Please introduce yourself to our readers?
Hello everyone! My name is Razvan Craciunoiu, I come from Bucharest, Romania. I have been a bartender for 10 years now, most of this time I worked strictly in nightclubs because I enjoyed the pressure and the nightlife itself, I’m more like a night owl!
In the beginning it was just a way of earning some money, but soon after I fell in love with this industry and quickly became a way of life and my passion in the very meaning of the word.
What brought you to Guernsey and most importantly, Buho?
The first thing I wanted was to work abroad, in these past 10 years I have never worked outside of my home country and I felt that I needed a change in my life, or at least a new experience. First, I went to London (without any plan at all!), and on my first day in London a friend of mine sent me a message asking if I wanted to work abroad and come to Guernsey. Weird that I hadn’t actually spoken with her in the last year I think and she didn’t even know that I was in London and looking for work. So… I said to myself, c’mon this can’t just be a coincidence, so I said, why not! I liked the idea of living on an island and leaving the city life behind, at least for a while. I had some interviews at different locations and the thing that made me accept Buho was because I found out that Alexandra, who won 3rd place this year, was working for the same company and we actually worked together 2-3 years ago, back in Bucharest. Again, I did take it just as a simple coincidence and I said, ok, this is it!
You must be very pleased to win this year’s Guernsey Cocktail Week Mix Off, talk us through your creative process?
Well, I don’t know about you guys, but since I arriving in Guernsey I’ve completely fallen in love with this island. It’s as simple as that, my inspiration came 2-3 days before the contest when I was just walking on the paths and cliffs and instantly, the idea of a gin based drink with exotic flavours, I went down to the beach, took some sand and rocks, arranged everything on a big tray and later, I had the inspiration to boil some rocks and freeze them after to cool the cocktail. I didn’t have an image of what I wanted to do from the start, all the ideas came step by step during the process.
And yes, I am very pleased of my creation and my place on the podium!
Hopefully you’re going to get some time off during Guernsey Cocktail Week, which bar are you most looking forward to trying out this week?
Well, the thing is that my better half is coming to visit me this week, and I have to show her the island from point to point and I think that the best answer, to be honest, is that we will visit all of them, Rock Garden will be the first one. I actually haven’t tasted their cocktails prepared for this week yet, even though we are working for the same company!
Can you tell us the secret to a great cocktail?
If you ask me, it’s just a matter of taste. Everyone feels the flavours within the drink in their own way. You need a balance between flavours; you can’t just add some liqueurs, bitters & fruits and hope for the best. You have to consider the balance, the kick and the after taste.
Lastly, your favourite drink?
I’m a big fan of rum, I drink it neat most of the time. If I’m at a party I prefer it in a long drink like a Cuba Libre, give me a double shot of Havana 7, top with Coke, squeeze two wedges of lime and I’m a happy man!