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  • Writer's pictureJarnard Sutton

Behind the Stick with Jordan Brownwood of Royale!

Royale! Cocktails and Burgers is the spot to go for not only its tasty AF burgers but also its cocktails! We love what Jordan Brownwood is doing with the cocktail program. He said it best, it's all about produce sourcing and getting most of their fruits from their own organic farm. On this edition of Behind the Stick, we were able to watch Jordan in action as he showed us how to make their Rum Cocktail which is citrus forward but also bitter and spicy from the kumquats that are grown from their farm.

Rum Cocktail


1.25 oz Plantation 3-Star rum

.50 oz Wray and Nephew rum

.25 oz China China

.50 oz fresh lemon juice

.50 oz house-made fallernum

3 kumquats, muddled

absinthe rinse

mint garnish

What's the story behind the Rum Cocktail?

Our cocktails revolve around what we have available at our farm. We grow a lot of citrus, which works out great for our bar program, and I wanted to feature one of my favorite fruits, kumquats. I've always enjoyed the bitter and spicy notes in kumquats and thought pairing that with a nice round, sweet rum would work well. As for the name of the drink, we name all of our cocktails the same way. We start with the type of base spirit then follow it with the word cocktail. Simple as that.

Describe the taste.

The taste of the Rum Cocktail is very citrus forward, but is also rounded out by the two rums we use. You get a good amount of warm spiciness from the kumquat rind and the falernum, and a bit of added depth and bitterness from the China China. It's also very aromatic due to the absinthe rinse and the fresh mint sprigs. Just a really interested, complex cocktail.

What's the key component of this drink?

The key component to this cocktail is the kumquats.

What reactions do you get from customers when they try this cocktail for the first time?

Guests are often surprised at how much they like kumquats, which are muddled and remain in the drink. I also get those that are surprised at how refreshing and easy to drink it is.

If you had to pair this cocktail with a dish, what would you pair it with?

Like any drink here at Royale, pair it with a hamburger and you can't go wrong.

Watch as Jordan makes his refreshing, warm libation called Rum Cocktail.

What kind of experience can guests get at Royale! Cocktails and Burgers?

We try to provide a very approachable menu where a lot of thought and effort go into quality ingredients. Aesthetically, Royale is clean and simple, and the design is contemporary but very unique.

What's unique about the cocktails here at Royale?

The most unique aspect of our bar program is our produce sourcing. Most fruits come from our own organic farm and are as fresh as you can imagine. There just aren't many programs anywhere, let alone in San Diego, that do what we do. About Jordan Brownwood

Are you from San Diego?

I grew up in East County.

How has your journey been leading up to your role at Royale?

Royale is more or less an extension of a couple past business endeavors. A food trailer in Austin, TX turned into a burger stand in University Heights, which then morphed into what we have now. Several years of tending bar in between set me up with the knowledge and experience to fuse these ideas into a single concept.

What's your mission for the cocktail program?

To create delicious, approachable cocktails by letting our superior ingredients shine.

What's your favorite cocktail on the menu?

My favorite cocktail on our menu is the Mexcal Cocktail. We use a passion fruit syrup which we make with fresh, whole fruits from our farm and it's one of the tastiest cocktail ingredients I've ever had.

Define the perfect cocktail.

Perfection is subjective, so to me, the perfect cocktail should hit all the flavors and aromas you're craving at the time. A tart, juicy, slightly sweet daiquiri or a rich, strong, earthy Manhattan can both be perfection depending on the circumstance.

What are some cocktail trends you are noticing in San Diego?

I'm noticing a trend of reverting back to more casual, simple bar programs.

What's your favorite drink to make behind the bar?

A swizzle of any kind.

What's your favorite spirit?

I like and appreciate most spirit categories, but a good pear brandy is hard to beat. What do you do in your spare time when you're not creating cocktails?

I'm running a restaurant, farming or spending time with my wife and daughter. What's next for you?

Growing Royale into what I think it is capable of.

Royale! Burgers & Cocktails

4204 Voltaire St., Ocean Beach. (619) 431-5653 or

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