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Cocktail Creators: Keegan Labrador of Denver’s Señor Bear

Keegan Labrador, bar manager at Denver’s Senor Bear {3301 Tejon St., Denver; 720.572.5997}, discusses cocktail creation and shares his drink recipe for Save the Beez, Please.

DiningOut: What do you enjoy most about bartending?

Labrador: My favorite thing about bartending is the opportunity to provide hospitality. It’s something I genuinely believe in, and I truly care about the experience each and every one of my guests has.

DiningOut: What goes into creating a great cocktail?

Labrador: Cocktails are all about connecting the dots on what someone likes to drink. I don’t necessarily believe you should try to change a person’s mind about what they like to drink, so making a cocktail is just about highlighting your ingredients and then getting it in the hands of the right guest.

DiningOut: What is the inspiration for this cocktail?

Labrador: This cocktail was inspired by the need to protect pollinators here in Colorado and around the globe.

The Cocktail: Save the Beez, Please

Key Ingredient: Flor de Cana rum

In a shaker, add 1 ounce chamomile-infused Flor de Caña 7-year rum, 1/2 ounce Flor de Caña 12-year rum, 1/4 ounce Zucca amaro, 3/4 ounce honey-lemon syrup*, 3/4 ounce lemon juice, and 1 egg white, then dry shake until the egg white is emulsified. Double strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with 6 drops of Strongwater bitters and a pinch of fennel pollen.

*To make the honey-lemon syrup, gently muddle the peels of 10 lemons with 100 grams white sugar and let sit for one hour. Next, juice the peeled lemons and weigh; combine the lemon juice with equal parts honey in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the lemon peels and sugar, and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the honey-lemon mixture has incorporated. Strain the mixture and cool before refrigerating; syrup will last for about two weeks in the fridge.

Photos and video by Brent Andeck of Andeck Photography