Natalia Cardenas began her career in the hospitality industry 15 years ago and quickly developed a passion for bartending when she moved to Chicago and enrolled in Southern Wine & Spirits’ Academy of Spirits and Fine Service, led by Master Mixologist Bridget Albert.
Behind the bar, Natalia trained under Mixologist Debbi Peek at Balena; Chicago’s first amaro-focused cocktail bar and also a 2013 James Beard finalist for Best New Restaurant.
In 2013, she became the National Brand Ambassador for Pisco Portón, successfully enhancing Pisco’s visibility across the country. Natalia has been responsible for executing Portón’s cocktail and mixology programs, as well as activating educational programs for key bar and retail accounts and also for distributors throughout the country.
She has been recognized in leading spirits trade publications such as The Tasting Panel Magazine and Bar Business Magazine for her industry knowledge and creativity behind the bar. As former President of the Illinois chapter of the United States Bartender’s Guild, Natalia has been a dedicated industry champion, committed to educating the trade and giving them the tools to succeed.