Meet Pusser’s Rum Bartender on Deck Tony Brett-Roberts

tony pussers rum

Tony Brett-Roberts of The Suburbs in Chester, England.

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

I started in the hospitality industry three years ago as a busser in a restaurant. From there I spent two years working my way from busser, to server, to host, to the hotplate, and then finally to company trainer before finding my true passion as a bartender and mixologist. Over the past year, I have studied and attempted to push myself to the highest degree of bartending whilst also maintaining a high level of enjoyment, which is what I believe is what rum and cocktails are all about.

What is the name of your drink, and where did the inspiration come from?

My drink is called the Zombie Killer cocktail. My drink takes its main inspirations from two iconic rum drinks, the Zombie and the Painkiller. In my opinion, these two drinks changed the way that rum is used in cocktails and as such have become icons in the cocktail world. By combining the main aspects of both of these drinks, whilst twisting them in my own sort of way, I believe I have created a drink which pays homage to both. The use of Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof Rum, Coco Re’al, and pineapple syrup, combined with lime, pink grapefruit, Pusser’s Blue Label, apricot, and orange liqueurs create a unique balance of flavours, which pack a punch. My idea and inspiration behind this was the hypothetical idea that if this were available in the golden age of piracy, the sailors would turn to this for both their daily rum ration and also to enjoy flavours of fruits native to the region.

pussers painkiller tony

Zombie Killer Cocktail Recipe:

50ml (~2 oz) Pusser’s Gunpowderproof Rum
10ml (~1/2 oz) Pusser’s Blue Label Rum
10ml (~1/2 oz) Apricot briottet
20ml  (~3/4 oz) Cointreau
25ml (~3/4) Pineapple William Fox Syrup
10ml (~1/2 oz) Coco Re’al
15ml (~1/2 oz) Fresh Lime Juice
20ml (~3/4 oz) Fresh Pink Grapefruit Juice
20ml (~3/4 oz) Fresh Pineapple Juice
20ml (~3/4 oz) Fresh Orange Juice
2 dashes Absinth
Grate of Nutmeg

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well. Pour over ice. Garnish with a pink grapefruit wedge and an empty passionfruit with Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof inside. Carefully ignite the Gunpowder Proof. Sprinkle a bit of nutmeg on the top of the cocktail as a finishing touch.

What’s your favourite rum drink? Recipe?

By far my favourite rum drink ever is the original daiquiri. The perfect balance of rum, lime, and sugar make it the best drink ever in my opinion.

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

I have a personal connection to rum mainly through my parents. My mum spent a large portion of her life living in Bermuda. Rum is massive in Bermuda and as such my mum gained a love for it along with all of the cocktails in which it is famous for. My dad owned a local pub where I lived for over 10 years, so I have always been around the industry. In a way, rum is in my blood.

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

I personally think that rum is about to be the next big thing in the spirit industry. I have seen small signs pointing to this as over the last two years. Rum has been in much higher demand and it isn’t just the case of asking for one specific brand of rum.  As we have just seen with gin, it is a case of “what rums do you have?”

What inspires you creatively when it comes to making drinks?

I like to create cocktails around aspects of my life or my family. I feel like this creates a real connection between myself and the drink I’m making.

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

My greatest achievement so far was passing my bartender training at the start of my journey. It gave me a foundation to build my career on.

Any other interesting facts? Hobbies? Special talents?

Other than bartending, I love to travel and play sports and generally have fun. I play rugby mainly, but I also like to skateboard, ski, surf and more.

How can people learn more about you? (Social media handles, website, place of work etc.)

I currently work in The Suburbs in Chester. You can catch me on Instagram @TonyTBR or on Facebook @Tony Brett-Roberts