WORLD CLASS GLOBAL WINNER 2013

DAVID RIOS, Spain

David started working in bars aged 18, but a party thrown in a bar two years later got him really interested. The owner commissioned a set of cocktails, and he was hooked.

He became a sommelier and matre d, first at the three-star Michelin restaurant Mugaritz, and then contributing to the opening of the Sheraton Hotel in Bilbao.

But his love of cocktails didnt leave him and so, with his brother, he now owns Caf Kobuk, Jigger Bar, and a catering company, Kobuk Events.

David describes himself as mainly self-taught in bartending although I have attended a few courses. Known for his great ability to present cocktails to guests and competition judges, he is an outstanding bartender.

Before David serves his next drink

Where do you start?
My style is classic with a hint of modern touch. My presentation skills are one of my biggest strengths.

Sounds impressive. Give us a flavour you cant do without.
I love bitter flavours and a citrus taste. I cant walk past the green lemons of my mothers lemon trees without smelling or tasting them.

What Reserve brand would you mix those with?
Because of the Gin & tonic boom in Spain, I would choose Tanqueray No.10 or Don Julio and Zacapa.

What question to do you like guests to ask?
Surprise me. People have traditionally asked for the drink and brand; now they are beginning to trust the professional.

Tell us about World Class.
Its given me more events, more courses in which I can teach people about cocktails.

And your biggest influence?
Giuseppe Santamaria, Manabu Ohtake, Dennis Zoppi, Takumi Watanabe and Erik Lorincz for his elegance and personality.

Whats changing?
The guest. Theyre drinking less, but higher quality. Were also in an era where the bartenders are getting more recognition, and closer to the celebrity of
the major chefs.

What about your plans?
My aspirations are to make customers happy and to get the experience across to new generations.

Thanks for talking. Where are we going next?
OClock in Madrid for a great grog cocktail.