Simone Pagnozzi at Agua

Agua restaurant and bar in Galleria Plaza is very well established in the dining community, and is revered equally for its cocktails and its food. Mixologist Simone Pagnozzi can often be found behind the bar, applying his considerable skills to his shaker.

Simone won the 2015 Stolichnaya mixology competition in Cayman, and is therefore the Brand Ambassador for Stoli for the Cayman Islands. It’s safe to say he knows a thing or two about a great Stoli cocktail.

He was born in Asti, Italy, and after attending a hospitality school, traveled to Ireland in 2005 to spread his wings a little. He worked at a number of restaurants in Dublin, including the Michelin-Starred “Chapter One,” before heading to Australia for nearly three years.

Simone spent most of his time in Cairns while Down Under, bartending for the famous Shangri-La hotel chain. Although he planned to move to the Cayman Islands afterwards, it wasn’t quite the busy season here yet, and so he worked in Ibiza for the summer of 2013. He arrived in Grand Cayman in November that same year.

Since moving to Cayman, he has worked in a few bars, and now he has been settled at Agua since September 2014. The large bar at the restaurant is certainly a good choice for a man who says that mixology is his “passion,” and the comfortable white lounge area doesn’t hurt either. Agua is a great place for dinner, or just enjoying some light bites in the lounge with some cocktails and friends.

“I like the team at Agua,” he says. “It’s a great environment and I can be myself.”

When asked why he prefers Stoli Vodka, he replies, “It’s a premium vodka with excellent branding. Very good quality for the price.”

Stop by and order a drink from the Stoli master himself. He’s easy on the eyes and his drinks are delicious.