7 Innovative Cocktails At Room 112

Isaac Patrick Camoro uses inspiration in the moment when creating cocktails. He takes an idea — whether inspired by a unique liquor or exotic fruit — and then quickly builds a new drink around the discovery while the muse is still fresh in his mind.

This creative process is apparent in the eclectic menu of mixed drinks he put together for his new venture, Room 112. This cocktail lounge and music venue opened seven months back in the trendy SoNo region of Norwalk, CT.

Camaro has founded ten bars and worked for dozens more around during his 30 years in the business. With a well of worldly experience, he creates cocktail based on “whatever’s in my head when I feel inspired. I think that allows you to be more innovative.”

“And some people,” he adds, “they’re doing too much research on their cocktails, so that two-to-three weeks down the road they’re still working on that cocktail.”

With that in mind, here are 7 cocktails (each priced $13) that reflect Camaro’s spontaneous style:

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Isaac Patrick Camoro

1) Casa De Amor

Casa Amigo tequila
Pavan liqueur
Fresh lime juice
Orange blossom bitters
Dragon fruit
Pink peppercorns

The idea for this Margarita variant (pictured atop) came to Camaro one week when he was eating dragon fruit. He’s often inspired by whatever exotic fruit he can get his hands on. “I get as many as I can and then try to substitute when it runs out,” he says. “Dragon fruit are expensive and hard to come by.”

So it’s critical, Camaro says, for operators to foster excellent relationships with vendors and distributors. “I’ve spent years cultivating those friendships,” he explains. “They know me and know that I want new and unique stuff, and know that I’ll use it in unique cocktails.”

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Old Tom Fashion

Casa De Amor is a balance between smooth sweetness and exotic fruit flavors, tied together by the tequila, bitters and peppercorns.

2) Old Tom Fashion

Ransom Cast gin
Antica sweet vermouth
Muddled tangerines
Angostura bitters

Aged gin is at the heart of this refreshing take on the Old Fashioned. “I saw [Ransom Cast gin] and just decided to make a cocktail with it,” Camaro recalls. The spirit substitution worked perfectly. The gin and tangerines blend well, and make for a smooth, sophisticated flavor. Old Fashioned aficionados take note.

3) Magic Mule

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Magic Mule

Magic Moments lemongrass-infused vodka
Koval ginger liqueur
Fresh lime juice
Topped with seltzer

Here’s an example of Camoro stumbling upon a unique product and harnessing inspiration. The lemongrass vodka that inspired this drink comes through with strong herbal notes at the forefront of the cocktail. Then the grassy notes mellow into an enjoyable mule with the right subtle ginger kick.

The use of the all-natural ginger liqueur keeps patrons from experiencing heartburn if they drink multiple Magic Mules, Camaro says. Which is good, because it’s a top seller at Room 112.

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Sono Sour

4) Sono Sour

Cat Daddy spiced moonshine
Lemon and orange bitters
Fresh lime juice
Topped with Duck Walk Vineyards Blueberry Port

Another best-seller and another cocktail inspired by a good find. Duck Walk Vineyards is in the Hamptons of New York and produces an unusual port that caught Camaro’s palate. “We’ve been selling it like crazy,” he says of the blueberry wine.

5) Simone

Belvedere unfiltered vodka
Black Hennessey
Pure vanilla
Triple Sec
Cava

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Simone

Red wine
Fresh lime juice

Named for Camaro’s mother, this is a reconstructed sangria. The wine floats to the top and the cocktail flips in flavor halfway through, becoming fruitier and less boozy and creamy when hit the sangria. It’s a natural transition, and a smooth journey throughout.

6) El Nino (Mexican Hot Toddy)

Azteca de oro liqueur
Koval honey liqueur
Fresh lime juice
Hot water
Dried cranberries

This is a handheld steam room. Served in a big round warm bowl, the steam from the cocktail rises generously into your face when drinking. To enjoy the wet hot aromas is therapeutic.

“I named it El Nino rather than a hot toddy because it’s something big and stormy and warm,” Caramo laughs. “That’s just what was in my head at the time.”

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El Nino | Photo by Julie Webel for MaxEx PR.

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Chata

7) Chata

Fugu horchata
Three Sheets rum
Triple Sec
Mint
Summer berries

Caramo came across Fugu horchata in Hawaii and used it in this sleek, smooth, fizzy little number. “I wanted to do something sexy for the ladies,” he explains.

All seven of these cocktails are symbols of how his mind works, and how you can make unique, tasty cocktails just as well based on intuition rather than extensive research.

Kyle Swartz is managing editor of Cheers magazine. Reach him at kswartz@epgmediallc.com. Read his recent piece 6 Flavor Trends In 2017.

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