Cafe La Trova from Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood is planning a takeover (non-hostile) of the EvrBar at JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes on Sat., Sept. 3, from 6 to 10 p.m.
La Trova, number six on the North America’s 50 Best Bars list – and number one in the South – is known for its cantinero style of bartending, which harkens back to the golden days of pre-Revolution Cuba. The word cantinero generally means bartender, but cantinero style is much more than a job title.
La Trova’s founder, Julio Cabrera, is trying to keep alive the cantinero style, which includes bartenders dressed in white shirts, bow ties and vests who know the Cuban classics like the El Presidente, the Hotel Nacional, daiquiri and mojito. He’s especially focused on teaching his bartenders how to properly make those last two, which are too frequently done using shortcuts.
What’s more, a proper cantinero will be skilled in the practice of throwing drinks. No, that doesn’t mean he hurls cocktails at unruly patrons crowded at the bar (that’s known as Miami Beach style). Throwing a drink means that instead of shaking the ingredients, the cantinero tosses the beverage from one mixing vessel to another. Actually, it’s more like a a high vertical pour from a mixer held high above the bartender’s head to another container held below the waist.
This added flair probably doesn’t do anything to make the drink taste better but it’s all a part of the experience.
Cafe La Trova, by the way, was listed as a Bib Gourmand recommendation in the inaugural Florida Michelin Guide (Michelle Bernstein does the food). It joins JW Marriott’s Primo on that list as well as the one-starred Knife & Spoon at the Ritz-Carlton, also at the Grande Lakes Resort.
Besides the classic Cuban cocktails, the takeover will feature light bites and live music. If you appreciate the vanishing art of cocktail making, stop in to see the cantineros at work at the EvrBar takeover. You can get some tips on throwing a drink that you can try at home. Or better yet, at someone else’s home.