Born and raised in Venezuela, Marco Balza goes all the way back to 2006 when he was still living in Caracas and he had his first Bartender experience. “My friends and I had a party called ‘El Guarapazo’, we used to rent the party halls from the buildings and charged a cover for All you can drink ‘Guarapitas’, with DJs and security included, we even had a logo” remembers Marco about his beginnings.
Moving to Miami was not in his plans, but on a change of heart, he drops his Automotive Mechanic studies to start working in the Hospitality Industry. He started at the Hilton Hotel in a service bar inside the kitchen, then as a barback in a night club, and 13 years later, he recently opened his own consulting company. Bar Market. with an organic sense of sustainability, the consulting company is dedicated to delivering freshness and rich flavors in its products as well as the compromise to build top of the league Bar staff.
When do your love for Mixology started?
My parents had a little dispense in the kitchen with all the liquors. I remember there was a small book called “El ABC de los cócteles” I really like that book, it was the first time mixology caught my attention. When I started bartending in Miami, I wanted to create new cocktails, but since I was working in a nightclub, I started flipping bottles and don’t get me wrong, I loved it, I just wanted to learn more about the art of mixing drinks. I joined USBG around 2011 and from the first seminars I knew I’ve found my passion.
You just started your own business, tell us about Bar Market
Bar Market is a consulting company that looks forward to changing the Bar scene, making every bartender shine on stage every shift. I’m looking forward to improving Miami Bartender’s service by providing great staff training. I started this company after realizing I was working like a Robot all the time, even taking double shifts. It wasn’t making me happy. I decided to get out of my comfort zone and give it a shot.
My latest venture is the creation of a super organic handcrafted line of mixers for cocktails with super fresh, natural ingredients and no preservatives. I use the herbs from my own garden and they’ll be sell by pre-order only, in 25oz batches. At the moment I’m offering Mojito, Pina Coladas, Daiquiri, Old Fashion and Fit Spritz (low sugar)
Bar Market will bring more exciting news to everyone in the industry or for those bar and kitchen aficionados, unfortunately, it is secret at the moment. I mean it. Stay tuned.
What do you love the most as a consultant? Is it the creation or education?
The satisfaction when I see the progress in each bartender, server, manager, or each person I’m training. I will say creation and training go hand by hand, you can create a masterpiece but, if the bartenders as ambassadors of your cocktails can’t replicate it, your job is pointless, with the right training, those bartenders will be artist, Ninjas, and stars behind the bar.
Do you have any favorite spirits when creating specialty cocktails?
I like all spirits on a menu, but for making cocktails my top 3:
- N1. Gin
- N2. Rum
- N3. Mezcal
Is there any style that can represent you o a signature essence?
Life needs a balance, art needs a balance. you have to take care every single detail to make a great cocktail, but in my personal opinion flavor is most important, presentation it is very important too because is the hook that catches just by looking at it, but if the cocktail doesn’t taste good, is just a sad waste of juice.
What should be in a perfect cocktail menu?
- Variety. Even if it is a Tequila or Rum bar, variety is the key.
- Every cocktail menu should be seasonal.
- Classics are the blueprints for new cocktails, if you don’t have a Classic list on the menu, every bartender should know how to make then perfectly, at least the most popular. It is unacceptable for a bartender to shake a Negroni (it burned my eyes. True story).
- Every bar should have a famous signature cocktail, the one that every customer wants to try.
If Miami were a cocktail, what would be the ingredients? and how would you call it?
Definitely Rum, Miami is a mix of a lot of rum countries. Lime, Mango because we are from the Caribe, Jalapeños because the people in Miami are Hot & Spicy and champagne as Miami Beach sparks through the night.
Tell us your most memorable experience working as a Bartender?
Working at the Miami Rum Renaissance, and the Hukilau in Ft Lauderdale, All day talking about Rum, making cocktails and having fun.
What’s next in your journey?
Keep doing my thing growing with Bar Market, working hard opening a Bartending Academy. Trying to leave a mark in this life.
What’s the best way to contact you?
You can email Marco or DM him to order the pre-batched Mixers starting at $25 per Botlle (25oz) or 2 for $40. When you buy 5 bottles you’ll get a green gift. If you return 5 bottles to support recycling, you’ll get a free bottle in your next purchase. Let’s support #smallbusiness #shoplocal