^
Keep New Times Free
4

Julio Cabrera Mentoring Young Miami Bartenders

Most people take time to consider the care taken by the chef to prepare their meals. But, until recently, the same respect wasn't always afforded to bartenders. But if you really think about what's in that cocktail, you'll find the same, if not more attention to detail. Before a bartender serves you that drink, there were bitters to be made, juices to be squeezed, and even fresh herbs to be grown. A mixologist, more than ever, is a noble profession that takes years of training. Cantinero Julio Cabrera wants to mentor the next round of bartenders coming up.

The award-winning mixologist is much in demand, having been named a managing partner at the Regent Cocktail Club and consulting on cocktail programs for Little Havana's Ball & Chain and the Thompson Miami Beach. But even with a full dance card, Cabrera feels its necessary to take time out to share his skills. The master mixologist has teamed up with Bacardi to teach a cantinero's master class, sort of an advanced degree in bartending.

See also: Julio Cabrera: Gentleman Bartender

Cabrera, who started bartending in Cuba in 1989, says he learned his skills through mentorship and wants to pay that forward. "In Cuba I learned from the best people. Then, I moved to Italy and studied the best bartenders there. Here in the states, I learned from masters like Dale DeGroff."

Now a master himself, Cabrera wants to share his knowledge with a new crop of bartenders. "I want to teach young bartenders in Miami to be the most professional bartenders in the country. I think it's something that Miami deserves." Cabrero's first master class is now underway, with Miami's elite teaching younger bartenders at Bacardi USA headquarters in Coral Gables. After learning all they can, it's up to each person to develop their own style.

Cabrera's style?

"I guess I would call it elegant, classic, and stylish. I think it took about 25 years to create my own style, which is the cantinero, but with European influences from Italy, with a bit of American bartender, as well. That's what we strive for at the Regent Cocktail Club. Elegant with a lot of technique. It's old school with modern ways."

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

As managing partner of the Regent Cocktail Club, Cabrera's goal is to keep the integrity of the cocktail alive. "We are going to keep the concept of the classic cocktail. We currently have about 15 drinks on the menu, and we'll add about 15 more." Cabrera is also planning a series of cocktail making classes for non-professionals who want to learn at the hands of a master. "This is just in the planning stages, but we would love to do some seminars at the Regent."

The well-traveled cantinero says that Miami's bartending scene has evolved much in just a short span of time. "We're doing really well. I remember five years ago, there were just two or three bars in Miami with only a handful of really skilled bartenders. But now, the Miami cocktail scene is probably at the same level as Seattle or Boston. We're not quite on par with San Francisco or New York, but we'll get there. I predict that in the next two years or so, we'll double what we have now. A lot of good things are happening. I'm excited about the future and I want to be a part of that."

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.

Follow Short Order on Facebook, Twitter @Short_Order, and Instagram @ShortOrder.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.