Meet Pusser’s Rum Bartender on Deck John McGlaughn

John McGlaughn

John McGlaughn of Coasters in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

Tell me about yourself. What’s your background, and how did you end up as a bartender?

I come from a military family of four. My dad was a marine, which he fondly described to mean “My Ass Rides In Navy Equipment”. We came to Florida when I was four years old. I have worked service industry since I was about 16 years old, but was always back of the house. A cook, dishwasher, etc. When I was given a chance to become a bartender after working up from barback, I fell in love with it immediately. As far as mixology, I started when we opened our craft bar in the back of Coasters. I was intimidated at first but quickly saw potential for creativity and a different, more personal style of bartending.

What’s your favourite Pusser’s Rum cocktail, and what is the recipe for making it?

I am really fond of our Pusser’s Mule.

Pusser's Mule
2 oz Pusser’s Rum
1 oz fresh squeezed sour (equal parts lemon and lime juice)
1 oz homeade simple syrup
2 thin slices ginger root
3 mint leaves
Gosling’s Ginger Beer
Lime wedge

Muddle 2 thin slices of fresh ginger root and 3 mint leaves in 1 oz of homemade simple syrup and 1oz of fresh squeezed sour in a shaker tin. Add ice and 2oz of Pusser’s. Shake, fine and strain over crushed ice into a copper mug. Top with Gosling’s ginger beer and garnish with mint sprig and lime wedge.

Please tell me about your personal connection to rum. Why choose rum over another spirit?

Being a Florida boy, the beach has always been a mile away from home. I have had countless summer days on the beach sipping on rum in the tropical sun. I couldn’t pick a better spirit for sitting on the beach with some friends, soaking up some sun, and watching the sun go down after a long day of fun.

What do you think the future holds for the rum industry?

As the craft cocktail craze steadily grows, I think rum will play a major role in the scene. Our best selling drink is a rum based cocktail that I created called The Pool Boy. Rum is so versatile and each style of rum has different ways to bring out the flavours in them.

What inspires you creatively when it comes to making drinks?

I personally enjoy using fresh fruits and herbs when I am coming up with something new. I like making drinks for the ladies. Sweet, tasty, cocktails are sure to drive in a crowd of thirsty tourists.

Please tell me about your greatest achievement in relation to the spirits industry.

If I’m being quite honest, this interview from a revered rum is definitely my crown jewel as far as accomplishments with bartending. When I received the email I immediately woke up my fiance and couldn’t wait to tell her. You have to admit, being a Mixologist for six months and getting the news that I would be featured is pretty darn exciting.

What is an interesting fact about yourself? Any special talents or hobbies?

I have played guitar for about 15 years now, and I really enjoy reading a good book. I am currently rereading The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, one of my favorites. Aside from that I am a proud stepfather of a beautiful little girl, and soon to be father of a baby boy.

How can people learn more about you?

You can contact me on the Coasters FWB Facebook page as well as my personal Facebook page John C. McGlaughn