Name: Jasmine Radu
Venue: Uva Wine & Cocktail Bar
City: Vancouver, BC
1. Where are you from?
2. How long have you been a bartender and how did you get into bartending?
Just under 4 years.
3. Where/when was your first gig? How many bartending jobs have you had?
I first started bartending in Nicaragua when I was 18, however, my first bartending job returning back to Canada was at The Speakeasy on Broadway, and then shortly after I moved up from Barista to Bartender at Bridges Restaurant on Granville Island. I worked those two jobs (both full time) for awhile then landed at my first cocktail bar which is where I still am today as the Lead Bartender.
4. How did you get involved with your venue?
I applied on Craigslist to an add which didn’t list which place it was, although it’s description made me believe it was Uva. Then heard back from Lauren Mote, the Bar Manager at the time, and we sat down for an interview where she grilled me for about an hour! It was awesome.
5. What kind of cocktails do you serve at your bar/restaurant? What cocktails are your favorites?
We just revamped our cocktail list, it’s a collaboration of all our bartenders’ original cocktails. I’m always a fan of classics, but I really enjoy to see what other cocktails the team come up they are all very creative and have completely different styles.
6. What turns you on about bartending, what are the new trends that are exciting you?
For me it’s about making the guest happy, this is very important to me, there’s no greater feeling than knowing your guest is leaving your venue feeling thrilled about their time there. I think we’ve gotten to a time in bartending where trends shouldn’t affect people’s styles, I just come up with whatever I feel like making that day! Ideas come to bartenders in the strangest ways, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the latest trend.
7. What’s your cocktail-making style? What are some of your favorite cocktails to make?
Again that depends on what I feel like, and what the guest feels like. Most drinks are the same when it comes to making them, sometimes you’re in the mood for something spirit forward and other times you want something bright and refreshing.
8. What spirit is sexiest to you? Why?
Scotch! Nothing like drinking a nice peated Scotch.
9. What do you drink as a shot?
Hmm, probably a shot of Jameson, or Fernet Branca.
10. What are some of your favorite ingredients to work with?
Fresh and seasonal ingredients, or some random item or flavors that you’d never think of trying to create something interesting and delicious.
11. Which bartenders have been inspirations for you?
Everyone I’ve worked with and still work with at Uva! Also any of the talented bartenders who’s bar I’m sitting at, I find myself inspired every day by the many bartenders of the world!
12. If you could work in any bar in the world for one night where would it be?
Oh! So many! But if I’d have to choose, The American Bar at The Savoy Hotel in London.
13. Where do you head on your night off?
Usually, one of the many cocktail bars where my friends are usually working, other times I’m headed to the sports bar.
14. What’s your favorite cocktail to order at a bar?
I’m a big fan of Campari, so I’d either be drinking a Campari and soda if I’m trying to take it easy or a Negroni if I’m feeling for something a bit more boozy.
15. Do you have a funny bar story to tell us?
Haha, there are so many, most are probably not appropriate to say out loud considering I don’t want to call any guests out on it! Although something funny between the staff at Uva is we are constantly breaking glassware (some of us even have the nickname ‘smash’) sometimes we even place bets on how many glasses we will break in a busy shift and just hope we won’t have to burn a well that night!
16. What is the most ridiculous cocktail request you had?
Hmm, that’s a tough one there are so many weird ones! It’s not a cocktail but I had a group of people order quite a pricey bottle of red wine (approx. $200) and one of the guests asked for ice to put in hers, but I guess you want what you want! Haha.
17. What got you into MADE WITH LOVE and how do you feel about the National Finals?
I was a late joiner after having my first competition only a week prior to the event. I did know some people who had either attended previous years or competed so I was able to get a feel of what it was going to be like. It was an honor to win judges choice last year and I look forward to competing again in Montreal, let’s have some fun!