Palette Magazine

South Florida bartender Yoany Perez of Hoy Como Ayer

Photo: Christina Mendenhall

Whether you’re hitting happy hour, having a classic cocktail before dinner or dancing the night away, these fine professionals can get you shaken and stirred the right way. Originally from various parts of the globe, five local bartenders share their tips and stories from behind the bar.


01. Yoany Perez, 29

Bartender at Hoy Como Ayer

Behind the bar: 2 years

Home city: Remedios, Cuba

Places worked: Hoy Como Ayer in Miami, FL


Tell us how you Got your start.

I didn’t really plan on it. I was a waiter at Hoy Como Ayer, and one day the owner spent some time with me, teaching me how to make each of the drinks I now serve.


What is the best part of your job?

I love the satisfied look my customers get when they taste a delicious drink I have prepared.


Share one crazy story.

I was working one night and a group of girls started flirting with me, so I got up on the bar and started dancing. Pretty soon men and women all over the bar were whistling and clapping, so I took my T-shirt off but kept my undershirt. That got them so worked up they insisted I take that off too, and that night I made an extra $80 in tips!


Chefs often play My Last Supper. What would your last drink be?

I’d have a drink I created that’s called Meeting at Hoy Como Ayer, which includes: piña colada mix, blue Curaçao, aged rum and grenadine, and is topped with fresh strawberries, pineapple and Crown Royal.


What is your most indispensible tool?

My cocktail shaker.

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