Bartender Buddha: Dave Cerrud of Iguanas Ranas in Middletown

Dave Cerrud
found at: Iguanas Ranas (Middletown)

How is the bar scene in Middletown?

Middletown is different, it's like SoNo [South Norwalk], it's eclectic and trendy. A lot of people don't know that there is a little warm downtown, a lot of mom and pop places in this city. People really appreciate a good drink and enjoy walking down Main Street.

What cocktail trends would you like to see die?

I would like to see people stop mixing Patron or Black Label with Red Bull; shamrocks on Guinness drafts and guys ordering girly shots, you know the blue and pink floater-type shots.

How do you approach the craft of creating cocktails?

I always worked at very busy night clubs so now I have the opportunity to be creative. It's about quality rather than quantity now. I travel to New York City and to Panama a lot and I get these bubbles in my head. I like to use ingredients from the kitchen. I like different, so my approach is making fresh fruit purees, agave nectar, freshly squeezed lime juice, and different garnishes. I'm working on smoked and spicy salts for the rims of margarita glasses.

What is a sipping tequila?

A tequila that's smooth, has different layers of taste. It doesn't burn your throat. I would almost compare it to a nice Malbec. People are not used to sipping tequila, so many don't know what to expect. I always say try it, it will change your life.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times