Rehab's bartender loves to be a part of the party
It started with a Bon Jovi song. A self-proclaimed ’80s music buff, Brittney Aquino stood in line for hours with hundreds of other people to audition for Rehab at Hard Rock Hotel. When it was Aquino’s turn, “as soon as I walked into the judging panel, Bon Jovi was playing,” she said. “It was a sign!” It sure was, as Aquino landed one of the coveted bartending positions at the city’s granddaddy of all pool parties. “This is my third season at Rehab. My first year was overwhelming,” she said. “Now, I love it.”
Rehab, which is one of the wildest daylife parties in the city, keeps the energy high all day. Although Aquino’s not a huge partier herself, —“I’ll keep it simple and go throw darts at a hole-in-the wall bar”—she gets the party vibe at work. “It’s great because at Rehab I get to be a part of the party without partying. I get my party fix just working here.”
But, it’s also hard work—the bar gets busy. “As long as you acknowledge someone that’s waiting for a drink, that’s important; you have to make eye contact, greet them,” she said. That’s important for any bartender, but Aquino loves that the job means giving customers personal attention. “Smiling, for sure—you have to be personable,” she said. “You have to have the gift of gab, but also have to listen, too.”
Bon Jovi still strikes a chord for Aquino, as some of their lyrics best describe her bartending style: “I’ll be there for you/These five words I swear to you.”
If you’re wondering what to order when you reach the bar, Aquino suggests trying one of Rehab’s most-popular picks, the signature drink, Rehab Punch. It even comes in an oversized souvenir cup. Served on the rocks, the Punch is mixed with Cîroc coconut vodka, pineapple and cranberry juices and Sprite soda. With your cocktail in hand, dip in the pool or hang out by the stage, as DJ R3hab helps close out Labor Day weekend with a special performance on Sept. 4. And in honor of the holiday weekend, Rehab extends the festivities with a special pool party on Monday, Sept. 5, with DJ Forbes manning the decks.