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Mixologist of the Month: Jason Littrell

October 27, 2011
Jason Littrell seems to be everywhere these days-he has teamed up with fellow New Yorker Marshall Altier to form the label behind not one but 2 iterations of Jbird, where the duo have come on to pull the downtown New York cocktail culture uptown, with locations in the famed Hell’s Kitchen and Upper East Side neighborhoods. The team has upcoming consulting projects in various locales and are also the brains behind CrctlMss, an events and staffing company coming to a city near you in 2012.

We caught up with Jason in between travels while pulling shifts at his home base, the Best Cocktail Bar in the World award-winning  Death & Co. in  NYC.
7  Questions for the Mixologist of the Month 

1.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†What’s your story? How did you get so interested in cocktails?

When I was a kid, my mom said either be a good shrink, or a good bartender.¬† We all know how that turned out…¬† I’m constantly being re-motivated to do what I do by¬†the¬†increasingly complex demands¬†of¬†our guests.¬† New people are being turned on to crafted cocktails every day; its exciting to think that what we do could someday become¬†the¬†rule, not¬†the¬†exception.

 2.     What compelled you to become a bartender? (I mean, there are other ways to make a living.)

Well, like a lot of bartenders and service industry workers, I was a crappy drummer.

3.     What differentiates Jbird from other cocktail bars?

From inception, Jbird has been focused on service. Sure we put a lot of intensity in to excecuting the cocktails, but our main focus is the guest.  Want ten ingredients served in a pineapple? Sure. Want a vodka soda? No problem.

4.     Why do you think rum is enjoying such a renaissance?

As¬†the¬†collective palate becomes more discerning, so does their reach and willingness to try new products.¬†¬†Of course, new bars popping up around¬†the¬†country every day with radical new ideas doesn’t hurt.

5.     If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one rum drink, what would it be? And why?

 Easy. A 1934 Zombie.  If you can drink through that, you can drink through anything.

6.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†What’s a great easy rum drink people can make at home?

A daiquiri. So easy to make, but such a grand pursuit to perfect. Rum, lime juice and sugar.¬† So sexy…

7.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Who’s¬†the¬†most liberated spirit you know (past or present)? Who has lived life¬†the¬†most freely?

¬†Any newborn baby.¬† Everything is either¬†the¬†most amazing thing you’ve ever seen, or its completely terrifying.

Denizen is a new choice in white rum: created by master blenders in Amsterdam from three different styles of rum from Jamaica and Trinidad and specifically crafted for the new golden age of rum mixology. Ranking with the big boys in awards and critical reviews it’s available in great cocktail bars in the New York area and online at sites such as

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