Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Roberto “Robi” Rosa was first introduced to the spirits industry as an engineering student in Mayaguez when a bar owner teased him by suggesting he should learn to bartend because he already spent more time at the bar than anyone who worked there. Though meant as a joke, it struck a chord with Roberto. So, later that year when a job opened at a restaurant near the university, he jumped on it.
For the next six years, Roberto worked at the most happening night-life venues in Puerto Rico. Due to the changing social and economic conditions in Puerto Rico, he decided to leave the night- life and try his hand at the famous fine-dining restaurant, El Zipperle, which has been open since 1953. No longer just slinging drinks, his quest for knowledge about craft-cocktails began. His time at El Zipperle opened the door for opportunities to hone his skills at The Ritz-Carlton and Silk. It was these experiences that influenced Roberto’s “keep it simple” style choosing ingredients to accentuate key notes while focusing on the balance of the cocktail.
Roberto joined the Puerto Rico Bartenders Association (PRBA), part of the International Bartenders Association (IBA), and began attending seminars on topics such as classic cocktails, molecular mixology, etc. He is TiPS, CARE, ServSafe, and Barsmarts certified and participated in several competitions.
After visiting New York for the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, he instantly fell in love and within a week of returning to Puerto Rico sold his belongings and said his farewells with a one-way ticket to NYC in hand. Roberto joined the USBG and began working his way up through the NY scene, where he currently is working as a Field Brand Specialist representing the Maestro Dobel and Creyente Brands.