Name: Domer Rafael
Venue: Manitoba Club
1. Where are you from?
Born and raised in Winnipeg MB
2. How long have you been a bartender and how did you get into bartending?
I have technically been bartending for almost 20 years. I would mix drinks and shots at old high school house parties.
3. Where/when was your first gig? How many bartending jobs have you had?
In the early 2000’s at the old Ramada Inn. I’ve had only a few actual bartender gigs as I did more serving and managing.
4. How did you get involved with your venue?
I started working there as a server back in 2005 and the Manitoba Club is what spearheaded my career in this industry. This is where I gained my passion and appreciation for food, wine, and cocktails. I have recently returned to the Manitoba Club as their Food and Beverage Manager/Sommelier.
5. What kind of cocktails do you serve at your bar/restaurant? What cocktails are your favorites?
We serve mainly the classics, but also have a bar program with a seasonal cocktail menu. My favorites are still the classics (The Old Fashioned or Sazerac).
6. What turns you on about bartending, what are the new trends that are exciting you?
I guess the rush of quenching someone’s thirst and getting them inebriated. I’m still a big fan of incorporating science in cocktails (I hate the term “molecular mixology”) but right now I find savory elements in cocktails very appealing.
7. What’s your cocktail-making style? What are some of your favorite cocktails to make?
I like to push boundaries with obscure ingredients and flavor combos, but my favorite cocktails to make are the classics.
8. What spirit is sexiest to you? Why?
Single Malt Scotch because you can’t fuck with it.
9. What do you drink as a shot?
Fireball (my guilty pleasure)
10. What are some of your favorite ingredients to work with?
Kombucha, peppers and (always) liquid nitrogen
11. Which bartenders have been inspirations for you?
Dave Arnold and Jim Meehan
12. If you could work in any bar in the world for one night where would it be?
13. Where do you head on your night off?
Usually, my couch to relax.
14. What’s your favorite cocktail to order at a bar?
I’m one of those douche bags that loves to tell the bartender to make me anything.
15. Do you have a funny bar story to tell us?
I once did a pop-up bar at a small art studio and used an old tv and a piece of wood as our bar top.
16. What is the most ridiculous cocktail request you had?
A vegan Caesar… I’m sorry, it’s not a Caesar if there’s no clamato juice.
17. What got you into MADE WITH LOVE and how do you feel about the National Finals?
I was managing a few bartenders who competed in Made with Love 2014 and in 2015, I wanted in because it seemed like such a fun event to be a part of. I feel nervous about the competition but I’m glad I am representing Winnipeg with my long time friend David Overwater. YWG will be heading to the National Finals with “guns blazing”.