Local Yokels: El Moro bartender Lucas Hess on the rum comeback

by Jessie O’Brien

Local Yokels is a new weekly series where we feature someone from Durango who we think you should know. This week meet Lucas Hess, a bartender at El Moro Spirits and Tavern. His love of cocktails runs deep, and while he is a bourbon fan, he said people shouldn’t overlook the spirit found in our favorite tiki drinks.

What’s something you’re excited about in the beverage world right now?The tried and true recipes are timeless, and there’s a reason behind that just because they’re so simple and so delicious. Summertime is coming up, so I’ve been thinking a lot about daiquiris, which are super simple – lime juice, a little sugar, and a little rum. Rum is one of those spirits that people look over a lot of times or they just don’t really give it a fair shot. But man, they’re excellent for spring and summer.

Why do you think rums are overlooked? There are certain areas in the world, of course, where rum is held to a higher esteem, but it seems like these days, a lot of people are a little more into American whiskey or bourbon and don’t really think about rum. People maybe think of specific brands that relate to a bad memory in college or something, and so they won’t even touch it. But like with any spirit, it depends on kind of what you’re sipping on.

What are some good brands you would suggest? I personally really like this brand, Plantation. Plantation is a really cool brand out of the sense it has a connection to the past. There’s this cocktail historian who’s delved into unearthing these old recipes. He’s partnered up with a larger company to back this old recipe that he’s found. It’s a blended rum out of Barbados, Guyana. It’s creamy and smooth and delicious.

Jessie O’Brien


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