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luka blog

From an IT expert to a bartender: A story in the making of six years.

Luka Cvitković is not your ordinary bartender. He is one of those who truly have a gift for the profession, one of those who do their job with so much passion and love with the ability to create drinks that explain stories through the palate.

Luka is currently working as a head bartender at The Daltonist Craft Bar, a vibrant cocktail bar in Split. I had an opportunity to speak to him and, today, I am bringing you an interesting story about his journey.

So, tell us, who is Luka Cvitković?

I don’t know what to tell you about this one. Just a guy who started with web design and fell in love with alcohol.

How did you get into the world of bartending?

My start was a job as a service manager. At the time, my wish was to work as a service manager at a restaurant but then the idea of creating your own thing was way more appealing. And, as I already mentioned, I love alcohol and I don’t love the kitchen. So, the choice was pretty obvious to me.
bartender

How did you start with mixology?

I started reading about it. I read many books and I watched bartending videos before I started working in a bar. And then, simply, the idea of creating something unique really attracted me so I got “stuck” and just went deeper into the profession.

What do you like most about this job?

Dynamic life. It’s a love and hate relationship. But mostly love prevails; there’s no love without hate if you think about it. I love a dynamic work style and to be quite honest, I love seeing people drunk and happy thanks to my drinks.

I’ve heard that you have another interesting career. Could you tell us more about it?

I’m considering being a rapper. I had that idea last night. This morning I got the first sign that I should do it. I was sending prep specs sheets to my colleague and my email went to the spam folder on his email. And that was the first diss track; I’m considering taking it out on Google.

Which was the first signature cocktail you’ve created, and which one is your
favorite?

The first signature cocktail was “Hardcore p(opc)orn”. And my favorite one… That is a tough one to answer because I am very self-critical about the drinks I create.
I would say it is “Under the Covers”, a cocktail featured on this menu. The flavor profile has a wild card which is something I absolutely love about it.
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Generally, what inspires your concoctions? How does the process start?

Usually, the inspiration comes from me trying to create the craziest combinations. The process starts with the flavor profile I think I would like to feel in a cocktail and then after it gets technical, I like to pull out a bunch of books like Flavor Bible or Flavor Metrics. The reason is that I like to have an unexpected flavor at the end of the process. I love the element of surprise when people see all the ingredients at once and notice “the wild card” in the end. That is also something I love about cocktails the most.

It is safe to say that in the mixology world, creating cocktails is an art of expressing through taste, texture, and color; it’s an art of telling a story. What is the story behind your favorite signature cocktail?

If we are being really honest, it is an art because you consider every aspect of the cocktail to its finest detail: the look, the texture, taste, tactile response, type of ice to use, etc. And the story behind my favorite signature cocktail “Under the Covers” is that I wanted to replicate the feeling we have when we are under the covers with someone. The feeling is sweet, bitter, and fucking hard.

What’s the most underrated cocktail ingredient or spirit?

Ice. Just ice is by far the most underrated ingredient and the most important one. For a spirit, I can say any schnapps because it’s hard to balance it correctly

What’s your “to go” cocktail to mix when someone asks you to do so?

Daiquiri for sure. It is the perfect balance of sweet, sour, and spirits. It is a perfect summer cocktail.

Do you have a favorite bar in the world? Which one is it?

Death & Co. I must admit, I have not been there, yet. But it has been the biggest inspiration in my career.

You’ve been around The Daltonist long enough to tell us this: how would you describe our customers?

I would say they are all diverse in the beginning. But, by the end of the night, they are all practically the same: drunk, happy, and satisfied as every person should be.

What do you love about our bar the most?

The easy-going atmosphere. When I was a customer at The Daltonist, in the early days, I always felt welcome and respected which I cannot say is the case in most places.
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In the end, could you give us an easy cocktail recipe to make at home?

Of course! Let’s make Daiquiri:
Ingredients (1 serving):
    50 ml of white rum
    20 ml of freshly squeezed lime juice
    15 ml of sugar syrup (an equal measure of sugar and water)
Glass: Cocktail or martini glass
Garnish: Half a lime slice
Directions: Combine all the ingredients into a shaker and shake well with ice to combine. Strain into a cocktail glass and put the garnish. When making it at home, you can strain it in a glass with ice. You can also balance lime and sugar however you want. If you like your cocktails sweet, you add more sugar. If your choice is sour, then add more lime.
Enjoy!

And I have two more questions that our Instagram followers were eager to know:

         - Who would win in a fight between Aziz and Hasbulla?
This one is the most difficult question so far. Hasbulla is tough but Aziz has more charm. So,
I think, at the end of the fight, Aziz would be the winner because he would get all the ladies
from the crowd.
         - Last but not least, are you single?
Come by the bar and find out.
So, this was Luka. A bartender who, as he says, started his career as a web designer and fell in love with alcohol. The choice of his future steps was obvious, isn’t it? Well, all I can say in the end is that we are very lucky that his life turned out the way it did as his boozy concoctions make everyone in The Daltonist very drunk and happy.

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