The Cocktails For You Story
The Story of Cocktails For You. Cocktails For You hit a milestone this week, after 6 years since the group was created on Facebook we’d finally hit 1 million followers. We’d made a promise to ourselves that if that happened we would have to celebrate in style, treat ourselves a little bit but at the same time try to keep ourselves grounded & remember our roots.
Queue us pouring Dom Perignon into paper cups in a parking lot somewhere in the heart of Slovakia. But it never started out this way & Cocktails For You was never originally a project that thought it was grow into what it is today. So we’d like just to share with you our story...
Humble Origins. 2012 - 2016.
Cocktails For You was founded by Eddie Rudzinskas, a Lithuanian born bartender who emigrated to Ireland over 13 years ago, as a page on Facebook that would allow him to separate his private & work lives.
He combined his passion for cocktails with his passion for photography & set himself a task to upload 1 picture a week to his page to try to push himself to create new drinks regularly & therefore try out new ideas to get better at his job. Living in Monaghan Town in Ireland with a population of 7,500 people he set out to see where his bartending career would take him.
At the beginning things were more basic & the drinks definitely much more colourful but there is a phrase that Eddie lives by & that is “Try to do things a little bit better tomorrow than today & a little bit better today than yesterday. After a year you’ll notice the difference”.
Somewhere along the lines bartenders started reaching out to Eddie asking to upload their recipes to the page. At first Eddie didn’t agree but eventually as the group grew larger & the idea presented itself.
Cocktails For You was growing bigger than 1 person.
So he started collaborating with others sharing recipes, techniques & ideas from around the world. Bartenders were proud to be featured on the page, they were inspired to make new cocktails from recipes uploaded by others & a global bartending community was forming.
Bars, bartenders & brands started reaching out to Cocktails For You to find ways to work together. Eddie started travelling around the world meeting colleagues & followers of Cocktails For You & discovering new bars & cocktails.
At the same time his own personal bartending career was lifting off too - he was a member of the Bartending Association fo Ireland & won a Silver medal at the World Cocktail Championships in Cape Town. As they say with great success also comes great responsibility & managing a platform that at the time had over 180,000 followers on Facebook & 50,000 on Instagram was becoming almost impossible on a daily basis.
Expansion. 2016 - 2017. Soon Eddie realised that working 60 hours a week in a bar then spending 30 hours a week creating content, responding to followers & also having some time for his personal life was completely impossible. He needed help to grow bigger & get better, if Cocktails For You was going to go to the next level he needed to set himself new targets & milestones. He needed a partner in crime, he needed to go full time on Cocktails For You & be recognised amongst his peers for the hard work he has been putting in for years.
As always in life some things come from the most unexpected of places & Eddie met his future partner, Danil Nevsky, at the Martini Grand Prix 2016 cocktail competition. They were both drafted as wildcards into the same group & started off as rivals during the event they parted ways as friends.
Danil Nevsky was a bartender on the completely opposite end of the spectrum, he had spent his early years bartending in Aberdeen, Scotland. After taking part in a few international cocktail competitions he ended up being invited to work in Tales & Spirits in Amsterdam in 2013.
His career really took off there as the bar managed to secure a place in the prestigious Worlds 50 Best Bars & after 3 years he was at his own crossroads as he wanted to travel the world to learn from other & become the best bartender he could be.
Eddie offered him a partnership based on the core principles of Cocktails For You:
1 - By bartenders for bartenders 2 - Sharing is caring 3 - To educate, inspire & entertain
Cocktails For You is a project aimed at the global bartending community, our mission is to help other bartenders in any way we can & we are proud of every single one you who likes our content, shares it, sends us their recipes & supports our mission.
So after Eddie & Danil teamed up they launched the Vagabond Project, Danil would travel for 19 months around the world as a “homeless bartender” working in 12 different bars & in 12 different countries.
At the same time Eddie & Danil started teaching seminars about “The Power of Social Media” around the world, they presented their ideas at global bartending events such as Bar Convent Berlin & Barometer Bar Show.
Cocktails For You was the first bartending platform to livestream FREE education seminars from some of the leading hospitality professionals in the world & teamed up with Bacardi Legacy in 2017 to show the reality behind one of the worlds hardest cocktail competitions.
Growing up. 2018+ In 2018 Eddie left his full-time bartending job to focus on Cocktails For You & Danil finished the Vagabond Project to settle down in Barcelona, Spain. We had to set new targets for Cocktails For You & we had to take responsibility for those who supported us all this time.
This year we’re still travelling as were lucky enough to be presenters at Moscow Bar Show, Perfect Serve Bar Show & Slovak Bar Show. For our work we were recognised by Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards when we made their Top 10 Finalists in the category “Best Broadcast, Podcast or Video Series” in 2018.
In the end we’ve been lucky enough to have travelled all over the world & learned so much about our industry that we thought there has to be a way to give back to our community.
Our aim is to become the largest source of educational bartending seminar content online. We believe that our community is stronger together & the bartending profession will become more respected if we ALL get better at our job.
There are still bar events out there we haven’t spoken at & countries we haven’t had the chance to visit. One step & one bar at a time we will share the best of
The Pin. Many of you have seen the symbol of Cocktails For You in the form of the skull & bowtie logo. It is our symbol of hospitality & our community, it doesn’t necessarily have a unique or specifically crazy story but it goes something like this:
Cocktails For You believe once a bartender always a bartender.
You’re a bartender until you die & maybe you would lose a tooth in the process or hit your head somewhere.
You’ll be buried in your bowtie.
The pin is not for sale & you can only get it if you meet us in person. We at Cocktails For You never force it on any bartender so if you want it just approach us & ask for one. If you see a bartender wearing one then he’s definitely met us in real life so if you have one too then you both have a story to share.
Thank you fellow bartenders & hopefully we will see you soon.
Cocktails For You Eddie & Danil