“Secret sauce” mixologist Lucas Winkler was born and raised in Poland. As an adult, he pursued training in hotel and tourism management at Rhodes University in Greece.
During his early years of bartending, he mastered both classic and modern cocktails, allowing him to develop a wide range of skills. With these skills, he then completed numerous internships at the prestigious Park Hotel in Athens, the Sofitel Rhodes Hotel and the Kolibia Palace. Adding practical experience to his already strong knowledge base allowed Lucas to become a mixologist, taking his expertise to a whole new level.
Fast forward to 2019, he moved to the United States and joined the W South Beach as a bartender, eventually becoming the in-house mixologist. Today, as general manager, Winkler oversees the Living Room Bar’s cocktail program.
The W South Beach is the world’s most iconic W hotel, located in the heart of Miami’s South Beach. It’s a favorite among celebrities, world travelers and locals. On site you will find two bars and two restaurants. Craft cocktails are served at the Living Room Bar, located in the main lounge. Then there’s Irma’s, an outdoor bar named after the 2017 hurricane. It’s a great place to enjoy refreshing drinks in the Miami sun.
As for restaurants, the W South Beach has the RWSB. (W South Beach Restaurant)a hidden gem of Tuscan cuisine, and Mr. Chow, authentic Chinese cuisine.
For his beverage program at Living Room Bar, Lucas focuses on a Miami-flavored theme. Selections consist of tropical fruits like pineapple, mangoes, passion fruit and coconut as favorites.
Coming up with cocktail ideas comes naturally to Winkler. “I always find inspiration for cocktails in my daily life and while traveling. I take this inspiration, do some research and try it. It is through experimentation, new techniques and the mixture of different ingredients that art comes to life in a glass.
Currently, her favorite spirit is reposado tequila and her favorite ingredient is coconut cream. Both are deeply versatile and offer a ton of flavor, body, and texture.
As a bartender, Lucas finds the greatest pleasure in making his guests smile. To ensure that’s always the case, he makes sure to bring his “secret sauce” to every shift behind the bar. It is not an ingredient, but rather a service metaphor divided into two parts; “anticipate the customer’s needs and adapt to the environment of the people and the bar. »
To all bartenders who strive to achieve excellence in their profession, he advises them to stay creative, curious, to try new ideas, recipes and techniques. And above all, don’t fear failure.