Posted on | September 22, 2015
Written by | Sara Kay
Delicious alone, versatile when mixed, RumChata is a calling card at Haven
In a city of skyscrapers, rooftop bars can still hold their own. Amid the bright lights and oversized billboards of Times Square’s theater district, Haven Rooftop Bar atop the Sanctuary Hotel has been pleasing hotel guests and New Yorkers alike with the right mix of food, drink and ambiance since it opened three years ago, under the guidance of General Manager Elda DeVilla.
Among her best decisions helping to make Haven Rooftop a destination, the Mexican native incorporated RumChata into the cocktail program. Inspired by Mexican horchata, a popular milky drink made from rice and flavored with cinnamon and vanilla, RumChata liqueur uses Caribbean rum, fresh real dairy cream and a touch of natural cinnamon, vanilla and sugar (ABV 15%). While the spirit itself is made domestically, the flavors are reminiscent of that sweet and creamy Mexican beverage.
Banking on the popularity of these flavors in Mexico and Spain, she introduced RumChata to the owners of Haven. “My bosses were so excited to see a new thing,” she recalls, “but they wanted to know, ‘how would you present it?’ I created the Rice Pudding Martini for them, and they loved it. After that, it was on the menu right away.”
Since the Rice Pudding Martini debuted, DeVilla and her bar staff have worked to create other drink options that emphasize the versatility of RumChata. “You can play around with juices and hard liquor, but it can get boring,” continues DeVilla. “RumChata is interesting. It’s milky but it has that rice pudding flavor, too. It’s an exotic, new flavor. There’s really nothing like it.”
The Summer Colada, for instance, is made with RumChata instead of coconut milk. DeVilla and the Haven Rooftop staff have also featured the creamy liqueur in shots, demonstrating the brand’s broad demographic appeal.
“No matter the time of year, we always have RumChata options,” says DeVilla. “We order about two to four cases a week. At the bar lounge, people order food as well, so at the end of their meal when they’re full but want a treat for dessert, we recommend one of our dessert cocktails with RumChata.”