[swe] Det sjätte sinnet

 

Läs min krönika på folkofolk.se

 

Om ett halvår fyller jag trettio år. Då har det gått tre år sedan jag flyttade från Stockholm till Berlin för att leva och verka som bartender i denna gråmulna men ändå färgsprakande stad. Här bor jag för tillfället i ett litet kollektiv vid Treptower Park. Jag flyttar relativt ofta och det innebär att jag av praktiska skäl inte köper massa möbler eller andra tunga objekt – rummen är oftast möblerade ändå. Men när jag förra året hittade en antik barvagn på eBay för en överkomlig summa slog jag till. Denna möbel är min käraste ägodel och jag har försett den med en del starksprit, amaros, likörer och aromatiska bitters, som jag gärna blandar drinkar på när jag får besök eller när jag vill skämma bort mina flatmates. Jag fick besök från Stockholm nyligen. Två vänner bodde hos oss över en långhelg som avslutades med att jag höll en spontan cocktail-workshop för dem på mitt sovrumsgolv. Jag håller workshops i craft bartending och cocktails i mitt yrkesliv och ibland kan jag inte låta bli att predika även privat. Jag älskar att prata om dryck!

Jag tycker också om att prata om service och hur man får gäster att njuta och att komma tillbaka. Jag tror att receptet för ett lyckat krogkoncept är välbalanserat stimuli av våra fem sinnen; syn, hörsel, doft, smak och känsel. Med rätt service till det blir synergin en kontakt med ‘det sjätte sinnet’ och denna kontakt representerar det viktigaste med upplevelsen. Kan jag hjälpa gästen att nå dit kommer hen att få en upplevelse värd att minnas och högst troligt vilja komma tillbaka för att nå dit igen – och igen.

Enligt empirismen måste all giltig kunskap om verkligheten vara grundad i erfarenhet, eller a posteriori, vilket innebär att vi genom våra sinnen tar in kunskap om världen som vi tolkar och  sedan i efterhand bygger vår verklighetsuppfattning på. Det är våra ögon, öron, näsa, mun och hud som processar informationen omkring oss, och vi i krogbranschen måste göra anspråk på alla dessa sinnesorgan (inte bara näsan och munnen) eftersom en krog vill ge sin gäst en välbalanserad uppfattning av verkligheten, eller med andra ord ett gott helhetsintryck.

Jag vill att ni ska få en inblick i hur jag resonerar när det kommer till de fem sinnena i relation till krogen, och såhär går tankarna kring…

Syn

Hur är restaurangen inredd? Råder skandinavisk minimalism eller har du hamnat i en mexikansk taqueria? Hur ser själva baren ut? Är back-baren (utrymmet längs väggen) disponerad på hyllplan med flaskor på display, eller är det en låg back-bar där man utnyttjat väggen ovanför till att visa konst, till exempel? Hur är lokalen och själva baren belyst? Är det rent?

Hörsel

Vad är det för typ av musik som spelas och passar den in på stället? Hur är volymen i allmänhet i rummet? En “fine dining-ton” på taquerian – nja. Väsnas det från köket? Talar eller skriker personalen till varandra? Vilka ljud snappar du upp från baren?

Doft

Alla rum har en doft. Hur doftar det inne i restaurangen? Doftar det från köket, från maten som serveras? Känner du doften av färsk citrus från baren? Luktar det rök (ja, i Berlin får man fortfarande röka inne på många ställen) eller annat mindre fräscht?

Smak

Hur smakar det som serveras inne på restaurangen? Det gäller allt från vattnet till maten och drycken. Finns det ett tema? Finns det en bar-snack meny med ett representativt utbud som dessutom passar till drinkarna?

Känsel

Hur är temperaturen i rummet? Drar det från fönster? Är elementen på max? Är stolarna bekväma att sitta på? Vad är det för textur på bordsskivorna och bardisken? Hur tunga är besticken och hur behagliga är glasen att dricka ur?

Och för att titta närmre på själva bartenderiet: Hur låter det när bartendern jobbar? Hur låter hens shake/stir? Ljudet när glaset placeras på bardisken; tilltalar det dig? Hur ser bartendern ut när hen arbetar och vad är det för verktyg som används? Eldas det något? Hackas det is? Hur ser drinken ut när den placeras framför dig? Vad har den för färg, för garnish (dekoration) och vilket typ av glas har man valt? Hur doftar drinken? Känner du apelsin, citron eller annan citrus? Doftar det av mynta, basilika, koriander eller andra färska örter? Vad för kryddiga inslag kan du detektera? Hur känns glaset att hålla i? Är det väl kylt? Vad har drinken för smakprofil och är den balanserad? Förändras smaken i munnen från det att vätskan snuddat vid smaklökarna, färdats genom svalget, halsen och tillslut landat tryggt i magen? Förändras smaken från första klunken till den sista eller håller den samma kvalitet hela vägen? Och framförallt: tycker du om den?

