Today we want to introduce óscar Durán, who is part of our team as head of the bars of the Hotel Urban Madrid. He is an expert in cocktails!
Interview with Óscar Durán
How did you join Derby Hotels Collection?
Through the help of an acquaintance who already worked with the company.
What struck you the most about DHC?
The fact that it’s on the cutting edge, its aesthetic and philosophy, and its range of hotels and services on the one hand, plus the possibilities for promotion within the company on the other.
What are the indispensables requirements for a bartender?
You have to be humble, sensitive, elegant, discreet and polite and have plenty of psychological insight into people.
Is it true that you sit on the jury in the mixology competitions sponsored by the Higher School of Hotel Management and Tourism of Madrid?
Yes, it is.
And are you as hard on the competitors as you are on yourself?
You always have to be respectful with others’ work by offering constructive criticism and valuing the knowledge they have and the effort they make. I compete at the Glass Bar every day and I am concerned with the result and with my clients’ opinions.
Why did you decide to work in the world of cocktails?
I was always attracted by this facet of my job. The fact is I am fortunate because I had the chance to work in different departments of the hotel, which gave me a very special sensibility in my job and encouraged me to devise new recipes and cocktails. The company offered me the chance to supervise the bars and I didn’t even give it a second thought: I felt honoured and happy.
What is the strangest thing someone has ordered from you?
A liqueur 43 with cold milk.
What if someone orders a sweet mixed drink?
I’d serve them a white chocolate Martini.
Yum! What about something dry?
A French 75. The magic of champagne and the sour taste of citrus fruit!
OK, so make anything you want for me!
Sake mojito, ginger, mint, orange, brown sugar and soda water. It’s hard to top that!
Could you tell me a story you’ve experience with a famous person?
Discretion is the first thing you are taught at the Urban, so I’ll tell you a story without naming names.
I’m all ears.
One day at around 10 in the morning there was an international celebrity in the Glass Bar office speaking with the person in charge of making the sushi. He was holding a wide glass in his right hand, a bottle of champagne in his left and his mouth was full of sushi. Obviously, he couldn’t answer my question, “Can I help you?”
OK, so relieve the suspense! Is it true that a waiter has to be a bit of a psychologist?
We’re like priests, friends, confidants, but more than anything else we’re discreet: what is said at a bar stays at the bar. You always
respect the confidentiality of confession.
There is another legend which says that bartenders get to flirt quite a bit…
When I get up in the morning I think about how the day will play out or about inventing another new cocktail, but it never dawns on me to think about flirting. So categorically: I never flirt when I’m working.
Although here’s my picture and, just in case, my mobile phone number is 66600…
So if you want to taste the new cocktails we have at Hotel Urban Madrid come to visit us, maybe you have the opportunity to meet Óscar!