Condesa Gin's ambassador under the shimmering Baja California sky
anny barrera – CONDESA GIN AMBASSADOR FOR BAJA CALIFORNIA.
2016, Polanco Metro Station, Mexico City, 11 pm.
A hot night, the air close. Passengers chose to remain silent in an effort to make the underground habitat slightly more bearable. Anny was standing, returning from work, when a man approached her, looked into her eyes, and without introducing himself, simply said, “You have the vibe of a bartender.”
How can a simple glance, quick between metro stops and hurried passengers, turn someone’s destiny around?
Born in Mexico City, Anny Barrera found herself picking up all sorts of jobs, often unglamorous, or, as she puts it “those that aren’t exactly shared on Instagram.” We’ll never know if this strange subway passenger was clairvoyant or simply guided by Anny’s irreverent collection of tattoos, but this confidently-stated phrase was enough to fuel her curiosity.
She started her career in local bars. Bar Félix was the first; a corner spot that managed to stay secret for a short while until it became inundated daily with the vibrant nightlife of the city. The nights seemed endless to her – “There’s so much that goes into this beyond what the end customer sees,” Anny said as she wiped the sweat from her brow – but it wasn’t just hard work; she understood that the need for storytelling and some mysticism.
Almost without sleep, she experimented with textures, colors, memories, favorite and not-so-favorite dishes, seeking to reclaim the meanings of the ingredients in a cocktail. She understood that her personal hallmark was presenting something altogether unexpected.
Anny strikes a powerful figure behind the bar – her hands moving gracefully through motions that are practiced and effortless. The dance pauses momentarily as she slides a concoction towards you – something unique, but somehow carrying a hint of nostalgia.
Anny next found herself at Fifty Mills, one of the World’s 50 Best Bars. Soon, attention came in the form of Mexico’s “The Ultimate Mixologist”, a nationwide, televised competition to find Mexico’s best talent. Here, pitted against those with formal training and eye-watering credentials, she proved her talent as one of the country’s best.
In 2020, Baja California Sur discovered our star, and swallowed her whole; a surreal place where desert and sea collide under the heat-shimmering open sky. Ventanas del Paraíso was her first home and the playground that allowed her to explore herself her new land. One year later, Anny found the perfect oasis: Semillon.
It was there that her passion for gastronomy resurfaced, stirring the roots of the immense orchard of inspiration, and exploring new flavors under the shade of an ancestral tree, a 150-year-old Guamúchil that hosts the bar and its new leader under its gigantic branches.
Today, Anny travels the endless roads filled with cacti, always remembering where she comes from, and that it was no one but her, breaking barriers of age, gender, and social status, who brought about the universe she now inhabits.