Dani started to work as Bartender in Sainsexo, the 'Marbella of northern Spain', and from there he went to London, Las Palmas in Gran Canaria and Brazil, where he grew up and learned the art of an unforgettable Caipirinha.
Now back in London and joining the team at 144 On The Hill, there's no doubt that Dani has mastered the art of creating a great cocktail.
Here we sit down with Dani to find out the secrets behind his Brazilian bar flair…
What do you like about working as a bartender?
It’s got to be making my customers happy. I like to surprise them with my drinks. There’s nothing better than when you have someone approach your bar who has been ordering the same cocktail for the last ten years, and you still find a way to surprise them by delivering their favourite tipple in the perfect way with dedication and care. It’s a great thing to watch their faces change when they take that first sip.
What cocktail do you love making the most?
I am all about perfecting the classics but I guess, as a Brazilian, the Caipirinha has a special place in my heart.
The secret trick to making a great one is to cut the lime properly - if you miss that you miss everything. And, it’s really simple. All you need to do is to cut out the little root from the lime, before slicing and squeezing it into your glass and topping up with your ice and 70cl Cachaça.
One of the more modern trends in bartending which I do really like is the introduction of syrup. Syrup has totally changed cocktails like the Caipirinha as it means you no longer get those gritty bits of sugar blocking the straw. It’s so much better!
How would you describe the night life in Richmond?
It is very laid back, and has such a different feel compared to the centre of London. The life here is much more chilled, and all of the people are so sophisticated and pleasant!
I also think that the new bar and restaurant,144 On The Hill, perfectly matches this atmosphere and suits the people who live in the local area.
What do you like about working at 144 On The Hill?
I love the neighbourhood, the customers who come here, the equipment and that the venue has been renovated to such a high standard in the last year by Russell Sage Studio. It makes such a difference to come into a venue that looks so modern and trendy.
Having recently moved back to London, I hope to bring my patience and passion to the bar as well as my experience from my previous roles working abroad. Being Brazilian, I also like to have my bar team in order almost like a football team – I want them to have fun but I also want to make sure they’re developing the skills they need for the role on a continuous basis. You can’t become an excellent bartender without constant practice and dedication.
And your favourite drink to wind down?
Although I make a lot of cocktails at work, I have to admit that I’m a beer man myself. Japanese beers in particular are so crisp and refreshing and my favourite is an Asahi, as it goes so well with lots of dishes. Saying that, in autumn I also really enjoy a warming glass of Malbec wine, like the Puro Organic Malbec, an Argentinian wine we have on the wine list.
Feeling inspired? We’re always on the look out for aspiring bartenders. To find out more about careers at 144 On The Hill or to apply for a role please email firstname.lastname@example.org
View all vacancies here.