Rameses Maranan, best known as Ram, is a familiar face on Cayman’s cocktail scene. The mixologist veteran is now heading up the new bar at Lola Bistro, Camana Bay, which, thanks to Ram, is carving out a reputation for serving up some of Cayman’s best libations.
Flava caught up with the cocktail-maker over one of his signature creations to find out a little more about his passion for creating the perfect sip.
How did you break into the industry?
I’ve been a bartender for more than 12 years, but I’ve been in the service industry for 15 years. I’ve done it all; serving, being a runner and assistant server, even cooking. My favorite is tending bar though. I always wanted to be the one creating amazing cocktails behind the bar instead of just serving them. So I did what I had to do until I got promoted to bartending at the club that I worked in Manila and I’ve never looked back.
What is your favorite aspect of the job?
Being a mixologist is a lot of work. It’s like cooking or running a kitchen. It’s about texture, temperature, flavors, ingredients. I come in hours before service to prep the drinks. Mixology is a craft and you have to work your way up, learn the ins and outs of bartending. Like cooking, there is always more to learn. That’s my favorite aspect about the job, learning. Every day is a learning process. I never stop educating myself about bartending. It is my passion, and I love it.
What are some of your day-to-day challenges?
Long hours for starters. As a father and a husband, it’s tough being away from family. Rude or condescending guests – who wants to take care of someone who doesn’t have the decency to treat a person with respect? And also, when I don’t have guests sitting at my bar, it’s one of the worst.
Why do you feel it is important to use fresh ingredients in your cocktails?
Same as in food, it is key. There is an amazing world of spirits out there, many with hundreds of years of history and craft behind them. When you use these spirits in a cocktail you want to make sure they shine and you do this by elevating everything around those spirits.
What do you think about Cayman’s cocktail scene?
In my opinion, the cocktail culture is growing. It’s all about the pairing of food with beverages. Having a great meal and complimenting it with a handcrafted cocktail makes for a fantastic experience.