SA bartenders share locally inspired Iziko Shooter ‘shot tail’

Dylan Runkeld and Josh Sarembock recently took part in the Olmeca ShotKings 2019 contest and share how they created their Iziko Shooter ‘shot tail’. 

What inspired your shot tail? How did you come up with the idea and the ritual behind it?

So the competition had a large percentage of the score attributable to crowd votes. Since it was going to be a predominantly South African crowd, we (Dylan Runkel and I) wanted to give them something truly South African, which of course had to also be tasty. 

How long have you two been in the industry?

I have been in the industry since the beginning of 2015 when I started university. I began as a waiter and started bartending in September of 2015. Within a year I had climbed the ranks to become Caprice’s head bartender.

Dylan has been bartending for about a year now and is one of the eager junior bartenders at Caprice, so I decided to take him under my wing for the competition and try teach him as much as possible and expose him to the industry more.

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Iziko Shooter ‘shot tail’. Picture: Supplied 

What’s the best thing you like about your job?

I enjoy meeting new, different people constantly and experimenting with weird and wonderful flavours. Yes, bartenders are ‘rockstars’, but we’re also liquid chefs with a blank canvas we can use to express our creativity – that’s what I enjoy the most… bringing ideas to life in the form of a drink, with a story behind it and an experience to portray through it. 

With the rise of the celebrity / Rockstar bartender where do you see you two heading?

The world is our oyster as two young, eager bartenders. I plan on chasing summers for a while, meeting people all over the world while working in various different bars and sucking knowledge and experience like a sponge from those who have anything to offer me. Dylan is still young and learning his trade, but it’s kind of the dream for anyone in the industry to hone their trade, go on adventures, learn as much as possible and then eventually bring an entire concept to life and nurture it as your own baby to make a living. 

What do you want people to know most about you two?

I want people to know that bartending is a viable career choice. I have my bachelor’s degree in economics and finance from UCT, yet I’m currently pursuing a career as a bartender instead of going into the corporate world. 

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