The countdown is on to the Rio Olympics, with the Opening Ceremony just around the corner (Saturday the 6th of August). We took to Brazil’s Carioca bars to see how local bartenders plan to pull in the Olympic crowd.
Tai Barbin is a bartender working at the modern French bistro Bar D’Hôtel, Rio de Janeiro. Since joining the team in May 2016, the self proclaimed “Mixologista” has won numerous accolades, including Best Cocktails card (VEJA Rio), Best Drinks Letter (Epoca Magazine) and one of the Best Drink Cards of Brazil titles (Prazeres da Mesa).
I am! I believe that, similar to the World Cup in 2014, we have tourists from the four corners of the world united by sport in the wonderful city that is Rio de Janeiro. For three weeks we will hold the world’s attention, and with that comes a lot of responsibility. We are ready with open arms and we will do our best to receive tourists in the best possible way!
How are you preparing to receive customers during the Olympics?
We are already fully booked for this period, I believe that we have a high flow of tourists beyond the habitués customers in Rio de Janeiro. One of our prerequisites is to serve customers in English.
Will you be changing the bar service in the lead up to and during the Olympics?
Being a cocktail bar in a hotel, we already have our style of service focused on tourism and how to deal with this customer profile.
What ingredients are on trend currently in Brazil?
For the Olympics we are betting on handmade products that are hardly found in other parts of the world, we have produced many bitters with unique products like Amburana tincture (Brazilian wood), in addition to the best on the interest of tourists for cocktails with cachaça.
Will you be creating any special cocktails for the Olympics?
We are focusing on cocktails with typically Brazilian ingredients that already exist in our current cocktail cards, like our Old Fashioned aged cachaça base, Amburana tincture (Amburana wood, found only in the forests of Latin America) and honey.