Thirsty Thursday: Fun With Finlandia Vodka & Damon Roseberry at South Beach Seafood Festival

Photo Credit:  @52chefs

Photo Credit: @52chefs

South Beach Seafood Festival is just a few weeks away! It’s the 6th year of the festival celebrating all things seafood. On the sands of South Beach’s Lummus Park you can feast on enjoy cafes from Joe's Stone Crab RestaurantNaked TacoRed, the Steakhouse - South Beache, The Lobster SHACKPoseidon Greek Restaurant & Outdoor LoungeTruluck'sLobster Bar Sea Grille Miami BeachStiltsville Fish Bar. There’s five blocks of food and fun!

But let’s talk about the good stuff —

The cocktails included in the price of the ticket! This year Finlandia vodka will be bringing out some of Miami’s best bartenders to show off a little of their flair and cocktail making skills.

We’re sitting down with each of the featured bartenders to learn a little more about them and what we can expect to find them making at South Beach Seafood Festival 2018.

Today’s feature — Damon Roseberry:

Damon Roseberry is originally from Virginia, but has lived and traveled all over the world — starting at 11 years old when he moved to El Salvador. He began working in restaurants at 17, and always knew he wanted to be in the industry. Damon attended the prestigious CIA (Culinary Institute of America) in Hyde Park, New York where he earned his bachelor's degree in Restaurant Management. He was in kitchens for six years and has been behind bars for as long as he can remember. After he graduated, Damon moved to Key West for three years and worked as both a restaurant manager and a bartender. From Key West he jumped over to Australia to work in a 6 star resort named Qualia, then decided to do some traveling through Indonesia and Thailand before deciding to make Miami home.

Currently you can find Damon making drinks and telling stories of his travels at Broken Shaker, where he’s the longest standing bartender to date. If he’s not at the Shaker, he’s either supporting his fellow bartenders at special events or he’s doing a guest shift somewhere in South or Central America — any chance he can get to travel, he’s taking it! He’s got a gift for tiki drinks and is always up for a challenge. His story telling ability and relaxed nature under pressure have made him the winner of several cocktail competitions including BareKnuckle Bartender 2017 and most recently Cayman Islands Seven Fathoms Challenge.

How did you get your start in bartending? 

I’ve been in the industry for almost 18 or 19 years. I started working in kitchens because I wanted to be chef at a really young age. That’s how I ended up at CIA, but once I graduated I wanted to pursue wine. I moved to Key West and there wasn’t a lot of wine — spirits were the next best thing and now I’ve dedicated my life to it.

Where do you work currently? 

Broken Shaker is home, so that’s where you’ll find me. But I do guest bartending shifts in other countries any chance I get.

What’s your favorite way to serve Finlandia vodka?

I really love Finlandia and soda with just a little bit of lime juice. It’s just an easy drinkable thing and you can have as many has you’d like on a hot sunny day. In Florida that works really well!

Finlandia actually conquered the vodka world in Latin America. They came into the market when nobody was drinking vodka. Finlandia was all over Central America and South America. When I’m in El Salvador, we’re drinking Finlandia. They were the first vodka out there! I remember being 12 years old and the only vodkas you could find were Finlandia or Smirnoff. It’s really a great vodka.

Any personal favorite cocktail? 

That’s all situational. It depends on what I’m doing for the evening. If I’m going to the beach, I’m having margaritas. If I’m at my local dive bar, it’s usually a shot and a beer. It just depends on where the night is taking me.

Fun fact about you: 

I really really love mariachi music — specifically Chente Fernandez. My neighbors hate me for it.

Make sure to grab your South Beach Seafood Festival tickets! We’d love to see you on the sand with a Finlandia vodka drink in your hand! Use our code: FINLANDIA20 for 20% off you tickets. Did we mention all alcohol is included in the price of the ticket? It’s a great deal!