Stuart Thompson en Barcelona
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Top 10 Bartenders in Cocteleria Creativa

George Restrepo

The Top Bartenders is a list of the 50 professionals who have contributed to the community of Coctelería Creativa (creative mixology). Get to know in this note a little more about the TOP 10 which opens this list.

1. George Restrepo / 57 recipes
That's me, the one writing. I introduce myself: I've shared 57 recipes with the community and now I own the Cocktail Activist title since 2009. I've chosen the title that was given to me by one good friend, Juanjo González from the Caribbean Cocktail Club, thanks Juanjo! With the award that unconciously I was named by him I feel more confortable. Being activist has something of rebellion, and I like it, some anarchy which I also like because I don't have to belong to any institution if I don't want it. A title that lets me move in every front, the creative and the corporate one, having the advantage that my colleagues don't see me as an enemy or a formula or clients thief either. They see me as the one who throws rocks with formulas attached with elastic bands in order to make the other side -in this case the final consumer- read them. A street warrior that throws flambé signature cocktails in social networks and not exactly molotov. And then, now with my cocktail activist award, I realise that I am involved in this sharing recipes stuff since before starting Coctelería Creativa. We started with Moira, my trip-mate, by the 2009 in a restaurant in Barcelona creating an event called Coctelería Creativa, Primario + George. A monthly meeting in which we presented three cocktails of my authorship paired with one canapé created by Johan Ortega, great chef of the restaurant of whom I learnt a lot about food-pairing and we had fun for 15 months. Like this the first 45 recipes of the site were born. After that counters came, those ones you have to make 50 cocktails in a few minutes, and others where I could create cocktails of large elaboration with premium products with exotic fruits and sofisticated elements; I was in the classrooms teaching this great art and learning a lot from each student who with their questions they challenged me to find the best answer, until arrive to this project that luckily nowadays occupies all my entire time and is my passion.
Some recipes of my authorship: Ceylan Tea Punch / Pink Power / Mango Smooth Margarita / Bloody Marmalade / Larmes de Charente

2. Sergio Padilla / 13 recipes
National and international finalist in recognised cocktail competition, he dominate topics like pairing, improvisation, classic cocktails and service techniques. While he is a champion of Spanish products which he goes on showing them in the Guest Bartending* that he has done in prohibitive counters he has had acces as Nighjar London, Little Red Door Paris, 100 Maneiras Lisbon, hotel W Santiago de Chile, and Sub of Sao Paulo. He learnt to pour to the Venice style and he has done of these techniques something of himself, shaping them to his style. Sergio is one of the renowned bartenders who has made himself by hard work, curious and studious, whom you can follow in his personal blog Trendy Shake. Don't feel weird if you see him as a guest in a different counter bar from th Boca Chica one, his home where he always return, even after an adventure in Madrid, as he confirms, is in Barcelona where his lifelong colleagues are and where he feels more confortable.
Some Sergio's recipes: Apple StormBrigitte Bardot / Chocolate Hills / Infiel / French Fetiche

*About Guest Bartending we reccomend you this note here.

3. Jose Carlos Camps / 12 recipes
In the school he must have been the ideal student. He is like a sponge, he likes to learn, study, he's always alluding in one of his recipes to some book. When I invited him to upload his first recipe, not that long ago, he told me: "I'm not ready". He has been one of the few bartenders who I have insisted until almost forcing him to share one of his recipes; José felt that since being a newcomer in Barcelona and coming from the restaurant industryin Menorca, he had nothing to provide. How wrong he was and how right I was to insist him, because I smelled his enthusiasm and I knew about the great future that awaited him. After that first recipe, the rest have come into his own, really proud and self-confident. So much, that his cocktail Daiquiri 23 un sueño en las nubes (a dream in the clouds) showed him that he was ready to share by winning the semifinal in Barcelona of the World Class 2013. Now, after his great passage in El Paraigua, he is with his great methor, the barman who has influentiated him the most, Alberto Pizarro, teaming up in the Bobby Gin, a neighborhood bar which has gin as surname, but where you can ask for incredible signature cocktails.

Here some recipes of José Carlos: 221B Batch Street / Ópera Prima / Vieux Carré / Bastardita Hot / Zenzero

4. Daniel Madeddu / 12 recipes
Daniel was one of the first that without knowing him nor asking for a recipe, he registered and uploaded, if I'm not wrong, three recipes in a row. ¡¡¡I almost die from happiness!!! He is Italian, computer programmer by profession and educated in hotel trade. Nowadays he works in the Hotel Claris Barcelona as Head Bartender. Daniel has shared practically all his recipes of competitions since he registered himself, and I think that his biggest happiness, and also mine, was when this year he was finalist in Barcelona in the World Class 2013 with his cocktail Golden Dreams.
Here some recipes of Daniel: Apocalipsis / Big Blacks Tea Ten / Champagntreuse / Cremise Tide / Idillyo

