Alejandro Sanchez, Portosole
Alejandro Sanchez was born and raised in Miami, Florida. He started his journey in the hospitality Industry at the age of 19. Even though he was always working in the bar industry he studied at the Florida International University and got his bachelor degree in Health Care Management.
After Alejandro graduated he worked in the healthcare industry for almost two years but at night he has always been bartending. Bartending for him was always something special. Being behind the bar, meeting new people on the daily basis, and giving everybody a great experience is his biggest joy. He started bartending around Miami at sports and dive bars to get some experience which lead him to connect with fellow bartenders to eventually grow and find craft cocktail bars to work at.
Alejandro started to hone his craft during his time at Zucca Miami. I was surrounded by great bartenders that taught me a lot and pushed me everyday. "Being the youngest on the bar team it really motivated me to learn and strive for greatness because this is what I loved to do."
With the skill set and knowledge he acquired over the years Alejandro was able to get the opportunity to build the bar program over at Portosole Miami which is now his new home. Portosole is a brand new Italian fine dining concept in the heart of Coral Gables, FL offering the ultimate hospitality experience. Besides his passion for bartending, he is a big fan of all sports and likes to stay active with his daily gym routine and aerobic activities that he likes to change up to keep things interesting.
The Secret Garden
Created by Alejandro Sanchez, Portosole, Miami
1 oz Italicus
1.5 oz Gin
0.75 oz Lavander~Chamomile~Thyme~Blueberry Syrup
0.25 oz Elderflower Liqueur
0.5 oz Lemon Juice
Shake/strain. Garnish with Fresh Local Blueberries and Orchid Flower.
The inspiration behind this cocktail all begins with the amazing product that the Italicus Rosolio is. What I like to call " a sip of Italy" being made with botanicals of lavender, gentian, yellow roses and melissa balm from northern Italy; Roman chamomile from Lazio; bergamot from the Calabrian region; and cedro from Sicily. To compliment all the notes this Italian liqueur has to offer, I decided to create this herbal syrup infused with some fresh local blueberries.
The Blueberries, my local ingredient, bring us back to the beginning of 1900s when Professor Shrpe breaded different varieties of blueberries creating the perfect one for Floridas soil, allowing the blueberry industry to flourish in Florida in the 1950s. They also give to the cocktail that exciting berry rush for an exquisite tasting experience. The freshness of the botanicals coming from the Gin allows this cocktail to express all the different types of earthy, herbal, floral ingredients in this wonderful cocktail.
Being born and raised in the hot city of Miami I've always had a thing for such refreshing cocktails which brings me to making this gem. I garnished the cocktail with an Orchid flower and some fresh local Blueberries that go very well with the beautiful color the cocktail gives out. Last but not least I finished off with a touch of love for the Orchid flower with some Flower water essence. This cocktail is the definition of a Garden with its many herbal components and it's only a secret until you try.
What the judges thoughts:
"THE SECRET GARDEN taste is very rich and complex yet balanced and Italicus flavor was shining through the rest of the ingredients. Alejandro's bartending skills are very classy, almost IBA and the set up was sharp and shiny. It was the most original and he had a great engagement on social media."