Wellington Kativhu – energetic barman at Big Easy Wine Bar & Grill Durban by Ernie Els – is a mover and shaker in every sense of the word…when it comes to mixing delicious cocktails!
With Friday 2nd December being recognised around the world as Bartender Appreciation Day, it is the perfect opportunity to shine the spotlight on Kativhu. The 20-something barman recently received an award as Most Creative Bartender in Kwazulu Natal in the regional round of a national competition.
Kativhu had the opportunity to show off his cocktail-blending talents at The Diageo World Class Bartending Competition, held at The Chairman in Durban … and won his Bartending Challenge, beating 21 other contenders from KZN. His winning recipe – the Comfort Zone – is an unusual blend of bourbon whiskey, Campari, mushroom syrup and Big Easy White Wine.
The next round involves an unannounced surprise visit to Big Easy Durban, by the judges, sometime between end-November and mid-January.
Kativhu has been bartending for the past four years and serving guests at Big Easy Durban for the past four months.
“I love being creative and coming up with new cocktails and flavours,” says Kativhu. “Seeing guests enjoy the drinks I create is incredibly rewarding. The atmosphere in Big Easy’s lounge is a great space to work in.”
His signature drink is apt for Durban’s hot, humid climate. “I call it ‘Tropical Escape’ – it’s a cocktail made with tequila, spiced beer, baobab syrup, lemon juice, simple syrup and quince.”
Kativhu says he gets his inspiration from friends and family and enjoys “an old-fashioned cocktail when relaxing.”
With his eyes on the prize, this bartender hopes to run his own restaurant and bar in the future.