Interview of the week: David Delaney Jr. – House of Angostura North American Ambassador

David Delaney Jr.
North American Ambassador
House of Angostura

1) Bucket List items for this year.

  1. Harvest Sugar Cane and observe the process of making sugar and in turn, Molasses
  2. Learn more about distillation.
  3. Take a Windjammer Rum Cruise with Dave Russell
  4. Work to grow distribution of, and introduce more people to, the beautiful line of rums produced by the House of Angostura.
  5. Stage at one or more Rum / Tiki Bars throughout the US and beyond.

2) What is the biggest achievement you personally feel you have accomplish for the rum industry

Winning the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge in 2012. The win allowed me to grow my relationship with an amazing brand and position myself to be a key source of development and education for the House of Angostura’s products here in the US.

3) Favorite Drink + Recipe

“Queens Park Swizzle”

3 oz. Angostura 7 Year rum
.75 oz. Rich Demerara Syrup (2:1)
.75 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
10-12 Mint Leaves
6-8 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters

Garnish: Fresh Bouquet of Mint
Glass: Highball
Ice: Crushed
Tools: Swizzle Stick
Method: Gently muddle mint leaves along with Demerara syrup and lime juice in the bottom of a highball glass. Fill glass 1/2 way with dry crushed ice. Pour rum over ice and swizzle well until glass is ice-cold and frosted over. Pack glass with more crushed ice and top drink with Angostura Aromatic Bitters. Garnish with Fresh Mint, add straw and serve.

4) Where do you see the rum industry today and in the next 5 years?

Right now is an amazing time to be involved in the rum industry. The popularity of rum beyond the few typical rum cocktails has been a long time coming. We’ve seen modern tiki bars provide consumers with delicious tropical libations while allowing them the opportunity to learn and taste through a myriad of rums from all across the globe. With more educated consumers, this platform has also allowed fellow entrepreneurs the opportunity to open bars and restaurants with a more distinct or unique concept without the fear of people “not-getting-it”. Rum is a worldly spirit, more so than any other that we know and now is its time to shine.

5) Share some (2-3) of your mentors and how they have helped you.

  1. Michael Covino, owner/operator of Niche Hospitality in Worcester MA. It was with Mike that I had my first introduction to the bar and restaurant industry. Mike and his team didn’t necessarily educate me on Rum directly, but they provided me with the tools to constantly learn and grow within the industry. They preached hard work and hospitality above anything else, and it’s the foundation that I established here that I’ve been able to confidently take with me throughout my career.
  2. John George, Master Distiller at the House of Angostura. John has been a constant source of information on anything and everything rum. John is never too busy to sit down and talk shop or to answer any email I send, no matter how big or small. He has a unique ability engage anyone that he talks to and educate them in a way that isn’t overwhelming.
  3. Ian Burell, Ambassador of Rum. Ian, much like John has always been a great source of information on anything and everything rum related. It’s inspiring to see a man who has made a career out of something that he truly loves. He’s not a bad guy to hit the town with either, wherever that town may be.

6) Any last words?

Drink more Daiquiris!

7) About David Delaney Jr.

David, while being a recent transplant to Los Angeles California, spent the majority of his industry career in and around Boston, MA. It was on the east coast where he worked with The Niche Hospitality Group for the past 7 years. In this time, he helped open a myriad of restaurants and bars for this group while implementing bar programs and menu development unique to each concept. In 2012, David was crowned the overall winner of the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge and spent those next 12 months acting the Global brand ambassador for Angostura’s line of rums and bitters. After his reign was over, David continued to work with Angostura in the US to help aid in event coordination and overall exposure for the brand and in March of 2014, was granted the role of North American Brand Ambassador to the House of Angostura. David has apprenticed for such large scale events as Tales of the Cocktail and the Manhattan Cocktail Classic and was part of the 2012 graduating class of the elite BAR 5-day. David’s cocktails have graced such magazines as Whiskey Advocate and Imbibe and in 2011, David was chosen by Beverage Media Group as one of the “Top 10 Mixologists to Watch in the United States”.

Author: Fede

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