Cuba celebrates Bartender Day

Cuba celebrates Bartender Day

Heritage & Traditions

By Mercy Ramos Photos: José (Tito ) Meriño

The bartender or barmen, that professional who is behind a bar every day to delight numerous clients with his or her mixtures, is celebrating today, as in Cuba since 1951 every October 7 pays tribute to these bar magicians.

Much can be said about the job of the bartender or barmen. Some may think that it is always fun, but it must be considered that sometimes they are faced with perhaps capricious or bad-tempered people. However, this professional is always ready to satisfy his clients willingly.

As the journalist Fernando Campoamor, friend of the famous American writer and Nobel Prize winner in Literature Ernest Hemingway wrote about these professionals: “These men exist. They are barmen, imaginative and creative, ice craftsmen, potion poets, imbued with genuine love for their work. They have their own personality and style. They put something of themselves, of their most intimate self, in each drink they prepare: a part of them is in the cocktail, giving it life. All their cocktails have color and aroma and a new flavor; and within its sparkling crystal shell, ice always sings. The bartender is an artist. Your five senses are superbly tuned. And they have a sixth sense: the sense of cocktails”.

This profession, which until the beginning of the 80s of last century was exclusively male, currently has many women, who carry out their work with great pride.

In this regard, Bárbara Betancourt, a bartender at the Café Concert Gato Tuerto in Havana, considers that being a bartender is bringing satisfaction and life to the mix, interacting with people and seeing their joy when the job is well done. 

For making a woman even more important, it makes her more independent and strengthens her as a human being.

Being a bartender “is an art to love and respect, to teach and help other young people. The art of mixing is, like all manifestations, necessary for the soul”, added Barbarita.

Cuba was a pioneer in the world in the founding of a Club of Bartenders in 1924, which became the Association of Bartenders of Cuba (ACC) in 1999. The largest of the Antilles is an official member of the International Barmen Association since 2003. 

The most sincere congratulations to all professionals in the sector on behalf of Cubaplus magazine.