Att stimulera det sjätte sinnet handlar inte om att få dig som gäst att komma i kontakt med någon andevärld, men att komma i kontakt med en värld som du kan relatera till där fenomen som nostalgi, kulturell association, förväntning, överraskning, njutning och diverse emotioner av olika karaktär får härja fritt. Det är just denna kontakt, dessa avgörande faktorer, som möjliggör den där exceptionellt angenäma krogupplevelsen som vi alla strävar efter.

Varje gång jag kliver in på en restaurang är minna sinnen på helspänn. Jag bedömer samtidigt som jag låter mig svepas med. Jag känner till det hårda arbete som krävs av krögare och personal för att det hela ska funka, så jag är diplomatisk i medlingen mellan mina sinnen och krogens maskineri, och det uppmanar jag er också att vara. Kom med öppna sinnen, ha lite överseende, men ta gärna för er, för såhär är det: de allra flesta av oss som jobbar på krog går igång på att underhålla och serva. Vi vill se efter era behov och göra er glada!

/Tina Shine

A Paris tour with two cousins and their brave spirits

I want to introduce you to the cousins Benoit Garcia and Tony Comas. Both of them grew up the the Southern French region called Occitane and they have bottled their heritage in a range of organic spirits with herbs and grains from their homeland. I followed them on their Paris promotion tour a few weeks back to get a piece of their Brave Occitane Wild Spirits – a modern distillery who believe in sustainability and who wants to fight the giants of the booze market – and I believe they have a fair chance in succeeding.

Benoit – the master distiller at BOWS distillerie – first had the idea of distilling spirits eight years ago, and about two years ago he brought his idea into action which resulted in the first distill being bottled and out on the market only a year later. The distillery is located in the small town Montabaun in the Midi-Pyrenee region of southern France. This region together with Langedouc-Roussilion constitutes Occitane. Benoit Garcia is born and raised in the Occitane district and he pays hommage to his heritage with his Brave Occitan Wild Spirit which are organic and consist solely of local grains and herbs. To Benoit, sustainability and micro distilling are the future aspects of the booze market.

Five years ago I met Tony Comas in Stockholm. He was bartending in the most prestigious bars of Berns Establishment while I just started my bartender career and proudly served pitchers of rosé sangria and Pimms Cup at the little outdoor-bar of Berns Bistro. We became friends and later on I worked with him for a few weeks in his southern French home town, Montpellier (the largest city in the Occitan region) and when he took of to Africa I stayed with his family for one week on the countryside; in the little village called Claremont l’Herault, located one hour west of Montpellier. There I befriended his mom and dad, and met his sister with family. It was a lovely time – what you can imagine of the southern French country side: the picturesque villages, stone houses, lushy greenery and many markets with all the good you can wish for from the sea, the butchers, the cheese and wine makers etc etc. I was thrown off my feet by the beautiful landscape and the wonderful people I met in the southern part of Occitan that week in September 2014.



This year in September I found my self in Paris. I had extended my visit in the city after realising I would meet Tony again if I only stayed a bit longer. I hadn’t seen him for two years, and I was really curious of the new family distillery I’d heard so much about. BOWS totally met my standards – by far! Their spirits are unique and intensely aromatic. The vodka surprised me with grassy tones and when I mentioned that, Tony bursted out: “to me it’s mango! Aaaah it’s so evident. It’s amazing!” with his nose far down the tasting glass after swirling the clear liquid elegantly with a soft movement from the wrist. And after that I couldn’t smell anything else but mango. The grassiness is there in the mouth finish, nevertheless. And when I tried the gin Benoit has aged on strawberry cask.. man, I melted. BOWS neighbours in the south produce strawberry wine – and the cask used in the fermenting part of the wine production are later used to age BOWS 23 botanical gin. Their other gin is clear and contains 14 botanicals. These botanicals are all from the region and you find juniper of course, and coriander, angelica root and flowers like calamus iris and hypnoses houblon – the rest is secret.


