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Success in a glass

The turning point in the life of Salvadorian bartender Tony Marquina By M. Raza

On May 4th, in occasion of Napulitanamente event Mediterranean Cocktail of Art, produced by Low Pulse project, the all-Neapolitan cocktail NA57 was served to all the attendees. A bomb of flavor created with all homegrown products. A special drink that actually drove all the members of the party loopy.

This delicacy created in Napoli by Il SudPlus and Campanica was blended and served, by our beloved “tender bartender” Tony Marquina, who examined the recipe with enthusiasm and interest. After tasting it, he defined the NA57 cocktail as sweet and smooth. The aromatic and sparkling flavor of limoncello, together with the gassosa, opens up in an explosion of flavors with the wine.

In fact, the drink is made entirely of Neapolitan ingredients. The limoncello, made by Gioia Luisa, is made exclusively with Sorrento lemons. The volcanic wine is Biancolella, a volcanic wine from the Ischia Cenatiempo vineyard. The gassosa (Italian soda) and the scented and aromatic gin complete this enjoyment of natural Mediterranean flavors.

We met Tony Marquina for an interview to learn more about him and his profession as a bartender.

Some years ago Tony left El Salvador because of the civil war and moved to Los Angeles, where his mom, his younger brother, and the extended circle of relatives were. So he pursued the longed-for American dream.

Today he is an expert bartender, incredibly appreciated all through the Los Angeles area. He’s a hard worker with terrific character. He may be very dependable, charismatic, ready to stand up to any task, and very humorous!

Photo Courtesy Tony Marquina

What do you miss about El Salvador? –

TM: “I’ve lived here for a long time now but I always miss the togetherness, the people, my neighborhood, childhood friends, the food and the beaches.”

When and how did you start being a bartender?

TM: “The restaurant I worked at for many years opened a full bar and gave me the opportunity to bartending. I learned the basics from my girlfriend and would watch the other bartenders when we went out.”

Among the basic sour, fizz, old fashioned and three-part cocktail categories, which one do you prefer to prepare and why?

TM: “Definitely Old Fashioned. It is one of my favorite drinks and there is a particular way to make it exceptional.”

According to your tastes, what should a cocktail be like and therefore which one is your favourite?

TM: “I believe that a cocktail should be balanced, not too sweet or sour and not bland. Something different is always good. I have a few: a really good Margarita, a Negroni or Old Fashioned.”

You left El Salvador to pursue the American dream. What do you say about it?

TM: “I’m living it!”

Tony Marquina about NA57 Cocktail. Watch the video below!

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