The 34 year old, originally from Klagenfurt, is currently a two-time Cocktail World Champion, International Barkeeper of the year 2017/2018 of the barkeeper world association IBA, four time Austrian State Champion, Barman of the year 2012 and Leader of the Year 2011. Since 1999 the name Mario Hofferer has become a household brand throughout the international mixology scene.
Mario Hofferer is an exceptionally creative perfectionist who uses only the highest quality materials and ingredients to create new, innovative drinks, which will enchant each and every one of his guests. Every step behind the bar or during production in the MH Skills LAB, one of the most modern cocktail laboratories in Europe, will become an absolute highlight for even the most spoiled gourmet palate.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. When and why did you decide to work as a bartender and what do you love most about your job?
I was starting my career as a cook & waiter in 4 & 5 star hotels in Austria. After 4 years in the kitchen in found the way to the bar and loved the flair behind the counter from the first minute on. To work in front of the client and bring my creativity from the kitchen into the shaker was really interesting for me.
I am 34 years old, originally from Klagenfurt, and is currently a two-time Cocktail World Champion, International Barkeeper of the year 2017/2018 of the barkeeper world association IBA, four time Austrian State Champion, Barman of the year 2012 and Leader of the Year 2011.
I prevailed against selected national champions from 61 nations and secured the sought after gold for Austria. During the finals, I became stronger and more secure each day, which surely helped me in the Super Final against the last remaining 6 nations. In addition to the cocktail itself, the expert knowledge, the handling of the guest, the technique and the bartending style was evaluated, I won the overall title in all categories and in addition to the world championship title was also named “Bartender of the Year”. I convinced the jury with his drink “Rosé Sissy”, consisting of soft vodka, Austrian sparkling wine, Spanish sangria, herbs, bitter extract from Trinidad and a pinch of gold. The theme of the performance was the history of the K.u.K. monarchy.
The strong performance was mainly due to the intensive preparation with the Austrian Association, in particular with my trainer Peter Weissnegger, with whom I worked for months on his technique and preparation skills. “I have celebrated the greatest successes of my career with Peter Weissnegger, because our venerable and modern understanding of the bar culture complements each other wonderfully”.
2. What was your funniest moment as a bartender?
At first I was doing flair bartending and on a catering in Barcelona. I was doing a fireshow in front of 2000 people for Mercedes. At that time i got long hair and so i was standing with my bartenders on the bar counter juggling bottles and spitting fire. Suddenly hundreds of people were screaming and I thought they liked my last move but it was actually because of my long hair burning. So one of my colleagues were jumping on my counter and erasing those little flames.
3.What is your favourite drink and why? What is your last creation?
My favourite drink at the moment is a simple Dark´n´Stormy and my latest creation was the current World Champion Drink from Copenhagen.
4. What is the best bar you have ever been and why?
I love the Aviary in Chicago, because they are combining a lot of components from the kitchen with their mixology.
5. Where do you get your inspirations from? Is there a person and why?
Usually I get inspired by my daily life. For example: If i am in the woods and I see some nice leaves of trees, I always think I can try to infuse it to my vodka. One special person in my mixology life? This is definitely Peter Weissnegger, my mentor. His old shool knowledge and my modern style of mixology fits perfectly to each other.
6. What is your advice for someone who wants to work as a bartender?
Bartending is one of the best jobs in the world! You met wonderful people in a relaxed atmosphere. If you are really good and lucky, you have the chance to travel the world!
7. Whiskey or Gin?
Definitely Gin. But I prefer Veuve Clicquot Champagne!
Image: Mario Hofferer
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