Igor Pachi first arrived in Australia from Brazil over a decade ago. Working in bars to supplement travel, Igor discovered a passion for the creativity of bartending, was drawn to it and never left! For the past few years Igor was the cornerstone at Assembly Bar in Sydney, holding the Group Operations Management role, before recently taking on a role with Bacardi. Drinks World’s Lukas Raschilla caught up with Igor to chat about the industry and his new role.
LUKAS RASCHILLA: Tell me about your first job in the industry?
IGOR PACHI: Like many young people, I started out working in bars as part of my travels, pouring beers in exchange for free food and drink! I enjoyed the social side of making friends around the world, but I had no idea back then that this would become my life’s passion and career.
LR:When did you first discover your love of bartending?
IP: Travelling! Visiting different places around the world, discovering
new cultures and making friends along the way, usually involving a bar! When I finally settled into a career in graphic design – being in front of a computer screen or making presentations on packaging, market strategy and design, I began to realise how much I missed the social and creative buzz of the bar environment. So I followed my heart back into the place I love most and for the last 12 years, I’ve been exploring and experimenting with different combinations of ingredients, flavours and aromas in the wonderful world of cocktail bartending, where innovation is encouraged and creativity thrives. I feel so lucky to have unlocked my love of design into a career that I am truly passionate about.
LR: Why did you first move to Sydney?
IP: The culture! The unique, open-minded, young and multi-cultural society that is Sydney. After 10 years of living in this amazing country, I’m now proud and honoured to be an Australian citizen. Since I first set foot here many years ago, I’ve never really left Australia. My love for the country and especially the growing professionalism of the bar industry has grown.
LR: How do you view the Australian bar scene?
IP: Australia is up there as one of the most inspiring bar scenes in the world. I’m really proud to be part of the movement that’s setting ever- increasing standards of professionalism, welcoming more women as bartenders and developing young, upcoming talent. Operators have had to work hard to overcome the difficulties that the new lockout laws have forced us to address and, as a result, the industry has become stronger and has a better future ahead of it.
LR:You’ve recently taken a role with Bacardi, can you tell me about the new role and what you’ll be doing?
IP: I love to set myself new challenges and I’ve been thinking of moving
to the supplier side of the industry for some time now. As a bartender
I’ve really got to know every single brand that’s out there and I’ve been especially impressed by the quality of the Bacardi portfolio of premium spirits – including Grey Goose vodka, Bombay Sapphire gin, Dewar’s scotch whisky and all the single malts, and of course Bacardi rums and the versatility they bring to great cocktail making. As the Australia and New Zealand Brand Ambassador in Global Travel Retail, I’m now responsible
for increasing the standard of excellence in promotions and strategies that bring our brands to life in cruise and airports. My mission is to inspire travellers to love our brands and to give them unforgettable, high quality cocktail experiences as part of their vacation and travels. You will still see me around a lot in Sydney’s bars as I’ll be working closely with the domestic team in Australia – after all we share the same consumer, they’re just in a different place when they’re travelling to when they’re at home. We’re keen to develop much stronger links between our travel and domestic markets for this reason.
LR: One of your first loves is skateboarding. Do you still get out and skate these days?
IP: Not as much as I used to or as I’d like to, but it’s still a life-long passion that’s been with me since I was about four years old in my home country of Brazil. Back in the early 90s I was into it big time, I was ambitious and skateboarding hard for sponsorship – with a little bartender moonlighting on the side! In fact, I started a company in partnership with a good friend, which we called Elaborate Skateboarding. The philosophy was all about ‘elaborating your life’ and we literally took that to heart as a lifestyle for several years. Just like my other loves of art and design, I’ve now found a way to adapt this passion of elaborating my life, although now it’s towards different goals.
The original of this article can be found in our Drinks World Australia magazine.