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Ray Cocktails & The CS Bar

Quickly becoming a pillar in Egypt's party scene, we asked Ray AlRamahi to come in, show us a few tricks and tell us what makes a good cocktail. But what we got was no half measure...

Last summer, a typical fight broke out at one of Gouna's pool parties. Testosterone and chlorine don't mix. Arms were flailing, a girl was screaming, guys were butting heads, shards of glass splashed everywhere and then, all of a sudden, in a blink of an eye, the antagonists and rest of the crowd were laughing, smiling and lapping up booze like thirsty seals. What happened? A steely-eyed, stocky bartender that looks like he came right out of a System of a Down music video came to the rescue, jumping up on the bar. He poured his charisma (and vodka) all over the raucous crowd, and everyone was suddenly happy.

You see that's what it's all about for Ray AlRamahi - not just serving a crowd until they're drunk, but entertaining; "I just love to make people happy!" Ray himself is a cocktail of nationalities with a Brazilian/Lebanese mother and a Jordanian father. He grew up in Jordan but got his first break in the world of bar tending in Cyprus in 2000 as a waiter, cleaning glasses, working in the back area, that kind of thing. "I loved it when I poured my first beer," he exclaims. But for the man whose favourite movie, is of course, Cocktail, being behind the scenes just simply didn't suit him and eventually his love of flair (bottle tricks), mixology and entertaining brought him to the forefront of nightlife proceedings.

In 2007 he came to Egypt for a bartending gig at Pacha, Sharm El Sheikh and the rest, as they say, is history. He became famous there and quickly his entrepreneurial sense kicked in and he began Ray Cocktails. Along with his team, he's been making Cairo crowds - from lofty hotel roof-top parties, to weddings, nightclubs and beyond - happy and tipsy, all the while honing his skills in his home-made mixology lab.

After seeing him on top form at the opening of Cairo's latest charming nightspot, The Garden, whipping the crowd into a drinking frenzy, by the end of the night we decided we needed to bring this extraordinary character in for a chat. We also thought, hey, if he's coming in, maybe he could bring a couple of cocktail shakers to show us a few mixology tricks? But you see, that's just not how Ray does things. The larger than life character brought in a larger than we expected production. Complete with a two metre fully-stocked bar and his three trusty assists Nader, Brownie and Sarah our office suddenly turned into The Cairo Scene Bar, where we talked bartending tricks, big tips and eventually, got pretty drunk happy...

Check out Ray Cocktails on their fanpage here