You might have heard of Languedoc before, since it’s a well renowned wine district. The word languedoc actually derives from “le langue d’occitane” and it refers to the specific dialects spoken in these regions. Bestiut is occitaine dialect and so is venidor. The latest additions to BOWS are called Bestiut and Venidor. Bestiut means brutal and it is a malt eau-de-vie that has been aged for six months on cognac cask. The short aging time makes the product semi clear and quite.. well, brutal. Actually. It’s basically a distilled stout with trails of hops, dark rosted coffee and chocolate. Very interesting indeed! Venidor which means future is a rum that has been aged for seven months on casks that previously have been used to age wine made on the Petit Manseng grape – a grape that grows primarily in Occitane. This product is an accurate example that support my statement of BOWS uniqueness – it is produced from molasses, but it has the characteristics of a rhum agricole with an earthy complexity, lacking the syrup like flavour and consistency of many traditional industrial rums that are made from molasses. Benoit doesn’t add any sugar or caramel after the distillation to further tone down the sweetness and bring forth the freshness of the product. If you expect a traditional aged rum you will be disappointed. If you are interested in something innovative and challenging however, Venidor holds the triumph! After tasting their stuff I now understand the reason to put the word brave in the trademark name.

I tried to keep up with Benoit and Tony on their Paris tour. They went from bars to events and tastings and met all kinds of people from the industry with their baby (yes, BOWS’s not even a year old) and one of the places who has their range on its shelf is La Robe & La Mousse – a craft beer bar on who shares Benoit and Tony’s enthusiasm for crafted alcohol and micro productions. They threw a degusion – a tasting – of BOWS where regulars blended with newcomers and friends on an early Saturday night in the ocean blue venue with bright lights and endless amount of craft beers on tap. On each side of the BOWS bottles, La Robe & La Mousse has other micro distillates to offer.

On the following Sunday and Monday I joined them for France Quintessence 2017 – a spirit fair held at Pavillion Ledoyen on a Avenue Dutuit in the the 8th arrondissement of Paris. The products displayed and promoted at this fair are all french! And my five senses were constantly processing information throughout the days giving rise to different kinds of satisfactions. Best was of course BOWS! It’s great to see new organic products on the market and I’m not the only one signing under to that. There interest and demand for sustainable products and productions are growing and the earth needs that. To Benoit it’s a mystery how you could produce anything else but organic raw goods since the finished products are never better than the single components – he passionately explained to me on the little english he knows, and then we continued talking, in the little French I know, about fighting the giant brands of the booze market, and that fame don’t necessarily correspond with quality.

After the Quintessence the two cousins drove down to the distillery in Mountabaun to re-pack, kiss their families, and then continue touring around France with the brave spirits – a journey I wish I could have been part of, but that I at least (luckily) can follow through social media.

At last, I want to thank Benoit and Tony – who let me tag along on their Paris tour. Cheers mates, I had a blast!

What makes the perfect party

What makes the perfect party? 

When I got to join the event company Ljudpoolen and party collective Levande Charader from Stockholm to the Distortion festival in Copenhagen last week, I expected to help out with the bars, not to be embraced as a future bar-boss at their events. Nils Wikland, one of the founders of both operations, took me under his wings and introduced me to the fellowship, and now I want to share with you a bit of what I learned.

The bus journey from Berlin took 8 hours and for each hour the exaltation rose in me. The phrase “Are we not there yet?!” was on repeat in my head. I had never been to Copenhagen, and I knew Nils and his companion Filip Friedrich only on the surface, so I very much looked forward to meet both them and the city. It was the last date of May and the weather was fine. Summer had just begun and I was going to mix cocktails at a private party on a house boat with great music and people around me. What a dream. As the bus took me north some questions popped up in me regarding why we even party, and what makes a good party really. Maybe Nils and Filip could help me answer them.

I bet you recognize that thrilling, bubbly feeling of meeting with a like-minded; someone you feel you know already, someone who you recognise your self in, to an extent. When those meetings take place it feels like the whole world smiles at you. This happened in the meeting with Nils. I, as a bartender, know how fun it is to work with parties – to create the conditions for people to enjoy themselves and be happy – and I recognised Nils’ enthusiastic, almost jumpy expression when we met at the boat they rented for the after party near Langebro at Copenhagen Harbor. He explained to me in triumph that the speakers of their sound system were Ljudpoolen’s own creation that they constructed and spent days and nights to build, and that the Distortion party was their maiden voyage. He was proud, by all means.

