Meet Pusser’s Rum Bartender on Deck Ryan Brodie
Ryan Brodie of Oddfellow’s in Exeter.
What is your background?
Originally from California, I emigrated to the UK in 1990 with family. Being from sunny LA, we drank a lot of margaritas and daiquiris, as we had bounteous quantities of citrus and tequila with the Caribbean not too far away! I never thought of myself as a mixiologist, I just took pride in making really good drinks for everyone. I was always an enthusiastic part-time bartender throughout university and beyond. It wasn’t until I was 26 when I took up hospitality as a full-time occupation. I spent a season in a bar in Greece with the added benefit that my roomie was an amazing mixologist. We both inspired each other further and upon my return to the UK I started to enter local cocktail competitions, most being hosted in the bar I now run.
Please tell me about your personal connection to rum. Why choose rum over another spirit?
I would choose rum over other spirits as I believe it is the most versatile. It can be left un-aged and has a lot of savoury notes, which are pleasing for the palate. Higher residual sugars allow for easier-drinking too. Once aged it only heightens the delicious sugar flavours and holds its own against the tannins and char from the barrel. I never tire of drinking rum.
What do you think the future holds for the rum industry?
Well, I think that depends on marketing and the next generation of drinkers. Anyone under 25 has been brought up to see drinking like smoking, which has had a massive impact on the industry. As a result quality and small batch has replaced quantity and faceless global, hence the craft industry increase we’re seeing. I know a drink as fine as rum will never be forgotten!
What inspires you creatively when it comes to making drinks?
I like to see each cocktail as a journey to satisfy all the taste buds and if possible surprise the other senses. I love bitters and garnishes to make you think of certain flavours whilst the drink tastes of others.
Ryan’s Winning Pusser’s Rum Cocktail:
45ml Pusser’s Spiced Rum
15ml Domain de Canton
15ml Lime Juice
5ml (bar spoon) Campari
5ml Sugar Syrup
2 drops Chocolate Bitters (Bitter Truth Xocolat Mole is what I used)
Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into an ice-filled old fashioned glass. Garnish with fresh ginger slice.
Please tell me about your greatest achievements in relation to the spirits industry.
I would say there are two: being invited to appear as a Bartender on Deck for winning a Pusser’s Rum competition, as well as the work I’ve done locally to improve the knowledge and cameraderie of local bartenders south of Bristol through masterclasses and informal competitions. I also want to encourage greater recognition and support from the major brands. The Westcountry rocks!
Any other interesting facts? Hobbies? Special talents?
I ring church bells! Not quite the usual hobby for a bartender. I co-captain a city-centre church in Exeter with my mother. I can also build computers.
How can people learn more about you?
Sadly I don’t have anything much about me! I can be found on Instagram (boogemeister).