In recent years, when a high maintenance celebrity we had brought to the Santa Barbara International Film Festival was staying at Bacara Resort and Spa, I’d been informed that this star’s demands were extremely specific — especially the way the cocktails were made. So I ran to the bar of the resort’s swanky Miro restuarant frantically with detailed instructions on hand, only to find out that the hard-to-please talent had already been there and enjoyed a great time thanks to libations prepared to perfection.
The mixologist responsible for this small miracle is Nanette Rapuzzi. To simply call her a bartender would be a gross disservice, for she’s an alchemist with alcohol and her customer service skills are unparalleled. Indeed, Ms. Rapuzzi, who comes from Lima, Peru, is reason enough to visit the Bacara.
She recently answered the Proust Questionnaire for us.
What is it that you like about your job the most?
To have the opportunity to make people happy.
What is your favorite cocktail?
I love them all! But right now my favorite is “Delicia,” because I love the fusion of Grey Goose, pomegranate and pineapple juice, and Chambord.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Traveling to Peru, connecting with my roots, and enjoying delicious meals. I can’t get enough of visiting Punta Hermosa or Machu Picchu.
What is your most marked characteristic?
People say my genuine smile, and that I have good “vibe” or energy.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
To come from so far away, and start a new life in Santa Barbara, the place where I met the love of my life, Justin, and to find a place that gave me the opportunity to work in the most beautiful resort.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Being healthy, being in love, and being in harmony with nature. Also, being with my family and my cat.
What is your greatest fear?
Not having health…
Who do you most admire?
My dad, who passed away last year. He was my mentor. I admired his connection with nature, his positivism, and his ability to persuade people to cheer up and be happy.
What is your current state of mind?
What is the quality you most like in people?
What is the quality you most dislike in people?
When someone is unfair.
What do you most value in friends?
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
‘Mmmm delicious!’ ‘We are so blessed.’ ‘It’s going to be okay.’ ‘Lets enjoy the moment, we don’t know what happens after this.’
Which talent would you most like to have?
To have a photographic memory.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Sometimes I tend to be too much of a perfectionist, and I know it’s toxic.
Where would you most like to live?
Here in Santa Barbara.
Who makes you laugh the most?
My sister and best friend, Giselle.
What is your favorite memory of bartending at Bacara?
It is rewarding when guests comeback to the bar to visit me, and sometimes when I get to meet celebrities!
What is your motto?