5. The Shakin Bros / 11 recipes
They are a dinamic duo: Frankie Galera y Paco Bretau. They know the night like no one and they paired up to make history and also to tell them. They are brain and engine of Slow Barcelona, one of the places called "swines", where the good life-music and the good cocktails pair perfectly and they have had Eusebio Sacristán, Daniel Brühl and Rafael Amargo as clients that can confirm it. Paco is an institution, the recognised father of many bartenders, and the adopting fathers of many others that like me, the day that yo're going to have a drink, ends drinking a lesson. Paco has won many awards, so many that it's better not to ask him because he gets pissed, it's asking too much to the mamory, he says. Frankie, with a lot of years in the night as a DJ and musician, gastronomy lover and great cooker, he ended up studying in the Paco Bretau school, and he was such a good student that he was representing Spain in the world championship of the international cocktail competition organised by the French gin G’Vine in 2012.
Some of his recipes: G Tea / Marco Polo / La Pitiusa / Esencia & Perfume / Grapefruit Lemonade

6. Francesc Cairó / 10 recipes
To see Francesc Cairó you must go to his place, or rather to House, an small and cozy place in the upper part of Barcelona. Francesc dribbles between cocktails and basketball, he is personal friend of NBA style players like Rudy Fernández, Ricky Rubio and of many other players with whom he has played and trained. Since 2007 he manages and serves in House Bar, and despite confirming he haven't had international experience, for me he has done a great career in cocktails, scoring a three-pointer this year: resulting the second in a worldwide level in the GCP of GVine 2013, after having renowned participations in the Mixng Star world championship of Disaronno in 2012 and also in the Med Inspirations of Gin Mare in2011. He has served cocktails for greats of cocktails like Philip Duff, Gaz Regan and Dale DeGroff. If he could run a bar anywhere around the world, he would do it again in Barcelona.
Some of his recipes: Et Dieu Créa La Femme / La Petit Mort / Monkey Island / Old Angostura / Slipper Lady

7. Mauri Jimenez / 9 recipes
Mauri studied Business Sciences and was born in Quito, Ecuador. He is self-taugh althought he has as top bartenders Damiá Mulá Jimeno and Paco Bretau for advice. His counterbar, whih is not anchored in any specific place, sails like a weathercock where the wind drives it or where a client tells him. He offers catering services and mobile counterbars from his page CocktailsPerqueSi, a business that he ran as a business project after finishing his studies. From then, he left the financial books and he dived in the cocktail ones. His personal signature is left in each event, where he puts on practice all the resources a bartender has to differenciate his work, making his own syrups and infusions. For the moment he has been able to impress Danny Cruyff, Johan Cruyff's wife, leader and ex football player, while he wishes one day to serve a Mai Tai -his favourite cocktail- to Beachbum Berry, king of Tiki cocktails.
some of his recipes: Caribbean Inspiration / Ginger Pineapple Margarita / Magnolia / Pale Ginger

8. Giuseppe Baldi / 7 recipes
He was born in Milan, Italy, but he had a London hint left because of his journey through bars and hotels in the United Kingdom capital when he worked, for example, in the Montgomery Place or the Berkeley Hotel, as many others. And as a good gentelman, he has no memory by asking him about which actress or famous character he has got the honour to serve to. Certainly many of them, because since the Banker’s of Mandarin Hotelwhere he currently officiates it's a must for models, actors, national and international politicians. Peppe, as I call him, doesn't know or don't answer; but he politely laughs. He is in the research of the impossible cocktail, and if everything was possible, he would own his own bar in Rio de Janeiro having Tony Conigliaro as a guest or his old workmantes Ago Perrone or Marian Beke.
Some of his recipes: Smith the Voyager / La Geisha / México & Nuvole / Poción de amor / Venganza

9. Yhana Prado / 7 recipes
Yhana's personality inside and outside the counterbar is charming. She is the owner of a smile that transmits an enchanting latin roguery and an special talet for mixtures, which have made her excel in more than ten competitions in the last years. If you can't see her competing you will be able to do it as a jury or giving a masterclass of classic cocktails. And because the classic is often the base for signature cocktails, she is one of the professionals I have to thank more for being in this list. Being woman and having a sensitive and an aesthetic sense make that her everyday as a Director and Barmaid of Milano Cocktail Bar in Barcelona, makes her a fully professional. Yhana is from my school, the one which creates inside the mind and after that in a paper, or even better, in the counterbar. I really like that Yhana is this top 10, and I would like to see more Yhanas in the top 50. Go for it! Maybe one day they would have the pleasure to serve to Javier Bardem or Penélope Cruz, or Buenafuente or Loquillo as she has got it.
Some of her recipes: Gold Walker / Sarare Gold / Sparkling Gold / Terepaima Cinnamon / Liotard

10. Simone Guido / 7 recipes
I met Simone by the time I was giving cocktail seminars. He was in an advanced cocktail course. It was around the 2009 and one of the first calls for cocktails competition was released; when social networks didn't explode as they do now and when it wasn't so easy to notice what was going on in the bartending world. The competition was called Heering Asesorize, and the rivals were bartenders and fashion designers. He competed in Singapur, in the hotel where the Singapure Sling was invented. Simone has been one of the firsts Spanish representatives of independent challenges, when he has excelled. His last great feat behind the counterbar is being the propietor of his own bar. There he claims that you must be disciplined and constant if you want to take into accounts your divisions, purchases, mixing cocktails and stand out in cocktail competitions, as the Diageo World Class, wherein he achieved to be semifinalist the year 2013 representing Spain
Some of his recipes: Bonavida / Mai Christmas Tai / Rocco Siffredi / Sexy Cooler / Smoke 23

Discover the whole ranking here.

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