UNIUN, Cabana Pool Bar
My most recent bartending jobs consist of Cabana Pool Bar, Uniun, Sound Academy and I’ve recently gotten a chance to dip my feet into management at Bananas in Wasaga beach.
Why did you become a bartender?
For the same reason anyone gets into Bartending: Cold hard cash! I never expected to fall in love with it though. I became extremely passionate about bartending and worked my ass off to build a name for myself.
What made you want to work at the bar at which you’re currently bartending?
With Cabana, I really wanted to do something different and something that challenged me. Cabana appealed to me on so many levels: The location and the vibe, the demanding and fast-paced environment and the opportunity to work with some of the best bartenders in the business. It was like nothing I’ve ever experienced.
When my previous boss Enzo Grossi approached me with an opportunity to step outside the bar and manage Bananas at Wasaga Beach this summer, I looked at that as an amazing new challenge that I was ready to take on. Enzo has been such an amazing person to work for in the past and a true inspiration. I welcomed the opportunity to contribute to his success.
What are some fun flavors you’re working with?
Last summer at Cabana, I created this drink that fit all my needs at the time: Somersby Apple Cider, Yellow Red Bull and a shot of Peach Ciroc. It was the perfect blend of sweet, strong and refreshing with a kick of caffeine that I desperately needed for those long hours. It also worked great as an upsell J
What are some of the unique spirits and ingredients you’re playing with?
Bacon infused Vodka! I found a recipe online on how to make your own flavored spirits and thought it would be a fun spin on the classic Caesar.
What do you feel is the next hot trend in mixology?
I feel like the trends are largely influenced by what people see on T.V or in movies. A few years back “Avion” Tequila made a big splash because of Entourage. Then it was the return of the Old Fashioned thanks to Ryan Gosling and “Crazy Stupid Love”. Ciroc took off when P. Diddy put his name on it in 2007. Hollywood will dictate the next hot trend in mixology as they do with fashion, beauty and anything else.
What’s popular right now in the mixing glass or shaker for your customers?
I feel like the Negroni is coming back! I’ve been getting more requests for those lately.
What are you sipping on and why?
I love my red wine and my Jack Daniels. I’ll take my jack straight, on ice or with a little bit of Drambuie for added sweetness. I am obsessed with the taste and smell of JD.
What are you dancing to while tending bar?
I’m a big dancer. For those that come to see me at the bar, they can be sure to see me twirling, jumping and singing along to whatever’s playing. My faves right now are DJ Snake, AlunaGeorge and The Chainsmokers – “Roses and Money”, “Ayo” by Chris Brown and Tyga, and “This is what you came” for by Calvin Harris. When I used to work with Mark Oliver, he’d always be sure to throw in a Lenny Kravitz song for me in the midst of his set.
What are some quirks/quotes you are known for?
My boss Enzo and my old barback Giorgio are insane at impressions and they love to do one of me. Apparently, I have this signature move when I see my regulars: I flip my hair, strut to my well, move all my liquor to the side (dramatically) and hop on the bar to say hi. They make fun of me all the time for it.
Whats the most memorable thing to happen to you while at work?
I used to bartend at a Gentlemen’s Club called Spearmint Rhino. We used to have a lot of memorable encounters with patrons and dancers including love letters from jail, and letters from crazies claiming to be doing Jesus’s work. We also used to get a lot of famous porn stars making appearances. One night, a well-known porn star handed me the key to her hotel room asking me to come see her after my shift. I didn’t go but it was definitely memorable to get the invite lol.
A famous billionaire once said “Dont trust a brilliant idea, unless it survives
the hangover”. What’s your beer mantra?
“Hold your drink in your left hand. Your right hand is for shaking hands, signing autographs and slapping Asses. And in case you need to knock someone out, you can do so without putting your drink down”
Bartender Of The Month is a new feature on Torontonightclub.com where we profile some of your favorite bartenders throughout southern ontario. If you know anyone that deserves some recognition, message us!