Each month from now until December 2015, you’ll get to meet a new featured bartender!
First up, the illustrious David Delaney, Jr. He’s been bartending for over 13 years and there’s no stopping him! Some of you may know him as the Angostura Brand Ambassador – and many of you know him for his great cocktails. He was crowned winner of the 2012 Global Cocktail Challenge with his cocktail “On Second Thought.” And has returned to judge the U.S. Cocktail Challenge finals ever since.
Let’s get to know him a little bit better!
House of Angostura: What is your favorite cocktail featuring Angostura Bitters or Angostura Rum?
David Delaney, Jr.: A daiquiri always has been and probably always will be one of my favorite cocktails. And the best daiquiri in my mind is made with Angostura 1919, fresh lime, simple syrup, and Angostura Aromatic Bitters!
HOA: With so many new bitters flooding the market, where do you see Angostura Bitters in the mix?
DDJ: Angostura has been around now for 190 years. I love to see the creativity and ingenuity of some of these new bitter brands but nothing will ever come close to the history, versatility, and necessity of Angostura Aromatic Bitters.
HOA: What is the most unique/interesting application of Angostura Bitters that you have seen?
DDJ: I see and hear quite a few ways that bars are utilizing Angostura Bitters. From featured cocktail sections on their menus to barrel aging it in house. I’ve heard of people staining cutting boards, leather apron straps, and of course their entire bar top (like Cannon in Seattle).
HOA: Where do you typically go for a cocktail in your city?
DDJ: Depends on my mood, but I can say I’ve never had a bad drink at Eveleigh in West Hollywood.
HOA: How about for a beer and a shot?
DDJ: Wherever is willing to pop that top off of a bottle of Ango!
HOA: Heard any good jokes lately?
DDJ: What did the egg say to the boiling water?
It might take me a little while to get hard… I just got laid!
HOA: Outside of the daily grind, what are you passionate about that helps keep you a balanced bartender?
DDJ: I think balance is the key to life. I try eat healthy and workout regularly, whether it be cycling, running, yoga, hiking…. It’s also important to step back every so often and breathe. Never underestimate the power of a relaxing vacation!
HOA: Have any tattoos?
DDJ: That’s for me to know and you to Google!
HOA: Any advice for someone looking to get into bartending as a career?
DDJ: Ask questions! Lots and lots of questions! And ask the same questions to multiple people. Don’t be in a rush to move up through the ranks. Work hard, be nice, and you will move naturally into the position fit for you.
HOA: Do you have an original cocktail recipe (featuring Angostura Rum or Bitters) that you would like to share with us?
DDJ: I might have one or two… A recent favorite was a simple 3 ingredient cocktail:
Mission to Pasadena
1.5 oz Angostura 1919
.75 oz Dry Orange Curaçao
.75 oz Amontillado Sherry
Stir with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass. Zest with fresh Lemon and discard peel.
HOA: What’s the strangest request that you’ve gotten during your time behind the bar?
DDJ: Probably a guy asking for a dozen oysters. (The same guy that’s allergic to oysters but loves them so much he just keeps ordering them). I must have seen him taken out by ambulance a half a dozen times.
HOA: If you weren’t bartending, what do you think you would be doing?
DDJ: My degree is in Computer Information Systems, so I would probably be behind a desk somewhere contemplating ways to quit and move to a tropical island.
HOA: If you could have a cocktail with anyone in the world (dead or alive), who would it be?
DDJ: John Lennon, I heard he liked Angostura Bitters!