There is nothing like a lockdown to get me bored out of my mind.
I’ve explored many forms of entertainment: binged Netflix/Viu/Google Play shows/movies, baked, explored fitness regimens, trained my dogs…
…but I’m still bored.
I realized, well… At the risk of unnecessarily sounding like an alcoholic, I love alcohol. It’s not about the feeling of inebriation, though. As an alcohol geek, I missed exploring its cerebral side.
With the alcohol ban putting a damper on discovering new things, it was a challenge trying to find something new on all things booze.
Enter an invite from one of Metro Manila’s alcohol legends, Richie Cruz.
For the benefit of readers outside the Philippine alcohol industry, Cruz is the bartending legend behind Center for Bartending and Tourism Academy, Inc. in Marikina. With several international bartending awards* and years of work experience** under his belt, he has developed an authentic, approachable, pay-it-forward, “sharing is caring” spirit that is keen on sharing the knowledge he’s accumulated over the years.
Sadly, he’s had to temporarily close his facilities (ugh, COVID), but he’s still pretty active on social media. His Instagram account hosts live, candid conversations with fellow bar legends from around the world, all eager to share their inputs on keeping the bartending industry afloat during and after the crisis… with a bunch of witty, inspirational anecdotes guaranteed to make anyone want to pick up a cocktail shaker and mix up a good one at home. I particularly enjoyed his conversation with Dale DeGroff (author of many bartending books people in the industry use, including The Craft of the Cocktail). There were also conversations with Andrea Fidora (Business Development Manager of one of my favorite cocktail mixers, Monin), Jillian Vose (Beverage Director of 2016’s World’s Best Bar, The Dead Rabbit NYC), Natalie Migliarini (who I adore because of her at-home bartending and her book, Beautiful Booze: Stylish Cocktails to Make at Home), GN Chan of Double Chicken Please NYC (and winner of the Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition)… among others.
There is so much more he’s got in store, so keep tuning in to his IG account, @richiecruise, for updates. I do believe he’s got something up tomorrow, 27 May at 9pm. 😉
*Cruz has had stints in Holland America Line, Pinoytender Management Consultancy, Celebrity Cruises, Casa Armas, and The Peninsula Manila; as well as teaching stints in various educational institutions
**Cruz’s awards include Bacardi Legacy National Champion – Philippines, Glenfiddich Most Experimental Bartender, Giffard Coctail Competition (Semi-Finalist – Philippines), and Ancho Reyes Cocktail Champion – Philippines
Dale Degroff’s photo courtesy of Imbibe Magazine
Andrea Fidora’s photo courtesy of spiceslicebite.com
Jillian Vose’s photo courtesy of punchdrink.com
Natalie Migliarini’s photo courtesy of thefeedfeed.com
GN Chan’s photo courtesy of dekitdekit.com