Maximiliano Valletta first stepped foot behind a bar back in school. Since then, he has worked his way through the bar industry. Maximiliano is the current General Manager for Les Enfants Terribles in Canada. He’s looking forward to participating in the Global Cocktail Challenge Finals next month, as it provides him the opportunity to share his knowledge with the otherfinalists. Read more about his journey below:

How did you get into bartending?  I started working in a cocktail-oriented restaurant to pay for school. I was very curious about the industry and, after a while, the bar team offered me a job among them. I was amazed by all the possibilities. We had a menu with over 300 cocktails. The only limit I had was my imagination. The moment I understood that, I was hooked!

Where do you work now, and what’s your role?
I work for a group of restaurants called Les Enfants Terribles. I am the general manager for all 5 restaurants. I’m also in charge of the bar program with the cocktail menu, trainings, etc.

With so many new bitters flooding the market, where do you see ANGOSTURA® aromatic bitters in the mix?
ANGOSTURA® aromatic bitters is like salt and pepper to me. There’s no way you can cook properly without salt pepper and, therefore, there is no way you can mix proper cocktails without Angostura. It’s more than just a ‘go to’ product – it’s an iconic classic.

What does ANGOSTURA® orange bitters bring to the table over other orange bitters brands?
It has a distinctive taste that showcases the knowledge of a House more than 200 years old. It’s doesn’t overwhelm you like other bitters on the market.

The Rum industry has been growing over the last few years – What sets Angostura Rum apart from others?
Angostura showcases the Caribbean flavors very well within their rums – they exude quality. Their rums will always have a place on the back bar.

What’s your favorite ingredient in the House of Angostura portfolio?
ANGOSTURA® aromatic bitters. It’s a classic that never gets old.

What’s your go-to recipe featuring it?
An Old Fashioned is my go-to recipe using ANGOSTURA® aromatic bitters. I tend to judge a cocktail bar on the quality of the Old Fashioned they’re serving me.

What are you most looking forward to at the GCC Finals in Trinidad next month?

I’m looking forward to sharing my knowledge and experimenting with the other finalists. The bar community has a very unique vibe and we tend to be very generous about our recipes, techniques, skills, etc. I also, of course, can’t wait to show them how strong the Canadian level is!

What would winning and becoming the next HOA Global Brand Ambassador mean to you?
Without hesitation, it would be my biggest accomplishment in the bar industry so far. Winning a global challenge like this one shows a lot about a person’s personality, hard work and focus. It would be amazing to be able to share the Angostura love and knowledge across the world.