When Bartenders Talk - Carina Soto Velasquez
In our new book Where Bartenders Drink 300 expert drink-makers reveal 750 spots across 60 countries
Colombian-born, Paris-educated Carina Soto Velasquez is a bar owner, mixologist and the CEO of Quixotic Projects, a Paris-based hospitality company which owns and manages such acclaimed venues as Candelaria, Glass, Le Mary Celeste, and Hero. Vogue described Velasquez and her colleagues as one of a wave of newcomers shaking up the French capital’s hospitality scene.
She's also one of the contributors to our new book Where Bartenders Drink. In it, the best 300 expert drink-makers share their secrets - 750 spots spread across 60 countries - revealing where they go for a drink throughout the world when they're off-duty. Venues range from late-night establishments and legendary hotel bars to cosy neighbourhood 'locals' - often in some very surprising locales.
The 750 expert recommendations come with insightful reviews, key information, specially commissioned maps, and an easy-to-navigate geographical organization.
Written and compiled by the native New Yorker Adrienne Stillman, the co-founder, editor-in-chief, and event director of Dipsology, a curated digital guide and online community for cocktail enthusiasts, it's pretty much the only guide you need to ensure that you get the best drinks in the most memorable global locations.
Over the past few weeks we've been interviewing some of the bartenders ad contributors in it and today we're talking to Carina.
Where are you from and and how did you get into this line of work? My mom is Colombian my father is Chilean, I was born in France but I'm not French, I grew up in Colombia and my parents live there today. I have lived in France for the past 13 years (I'm still not French officially but have all my businesses in Paris and my career). I like to say I'm From Medellin//Paris.
I started working at a young age in Medellin. I worked at a dive bar from 21:00 to closing and in a office 12:00 to 20:00. The office job didn't work for me and was the only place I have ever got fired, I was terrible at it. When I moved to Paris I was studying and needed to work nights and weekends. I started working in restaurants and invested so much of myself that I started managing and training people. I fell in love with the service industry. But being far from my family was tough.
What's the one thing about being a bartender that would surprise people?
Your capacity to listen. If you are a good listener you are a good bartender.
What's your favourite cocktail to make and why do you like making it? I enjoy making Negronis. I love playing with the ingredients!
Do cocktails go in and out of fashion? Cocktails are like food: the classic things will be always be around and when they are well executed it's always a pleasure, but I do believe bartenders shape their own style of work and want to be recognized by their creativity. I don't think there's one next ingredient. Definitely the next movement is being local and by being local I mean not only sourcing local ingredients or spirits but also glassware, tools - promoting a local identity.
What do you do when you’re not mixing? I don't bartend anymore on a daily basis. But I love to dance!
Check out Where Bartenders Drink in the store and check back in the coming days for another interview with one of its star mixologists.