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Meet Josue Romero of The Garnish Guy in Downtown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Josue Romero.

Josue, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Born and raised in Venezuela, transplanted to Florida at a young age. Went to University of Central Florida for Finance and while in college started bartending. Mostly college bars and clubs, nothing crafty. After college went on to the corporate world and left the hospitality scene for a while.

A few years go by and hit a life roadblock, realized that I wasn’t happy with what I was doing for work, so I decided to leave. My only fall back was bartending, that was the only other thing I knew how to do. I didn’t want to work in clubs anymore, but I wanted to further my career as a bartender so I started taking classes, online classes mostly, and reading books, lots of books. All the time and effort I had put in my self-education paid off when I got accepted to work at my first craft cocktail bar. I had knowledge on cocktails, history, process, but was lacking the confidence on the hands on component of the gig. I interned with a chef for a few months so I could learn about favor profiles, but also about cooking techniques I could incorporate in cocktails. Definitely learned a lot in that kitchen. But my skills were put to the test and when I entered my first cocktail competition, got second place in the state. Then my second competition got first place, and then my third one, first place again. Momentum was growing, so was my reputation. People started following me on Instagram, bars started asking me to do guest appearances, I started bartending for brands, soon I was not just attending the hospitality events, I was bartending them. My cocktails started appearing in magazines and blogs.

And then my first consulting gig happened, creating cocktail menus for bars became my new agenda. I still consider myself a bartender, even though I am not much behind the bar anymore. I create the cocktail recipes and contend for beverage brands, I am the social media ambassador for others. I coach young bartenders how to market themself, and provide cocktail enthusiasts with fun recipes to make at home. You can’t take to the grocery store and not expect me to grab ingredients to craft cocktails at home. I am hospitality all the way around, and I truly love every single moment of it.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No external struggles. Self confidence gets in the way. I have a very eccentric flavor palate for the cocktails a enjoy myself. However, sometimes I have to think about who will be ordering the drinks at the bar. What type of food they’ll be pairing them with.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about The Garnish Guy – what should we know?
Something I really love about cocktail recipes is inclusion, blending spirits and liqueurs from all over the world. I like to create cocktails with ingredients that normally don’t belong together in nature, but work so harmoniously well in the drink.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I’ve been very lucky to always work with people who are encouraging and supportive, I guess that’s part of being in the hospitality industry. I support my peers as much as I can because I have received that support myself from day one. My bartending family has been amazing, and as much as we fought at times, there was nothing a couple of shots together wouldn’t fix. And of course, my family has been amazing at being by my side, my mom is definitely my biggest fan.

Contact Info:

  • Phone: 3215252747
  • Email: thegarnishguy@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @the_garnishguy

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