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Cocktail Creators: Scott Ruggiero of Boulder’s Oak at Fourteenth

Scott Ruggiero, bar manager at Oak at Fourteenth {1400 Pearl Street, Boulder; 303.444.3622}, discusses cocktail creation and shares his recipe for the Midnight Marauder.

DiningOut: What do you enjoy most about bartending?

Ruggiero: I enjoy taking care of the guests and meeting new people. Each day is different, each interaction is different, and I enjoy creating a unique experience with each guest through cocktails, food, and social interactions.

DiningOut: What goes into creating a great cocktail?

Ruggiero: A great cocktail is created using great ingredients and a great concept. Having a simple concept of flavors allows a cocktail to be finessed over time. Also, making sure a cocktail is balanced in the senses of sour, sweet, salty, and bitter.

DiningOut: What is the inspiration for this cocktail?

Ruggiero: The inspiration for this cocktail was to create a fall/winter drink utilizing familiar warming flavors. Irish coffee, hot chocolate, spiced latte, espresso martini. Recreating those holiday flavors into a chilled bourbon cocktail. Redemption high-rye bourbon is the backbone of this cocktail, contributing toasted and spiced flavors rounding out the cocktail.

The Cocktail: Midnight Marauder

Key Ingredient: Redemption high-rye bourbon

In a cocktail shaker with ice, add 1 1/2 ounces Redemption high-rye bourbon, 1/2 ounce Fugit crème de cacao, 1/2 ounce Caffo amaretto, 1/2 ounce lemon juice, 1/2 ounce decaf espresso syrup, and 2 dashes Fee Brothers Aztec chocolate bitters and shake. Double strain into a chilled coupe glass, top with cinnamon-infused whipped cream*, and garnish with grated cinnamon.

*To make the cinnamon whipped cream, use an electric mixer to blend a 6-to-1 ratio of heavy whipping cream and cinnamon-imbued simple syrup in a bowl until stiff peaks form.

Photos and video by Brent Andeck of Andeck Photography