Scribit Originals is the blog where we connect with trailblazers from different fields and amplify their uplifting messages across our global community. Check in regularly to learn about our latest protagonists!
Daniela Istrate is a powerhouse in flair bartending. Having 10 years of experience under her belt, she won the title of Best Female Bartender at the Roadhouse World Final in 2018 and 2019, and has been active across master classes and TV shows. The secret of her success? Steering clear of complacency, and evolving her work with what’s happening around the world. This set her up to become a social media sensation and collaborate with a robotic bartender, and it only seems natural that she has Scribit in her radar as a tool to broadcast her expertise to a wider community.
How did you become a flair bartender?
Before being a flair bartender, I use to work at a coffee bar with my sister. It was nice but I wanted to do more, so I signed up for a classic American bartending course. Then I came across some guys practicing flair by chance. It piqued my interest and I decided to take that course as well – and on the first day I was there, I felt that this will be the job of my life.
You’ve accomplished the amazing feat to win the world-class bartending competition twice. What did you do to make it happen?
It wasn’t easy at all. For a few years, I sacrificed my days off and parties for the sake of work and practice, trying to prepare myself for different competitions. Ultimately, you’ve got to believe in yourself; and deep in heart, I always knew I would win one day.
What’s your practice routine like?
When I was actively participating in competitions, I practiced as much as my body allowed it. Every practice session lasted between eight and 10 hours. That gave me a solid foundation. Nowadays, two to three hours of preparation would be enough for shows – I don’t compete anymore. It’s like once you know how to ride a bike and have done it for many years, it’s become something you can do instinctively.
What’s your signature move?
I have some but one of my favorite – I’m sure for the crowd as well – is my body roll.
You’ve shown a strong interest in everything innovative. How was it like to collaborate with a drink-mixing robot?
Toni [the robotic bartender by Makr Shakr] is incredible! It was one of the most fascinating experience in my bartending career. Robots can only improve our job, not “steal” it – Toni loves all the bartenders but I’m his favorite!
How can Scribit be an asset to your work?
It’s something new for me, but I’m interested in finding new ways to use it. For example, they could be installed at my events to elevate the overall experience, or to illustrate the recipes at the schools where I teach. I’m sure I’ll use it a lot.
What’s the inspiration behind the cocktail recipes in your Scribit drawing collection?
I chose what I drink usually. Mixology has made so much progress in recent years, but the classics will never die.
What are your suggestions to the aspiring flair bartenders out there?
It’d take a whole day for us to go through this! Most importantly, you need to find the right course to build a good technical foundation. After this, set goals and reach them – there’s a lot you can do within the world of flair, from competing to shows to performing at bars. In any case, you need to treat yourself like an athlete. A daily routine is needed where you train every day, eat well and healthy…
And a final advice: put social media in the back of your mind. Better get the results first and return to it later!
Daniela teaches the Scribit Community how to flair bartend at home
Learn how to do the ''Liquid Transfer'' move:
@daniela_bartender Love this place! ♥️🍸 #cocktails #foryou #danielaistrate #flairbartending #bartender #imapracontiktok ♬ Moneybagg Yo - “Wockesha” - HIMOTHY
Learn how to do the ''Napkin Spin'' move:
@daniela_bartender Rispondi a @serenaalethiago #cocktailbar #danielaistrate #flairbartending #foryou #thanks ♬ In This House - Marcus Vinicius Alfaro Nascimento