Foodie

July 31, 2020

Miami's Drink Experts

Miami is known for it's mean cocktails! We've got two Miami mixologists who have perfected the craft and bound to give

you the quintessential drink each time.  

Valentino longo @valentino_longo

This prestigious bartender, born in Italy, began his career in Hotel De Russie led by Massimo D`Addezio. At that time the “De Russie” was the best hotel bar in Italy. To learn English, he moved to London; the city known as the “Mecca” for bartending and bartenders. After his studies, he crossed with one of the executive managers of the Four Seasons who informed him about an exciting new project happening in Surfside. He got the job while the hotel was under construction and was able to travel to Japan for one month of intensive training at bars in Tokyo and Osaka. When he returned [in April 2017], it was the start of his journey

and career at Le Sirenuse.

Where are you from?

I was born in Rome, Italy. 

 

What has brought you to Miami and how long have you've here?

I came here almost 5 years ago now, I was in charge for a Cocktail Bar in Rome, and they decided to open a second location in Miami. When I came the first time I felt in love straight away and I ask for a transfer.

 

First drink you ever made? 

I believe it was definitely an Aperol Spritz or a Negroni . 

 

What cocktails competitions have you won? 

I love doing cocktail competition. I did several in my career. You always learn something new from each of them. Definitely the most important was the "Most Imaginative Bartender" sponsored by Bombay Sapphire and "Tales of the Cocktail." Nine months of competition with quarter finals in Miami, semifinals in Austin and after a trip to London. The final was in Chicago, with 12 of the best bartenders in US we competed for three days through three different challenges. That was definitely the most difficult competition that I ever did, but definitely worth it. 

 

When did you know bartending was your forte?

I come from a family of restaurateurs , my sister is a chef and my grandma had a restaurant. But I realized 

that this was my work after a trip to Greece, where I fell in love for a small cocktail bar. From that moment I decided that I wanted to open my very own place. 

 

Any projects in the work?

Yes, thanks to the victory of MIB , Bombay Sapphire and Tales of the Cocktail gave me a budget for opening my very own project. I have been working on it for the last couple of months and I can’t wait to share more infos with you all.

 

Any special bartender abilities? 

Make people happy? haha 

 

Do you have a signature drink?

I love classics in general. I definitely love to make a good Negroni or a good martini !  

 

Perfect drink for the perfect date would be…

Espresso Martini with just a touch of vodka. You might need some energy but you don’t want to get to drunk  

 

The golden question: What makes  your drinks so special?

I’m not sure if they’re special, but definitely for each drink I make I try to put all my effort into it. I take care in the drink-making in the same way a Michelin Star chef care for his dish. But it is also truly important to understand that it isn’t just the drink, it is the hospitality, the smile, the ambience, the music just by having all of this you’ll be able to make a good drink .

Danilo Dacha Bozovic @danilodacha.bozovic

Danilo Dacha Bozovic

Having started his bartending career at the prime age of 20, this professional bartender founded his own bar school called Belgrade Bartending Academy. He was the Bar Manager and GM of the hottest night club in Belgrade, Serbia called “Magacin” and one of the best cocktail bars in Belgrade Serbia “Red Roster”. After being offered the position of bar manager at EO’s sister concept, Macao Trading Co., he penned his first book Barkeep: A Guide To Becoming A Professional Bartender in 2016. After a few years, Bozovic was given a partner position that led him to Miami where he opened Employees Only Miami and its neighboring bar, Swizzle, a tropical hideaway focused on rums from around the world.

Where are you from?

I am from Belgrade, Serbia originally  

 

What was the first drink you ever made? 

I made drinks prior to becoming a bartender, playing with ingredients, etc but the first drink that I made behind the bar was a Cuba Libre.  

 

Any unique places you’ve been a bartender?

Yes, I’ve had the pleasure to work at many amazing spots and do many amazing projects    Where do you currently bartend?You can find me at Swizzle Rum Bar & Drinkery any day of the week, especially on our Rare & Forgotten Spirits when we make specialty drinks with rare and not so much known and popular spirits.    

 

Any special bartender abilities? 

I used to compete in flair while I was living in Serbia. I took the first place in 2008 in a flair competition in Pula, Croatia and after that I started to focus less on flair and more on mixology.   

 

What have you published?

I have published in 2016 my first book called Barkeep “The Guide To Becoming a Professional Bartender.”  

 

Any Collabs you’d like to share with us?

Latest exciting projects were the collaboration with Buchanan’s Whisky and J Balvin on the 

#buchanansmixes project as well as the release of J Balvins Newest Album “Behind the Colores”. Also I am working on my Barkeep Book to be made into an audio book, as well as finishing the details about Beverage Consulting for A Luxury Hotel Group AUBERGE RESORTS COLLECTION and their resort in Austin, Texas

The Commodore Perry Estate.    

 

The perfect drink for the perfect date would be…

Great question. It all depends on the feel at that moment but to start the date with a Classic Negroni or a glass of Champagne, one can never go wrong.   

 

The golden question: What makes your drinks so special? 

Every bartender has a special approach to the drinks one makes. I think that being in the moment and transferring how you feel, while building your drink by taste, will result in the most unique experience possible for your guests and the bartender.

 

That is a method that we hold dearly in our cocktail bar Swizzle Rum Bar & Drinkery, where five of the original bartenders of Employees Only Miami and me are partners in, what has been a very successful venture.

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