New Cocktails With Mixologist Damian Windson At Roger Room In West Hollywood In Los Angeles

Tend bar like the Roger Room's Damian Windsor

Damian Windsor doesn't want to reinvent the cocktail. He just wants to make it more interesting.

The Australian-born mixologist, who's worked behind some of the best bars in town, is known for making classic cocktails with a twist. At his latest gig at the Roger Room, the new speakeasy-like bar from Jared Meisler and Sean MacPherson (Bar Lubitsch, Jones), you'll see drinks like the Thug–made with Maker's Mark, Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur, lemon and a dash of habanero-infused bitters. Some call that a fancy Gold Rush; we call it delicious, with just a little thuggish kick.

Windsor is also co-founder of For Medicinal Purposes, a consulting company that helps restaurants and bars up their mixology. Give your home bar some oomph with his tips:

Go Beyond the Basics Add unique spirits to your lineup, like CapRock Organic Dry Gin from Colorado and Carpano Antica, what some claim is the "original" sweet vermouth.

Infusions It's more than just fruit and booze nowadays: Add habanero peppers to bitters, allspice to rum, or even popcorn to vodka to keep things interesting.

Sweeteners Simple syrup is so yesterday. Windsor uses alternatives like maple syrup, agave nectar and the leftover syrup from brandied cherries.

Gadgets Give finished drinks a spray of alcohol, like sambuca or absinthe, to impart flavor without overpowering the other ingredients. Try the Misto sprayer for its continuous stream.

The Roger Room, 370 N. La Cienega Blvd. (next to Largo at the Coronet), West Hollywood