Meet Pusser’s Bartender on Deck, Rory Snyder

Tell us about yourself. What’s your background, and how did you end up as a bartender/mixologist?
At the age of twenty-six I started bartending at a small restaurant in Dana Point, California, as a way to occupy my downtime and make some side income. I was blessed that, with a bit of personality and the gift of being intellectually curious, I was able to parlay that into a career and fulfill my artsy side by creating cocktails, while creating my brand in the libation and hospitality world. I am blessed these days to own my own bar and hire bartenders/mixologist who inspire me. I let them express themselves while I take on a different roll by running the daily business.

What is the recipe for your favorite Pusser’s Rum cocktail?
This drink was created by my bar manager, Cameron Robbins, who deserves all the credit for this wonderful libation.

Midnight Harbor

1.5 oz Pusser’s Rum
.5 oz Kraken Dark Roast
1 oz Plantation OFTD
.5 oz Lime Juice
.5 oz of Grapefruit Juice
.5 oz Falernum
.5 oz Cinnamon Syrup
2 Dashes of Bitters
1 Dash Pernod

Combine ingredients into a cocktail shaker with crushed ice. Shake well.
Transfer into serving glass, and garnish with Mint, Lime, and Cherry.

Please tell us about your personal connection to rum. Why choose rum over another spirit?
Rum will always be my primary “creating alcohol” because it is a playful and complex option with which few other alcohols can compete. If it’s good it can stand alone, and at the same time it can interact with other flavors to build something bigger than itself.

What do you think the future holds for the rum industry?
Good products always last the test of time.  Rum is one of those products and, unlike most spirits, it has a colorful and fun history.  Yes, trends change, but should rum ever fall out of popular favor, it will live to fight another day, because the quality rum brands will remain and the mediocre ones will go away.  Just as our current and lively Tiki renaissance have proven over the past twenty years, people will always rediscover and celebrate rum.

What inspires you creatively when it comes to making drinks?
Complexity and proportions. It’s a very delicate balance that takes skill and a good palate, but when the desired cocktail results are achieved, what you have created is timeless and should be celebrated.

Please share your greatest achievement in relation to the spirits industry.
I would say that being the owner of my own Tiki Bar (“The Reef” in Palm Springs, California), plus owning and operating one of the largest Tiki events in the world (“Tiki Caliente”) are my greatest achievements so far.  Both of these things are passion projects which evolved from my years of bartending and creating an atmosphere with cocktails, as well as learning overall design and planning.

What is an interesting fact about yourself? Any special talents or hobbies?
I think it would surprise most people to know that I consider myself an introvert. I like thinking up the concepts and putting them out there for many people to enjoy, but what also makes me happy is spending time with my family, reading or playing my ukulele.

How can people learn more about you? (Social media handles, website, etc.)
www.tiki-caliente.com or look up the @theReefPalmSprings on Facebook