Bartender talks loyalty and longevity
When you talk to David Correa, bartender at VooDoo Rooftop Nightclub at Rio, you’ll quickly figure out he’s not from the West Coast.
“I’ll always be a kid from the Bronx at heart,” said the New York native. Yes, the East Coast accent is definitely present, but Correa also has that what-you-see-is-what-you-get demeanor, and it couldn’t be more charming.
Correa joined the property 18 years ago and became one of the original flair bartenders when, more than 10 years ago, Rio turned all its bars into flair bars. “I embraced the opportunity,” said Correa, who noted that some bartenders did not. “I believe the owner has the right to run the business their way and you have the right to adapt or not adapt.”
His skills as a bartender only increased and flair bartending ended up becoming a worldwide hit. Correa’s career at Rio has since continued down a successful path. He also met and married his wife, who’s also an employee of Rio.
“I’m old school. You have a loyalty to your boss; they’re allowing you to make money in their place ... buying my house, meeting my wife, taking trips—I owe everything to the Rio,” said Correa. He’s worked at many of the property’s bars, and for the past six years has been at VooDoo.
“To have an office with a view like this, I mean, come on,” he said about the club’s 51st-story location. “I’m thankful every time I look out those glass windows.”
This specialty drink is a Rio classic, revisited and revived. “About 14 to 15 years ago it was called Corral Crush,” Correa explained. “It used to be a signature drink sold throughout the whole casino. So, we wanted to bring it back up here. We changed the recipe slightly to make it a little stronger and a little more VooDoo-worthy.” The VooDoo Crush is definitely taste-worthy—it’s slightly sweet, but well balanced. It mixes Cîroc Peach vodka, Malibu rum, peach schnapps, amaretto, orange juice, sweet and sour mix and a dash of grenadine. It’s garnished with a cherry and a lime wedge.