Borja Cortina, Spain
Varsovia Bar, Gijón
When the family business closed, Borja needed to earn some money quickly, so what else could he turn to but bartending? As well as studying during the week he worked at a café at weekends, and then opened a bar of his own. Borja loves to mix Gimlets, Martinis and Manhattans and he prepared for the Speed Challenge at World Class by practicing mixing these and other classics. He also reads recipes and searches for inspiration in restaurants and cookbooks. “I’m looking forward to getting in touch with the best bartenders around the world” in South Africa, says Borja, “discovering new techniques and ingredients”. Right now he’s playing with some pretty advanced techniques – look out for his cocktails with influences of the sea.