April 1, 2024

Chilling Drinks & Chill Vibes: SoCal Surfer Loves Life in Lake County

1.5 min read| Published On: April 1st, 2024|

By Gina Horan

Chilling Drinks & Chill Vibes: SoCal Surfer Loves Life in Lake County

1.5 min read| Published On: April 1st, 2024|

SoCal surfer loves life in Lake County.

Mixologist Daniel Blocker has enjoyed many passions over his lifetime but his first love was surfing, which he began at the age of 7 with the support of his parents.

“My dad drove me to the beach before school,” the 37-year-old says. “I checked my surfboard at the main office, went out again after classes and did my homework under the lifeguard tower.” 

The San Diego native surfed all through school. When he turned 23, he began to work at Pizza Port Brewing Company in Solana Beach.

“I quickly realized that bartending allowed me the type of lifestyle that suited me,” Daniel says.  “I had a relatively flexible schedule, made really good money and enjoyed a social atmosphere.”

He believes that surfing has helped him in work and in life. 

“As a surfer, you have to be able to maintain composure and stay calm because riding waves can be about life or death,” he says. “I think it translates into bartending because the job can get really stressful.” 

In 2018, he headed to Northern California and switched gears. 

“I moved to a farm and became a cannabis grower,” Daniel says. “I lived in a town called Elk just south of Mendocino.”

During that time, he reconnected with his now-girlfriend, Danielle, also a bartender, and after the COVID-19 pandemic, they made their way to Central Florida, where she lived as a child. 

He began working behind the bar at the Argonaut in Tavares in 2022. He now mixes at Ironworks Steaks and Fine Cocktails, the latest in the Nautilus family of concept restaurants owned and operated by David and Hillary Perry.

“I love working for David and Hillary because they have a clear vision and are incredibly supportive,” he says.

Daniel says he loves curating and mixing craft cocktails for guests but understands that bartending isn’t just about making drinks. It also involves interacting with the community and sometimes mediating uncomfortable conversations. 

“We all have more in common than not and the topics that seem to divide us can actually bring us together,” he says. “We just have to take the time to try.” 

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About the Author: Gina Horan

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