Meet Vince. He took the EBS International Bartender Course on the stunning island of Kos, Greece in 2012 and hasn’t looked back since. Today he is the bar manager at Bar Plata, a speciality gin bar which offers 250 different types of gin, in Aarhus, Denmark. Not one for a quiet life, he opened his own online gin shop earlier this year and is currently working on plans to break the world record for the world’s largest gin tasting, which will take place in October.
We caught up with Vince to hear all about his exciting journey from feeling miserable in an office job to enjoying the fast-paced bartender lifestyle thanks to taking the EBS International Bartender Course in Greece. Read on to hear all about his fascinating story.
Goodbye office job, hello bartending in Greece
So, how did Vince’s career as a bartender begin? Well, he was working in an office in Denmark, doing your typical 9-5 job and disliking every minute of it. After a year, he decided that sitting at a desk all day was not the life for him. It was time for a change. It was time to find a job that would allow him to be young, free and travel the world.
“I was at work one day when I remembered that a few years earlier, a friend of mine asked if I’d like to do a bartender course with him. I thought it sounded like an amazing idea but at the time, I was too young. Now, it was the perfect thing to do. So I chose to do the EBS course in Kos because it seemed like a really cool destination and the school looked great.”
Vince was right! Our Kos school was the very first school in the EBS family, so we have a great relationship with the locals, who welcome EBS students with open arms. Not only does the school itself have lots of great facilities like 36 bar stations, a restaurant and study areas, but it is also in the most stunning setting, where you will feel at home straight away.
The EBS Kos experience
When Vince arrived for his bartender course in Greece, his knowledge of cocktail making only went as far as mixing vodka and juice.Things changed quickly and by the end of his course, Vince could make a range of killer cocktails from mojitos to mai tais.
“I learnt about the ingredients, different methods, how to set up the bar and how to flair. I even learnt how to talk to customers. There are so many different aspects to working behind a bar you wouldn’t even realise. The instructors are amazing and the course is really intensive so you learn everything you need in four weeks.”
Vince’s experience at EBS Kos went beyond just bartending. After the course, he left Greece with plenty of fond memories and some lifelong friends that he is still in touch with today.
“My experience was great from the moment we arrived in Kos! I remember getting to the airport with a group of people from my own region and we were met by some really friendly EBS staff who took us to our accommodation. Kos is a really cool place with loads of great bars, which I think would be great to work in.”
There are indeed plenty of job opportunities in Greece. After completing their bartender course in Kos, lots of students stick around for the season and find work on the island’s thriving strip or in one of the many five-star hotels.
From student to bartending pro
After leaving Kos, Vince returned to Denmark to start university. At the same time, he got a part-time job in a cocktail bar with over 100 different types of cocktails and a bar job in a frat house. Before long, Vince started to realise that bartending was his real passion.
“Bartending wasn’t just a job for me, it was something more. I would go to the bar after school and the time would fly by because I was having such a good time.”
Things started to move quickly for Vince from this point. He got a bartending job in a gin bar and became an instructor for Diageo and would drive around Denmark teaching people how to make cocktails. He also became project manager for a bartending app. Then in 2016, Vince landed his job as bar manager at Bar Plata, the speciality gin bar that has seen over 500 different types of gin pass through the bar over the past two years.
Currently, the team at Bar Plata are working on breaking the record for the world’s largest gin tasting, which is currently held by The Botanist across various branches in the U.K. with a whopping 796 people! Vince and his colleagues hope to beat this with 990 people at their gin tasting, which will take place on October 13 starting at 14h. The guests will have the chance to learn about and most importantly, taste different types of gin like pink gin or rhubarb-flavoured gin. If you’re in the area or just so excited by the idea of breaking this record that you’d travel to Denmark to take part, you can find all the information about the event here. In addition to this inspiring project, Vince is running his own online gin and tonic shop, which he hopes will become the leading web shop in Denmark, selling the biggest selection of gin.
“If it wasn’t for EBS, I’d probably still be working in an office doing logistics or marketing or something. EBS really did change my life!”
Living the bartender lifestyle
So, what’s life like as a bartender? Very chilled, says Vince. From Sunday to Wednesday, he’s doing his own thing and enjoying life. Then, on the weekend, he’s hard at work behind the bar, making sure people are having a good time.
“It’s really good! I can’t complain about my life right now. I love what I’m doing. There are so many challenges but also so many chances to learn.”
Why you should come to EBS Kos
According to Vince, the EBS International Bartender Course is the perfect choice for young people who have finished high school and need some time for themselves but want to gain some new skills.
“EBS is a great way to find out who you are. You will meet some amazing people from all around the world, and you’ll leave with so much more than just a certificate.”
So, what does the future hold for Vince? Aside from focusing on his blossoming bartending career, the record-breaking gin tasting on the 13th October and his online shop, he has just bought a new apartment with his girlfriend. Exciting times lie ahead for Vince and we are excited to follow his journey and see what his future holds.
Inspired by Vince’s story? Start your bartending journey today and enjoy a fun-filled and life-changing experience with EBS.
Like vince, our student monika landed a top bar manager job in amsterdam, check out her story.