2016-2017 Finalists – David Overwater

Name: David Overwater
City: Winnipeg  

1. Where are you from?
I’ve lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba for most of my life.

2. How long have you been a bartender and how did you get into bartending?
I’ve been behind the bar on and off for about 18 years. I started bartending to pay the University bills.

3. Where/when was your first gig? How many bartending jobs have you had?
First bar job was at a Restaurant called Henry’s Steak House in the lounge. A few draught beers, couple wines by the glass and bottle. Since then I’ve worked over a dozen venues ranging from “beer tub” bars to “craft cocktail” fine dining.

4. How did you get involved with your venue?
I’m currently working in a different field.

5. What cocktails are your favorites?
My favorite cocktails to make are big sweet juicy ones. Hot summertime patio drinks are the best.

6. What turns you on about bartending, what are the new trends that are exciting you?
What I’m loving right now are chartreuse infused cocktails. It’s really exciting to see trends change and evolve in bar service.

7. What’s your cocktail-making style? What are some of your favorite cocktails to make?
My style is a blend of a little classic with light and sweet. Infusing classic flavors with newer liquors that tend to be sweeter. I like making a cocktail I invented called “She’s a Peach”, peach vodka, simple syrup, lemon juice, soda and orange juice. Simple and delicious.

8. What spirit is sexiest to you? Why?
I think the sexiest liquor is St. Germain, sweet and savory with all the right curves.

9. What do you drink as a shot?
Bourbon is my favorite shot, chased with a Labatt 50 or a little cola.

10. What are some of your favorite ingredients to work with?
Some of my favorite ingredients to work with are basil or star anise. They add a unique body and layer of flavor to any cocktail.

11. Which bartenders have been inspirations for you?
My main inspiration came from a bartender I used to work with named Mike Lazer. He taught me about beer pouring rituals, eloquence in service and helped me win the Stella Artois Draught Master competition two years in a row.

12. If you could work in any bar in the world for one night where would it be?
If I could go back in time I would work at the Palomino Club and work with all the old school drink slingers.

13. Where do you head on your night off?
On my nights out I like to go to a lounge, doesn’t matter which, to try new cocktails and food.

14. What’s your favorite cocktail to order at a bar?
My favorite cocktail to order is a “7 and 7”, just like John Travolta from the movie staying alive.

15. Do you have a funny bar story to tell us?
Bar story: One time a guy who just turned 18 cruised up to my bar and ordered a vodka martini, shaken not stirred, like James Bond. I made his the martini and after the first sip, his face went sour, then green. He had to excuse himself and ended up not coming back to finish it. 

16.What is the most ridiculous cocktail request you had?
Most ridiculous request was not a cocktail but a shot, tequila and sweet vermouth, 1/2 and 1/2. Sick…

17. What got you into MADE WITH LOVE and how do you feel about the National Finals?
Although mixology has always been a passion of mine it actually was my friend Domer who got me interested in the competition. Now almost three years later we will both be competing in the final. Being in this competition and going to the finals has been one of the most memorable experiences of my life.

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