Montanya Rum, in particular, are that they use non-GMO sugar cane from farmers in Louisiana, with water from one of the purest springs and snowmelt-charged aquifers in the US.
What makes for a great night of bartending?
I think a great night of bartending is comprised by the vibe in the restaurant and by the bar guests. I love having guests that are curious and adventurous. It’s always fun introducing people to new spirits/combinations that they might never have tried otherwise. I love it when you can get a few guests engaged in a lively conversation...it really contributes to a community vibe! I also always love a good soundtrack in the background to dance around to a little bit behind the bar.
1.5 oz grilled pineapple-infused Montanya Platino rum
.5 oz apricot Mezcal Orgeat
.75 oz fresh lime juice
.25 oz Contratto Apertif
.5 oz hibiscus-thyme tea
Shake and strain over ice, and garnish with a mint sprig!
For more recipes with Montanya rums, check out our recipe page.
You can find Maura on Instagram @maura_magiccity.
**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 Adrift Tiki Bar of Denver, Social of Fort Collins, Butcher’s Bistro, Snooze AM Eatery, The Farmhouse at Jessup Farm, T-Zero Lounge, or The Kitchen Denver.**