2 December, 2021       LISBON - MAX. Partly sunny and breezyº, MIN. 03º

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Folders  |  Joana Julião: 32 cocktails memorized!
Joana Julião: 32 cocktails memorized!
Cédric Lecler
Joana Julião: 32 cocktails memorized!
I have a meeting arranged with Joana at noon and I have just realized the effort I have asked her to do: Joana is a Lisbon night girl and at that hour she is still sleeping. Today, luckily, she had to get up early because she had to correct exams for ‘Cozi-arte’ of Chef Michel (where she teaches). She knows Lisbon by night, it is her passion but also her work: Joana is a bartender. But, take note, not just any bartender. We are looking at a true professional of the cocktail (and the shot). Behind her laid back appearance Joana knows what she is talking about.

Within her field of work her curriculum is impressive: with her diploma of 1st degree bartender, passed by the Estoril Hotel and Tourism School, in her hand (and after two training periods at New York and London Hard Rock cafés), Joana starts her career at the well known Lisbon club, ‘Indochina’. She works there for 9 years, learning how to prepare cocktails for 2000 to 3000 people per night...At the same time, she attends several specialized bartender courses (history of rum and its specific uses, the same for vodka, frozen drinks, blending, etc...) She takes a break for 2 years, working as an assistant manager at a Benetton store, but the opening of the Lisbon Hard Rock Café gives her the experience of contacting the clients.

In 2002, she has a decisive meeting with Paulo Ramos and the Cocktail Academy, the 1st and most important today cocktail school in Portugal. Joana is only the 2nd woman to enter the Cocktail Academy (the cocktail is a man’s world, she tells me). She does her exams and wins 1st prize in 2006, in the Bols Academy best cocktail category.

Nowadays, Joana is a freelancer and her services very sought after in every trendy spot in Lisbon. A private evening? An evening for Livinginlisbon? Why not? And if you want to find out what time and how to get to a club, it is her one must ask. After all, she did work in all the fashionable spots in Lisbon.

Joana cannot stop talking of her work: the difference between a shot and a cocktail? Joana will tell you that a shot should be the essence of a cocktail, and not a just a sub product, and that it should be sipped and appreciated and not just swallowed in one go. The Bairro Alto quarter? A magical place, today in danger, that should be preserved if we want it to stay safe, like it was not so long ago. Young people? They must also be protected because there are bars that don’t hesitate in selling 10 shots for €6 to minors...in short, Joana loves her work: she wants to please others and herself, but not just any old way.

Her favourite cocktails? The frozen drinks ( she gives us a recipe for one of her creations).

After listening to her, we wonder where she found time to sleep all these years. She answers with a smile that a few hours is all she needs...

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