August 17, 2016

We had the privilege to speak with Stephen Pinto – a budding mixologist from Dubai – about what’s really involved in bartending.

You’ll find Stephen shaking cocktails and greeting customers at the Grosvenor House Hotel; a modern building located on the Dubai Marina promenade.

Prospering off mixing cocktails and making guests dreams with a magical mixture, we spoke with him about the truth of mixology and rising to the top.

What personality traits do you need when bartending?

Most importantly, you need passion, great hospitality and a fun and creative spirit. Skilled professions need to be capable of making drinks whilst multitasking and working under pressure – all with a smile.

What’s it like being a bartender in Dubai?

Bartending In Dubai

Dubai is one of the biggest destinations in the world and it’s renowned for its amazing night life. Being a bartender in Dubai is one of the best jobs I could ever imagine doing.

It’s great fun to work here and as most of our customers are tourists, it’s great to know we are at the top of the list in the hospitality industry.

What are many misconceptions about being a bartender?

Being a bartender looks a lot easier than what it actually is. There are many hours spent preparing, cleaning up and catering to the demands of people who have no concept of a bartender’s responsibility.

As a bartender, we are like the parent at a slumber party; continually making sure everyone else is having fun, whilst trying to keep the mischievous ones out of trouble.

Once the kids go to bed, we’re up late cleaning the mess!

Bartending involves multi-tasking and having a quick memory recall, merely because we have to do everything at once.

A misconception is that you only need to make great cocktails, but being able to make three Manhattans at once whilst taking a beer order, running a credit card and being eye-pulled by 10 strangers is a completely different story.

Most decent bartenders can multi-task like maniacs. Good ones can do it whilst keeping their drinks to a high standard, and only the best can pull it off while maintaining a hospitable smile.

We’re typecast as being great listeners, but in actuality, we give advice in every shift like a professional counsellor does at a session – but without the baggage of a ticking clock (and a whopping bill!).

Some people are closer to bartenders than their own relatives. It’s the human interaction which draws customers in to us.

You might run into a gruff bartender who doesn’t want to chat, but most are pretty outgoing people. They wouldn’t be in this industry if they didn’t like talking to strangers… strangers who tip them well that is.

The amazing thing about bartending is that you can rise to the top if you’re passionate enough and travel all around the world mixing spirits and flourishing in new cultures.

For any of you interested in a mixology career in Dubai, it’s difficult, but not impossible.

Expats should understand that companies have to pay for the entire recruitment process, so given the choice on someone who lives outside of Dubai, or a mixologist in the vibrant city, they’ll reduce expenditure and go with a local hire.

There are plenty of ways to turn your dream of working abroad into reality by speaking with recruitment agencies, cold calling bars and hotels and making your CV shine with bar experience.

There’s no limit to where bartending can take you.

Do you serve in an exciting city? Tweet us or write to us on Facebook to share your bartending tale.