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SF bartender stars in new Netflix mixology competition debuting this month

Christian "Suzu" Suzuki-Orellana in "Drink Masters." | Courtesy of Netflix

On Tuesday, Oct. 11, Netflix released the first trailer for Drink Masters, a competition in which “12 innovative mixologists from around the world infuse, stir and blend through a series of high-stakes cocktail challenges.”

They each stand to win $100,000 and the right to the “The Ultimate Drink Master” title, according to a trailer for the show, which premieres Oct. 28

Christian “Suzu” Suzuki-Orellana, general manager at Mission cocktail bar Wildhawk, is one of the select 12 competitors. He can be seen promotional clip mixing a drink and wiping sweat from his brow.

Though he wasn’t able to share many details about Drink Masters, he shared what little he could in an interview with The Standard—jokingly referring to himself as “definitely the most emotional” competitor on the show.

“I may have cried a lot,” he said with a laugh.

Suzuki-Orellana is no stranger to cocktail competitions, nor to receiving accolades for his work. He has made it to the national levels of the Bacardi Legacy cocktail competition and the Bombay Sapphire Most Imaginative Bartender competition within the past several years. He was chosen as one of the "75 People to Watch" by Imbibe Magazine this year, and was also a top 10 nominee for U.S. Bartender of the Year at the Tales at the Cocktail Foundation’s 2022 Spirited Awards. Locally, he has bartended at venues including Benjamin Cooper, 15 Romolo and the now-closed Elda.

Suzuki-Orellana is the only contestant from California on the show, though current Las Vegas resident Alex Velez worked in the San Francisco previously. Other contestants hail from around the U.S. and Montreal.

Suzuki-Orellana says that plans are changing quickly, but he hopes to host viewing parties at Wildhawk during which he’ll share some behind-the-scenes intel about the episodes in which he appears. Information about those dates and times will be listed on his Instagram.

‘Drink Masters’

Netflix | Oct. 28