We shared a drink, chatted a bit and enjoyed the calm before the storm, then I took off to get what I needed for the bar, and when I got back more people had arrived and the pre-party was already started.

Ljudpoolen is a young event business from Stockholm who not only rent sound and light for parties but also build their own speakers. It’s made up by six people from the Royal Institute of Technology -KTH- in Stockholm and under the name “Levande Charader” (Lively Charades – in lack of better translation) they’re hosting parties. Ljudpoolen has earlier worked with companies like Universal Music, Acne, Stureplansgruppen and various festivals and establishments in Stockholm – to name a few. Nils told me that their company sprung out of the vision of some sound-nerds desire to create the perfect sound – and the perfect party. Him and Filip found each other at KTH and along their studies and party planning they started spending time in the workshops of the University where the work for audiell perfection started.

We’ve worked around the clock in the workshop lately and we’re happy to be finished in time. 12 hours of work goes by really fast when you have fun with it, says Nils with a big smile on his face.

His passion for the work was evident and as we talked about sound my curiosity to hear the result of their work grew. When they finally installed them with the rest of the PA system at Bevtoftgade the next day, everything worked just fine and the sound was great. Nadja Chatti, Petter Nordqvist and Clea played great music and the people helping me in Gangster Baren did a fantastic job! Special thanks to Simon, Mo, Adam, Seth, Emelie, and Philip – and Dennis for stepping in at the end. Did I forget anyone? I hope not 🙂

The sun was shining and it was a hot and beautiful day in Copenhagen and as we partied in the street the knowing of what to come – the after party on the house boat – left me with the grand feeling of: “This can’t get better, or wait, yes it can!” which doesn’t really happen every now, does it?

Well back at the house boat I mixed cocktails on OP Anderson aquavit. I made two different drinks, and in one of them one could pick between the clear or the aged aquavit, and of course I made customised drinks according to the guest wishes too. The bar was a success! – and it had to be there! What would a party on a house boat with amazing DJs playing music for a crowd of friends, and friends of friends, be without cocktails? You’d feel something was missing. It’s essential to have a good bar for the overall experience of a party. Luckily this crowd was very appreciative and I felt very welcomed.

The OP Anderson <3 Copenhagen Cocktails:

40 ml OP Anderson klar / OP Anderson aged
30 ml lemon juice
20 ml sugar syrup
ginger ale
orange bitter
dill
hard shake all ingredients and double strain over a tubler with ice cubes
top with ginger ale
garnish with lemon peel and a dill spring

40 ml Petronella – apple and cumin aquavit
30 ml lemon juice
20 ml sugar syrup
tonic water
basil
hard shake all ingredients and double strain over a tubler with ice cubes
top with tonic water
garnish with lemon peel and basil leafs

My first encounter with Copenhagen had started just as good as my first encounter with Nils. I felt very grateful towards his and Filips initiative and towards all people who was there and contributed in different ways to the wonderful time we had created together. It went fast, we had fun. And they want me to do the bar at their future events too! What a joy 😀

So to summarize what I learned this past week about making the perfect party, well here it is:

No heart, no fun! – It’s just like that. You can tell if the organisers are ‘there’ by heart or not – and it makes a huge difference.
Take immense care of DJs and sound – the music is the foundation and what the guest cares most about! Treat them and the equipment with the greatest respect.
Be fun to work with – even though things go wrong (it always does) it is key to keep up the spirit. People want to be around someone who makes their lives exciting.
Don’t forget to eat and sleep – you never regret eating and sleeping well, prior to a party.
Don’t drink to much alcohol – just take it easy you know. It’s lots of work and you want your friends and colleagues around to be able to rely on you as you rely on them.
Make sure there’s always water and something to eat – of course water is crucial, but food is also a real treat when the party comes to an end. Whether it’s fruit, protein shakes or cheese sandwiches. Eating something makes the landing easier and it also tightens the group when dismantling the whole charade.
Keep it tidy – no one appreciates a dirty dance floor. Even check the toilets now and then (Freddie was alway on me about this when we were working at Laika, it’s important)!
Dance – give yourself some decent breaks. You need to let loose too! Dance with the other kids and show them you have time for them.
And last but not least, prepare a good fucking bar – The bar is where people lean back. If you are ready for action before it has even started the rest of the group will feel secure. You can help out with other stuff, and treat your colleagues with some drinks as they set up their shit and when the guest arrives you focus fully on them and not on chopping fruit. Give the people what they didn’t know they wanted and provide the break people are looking for.

To get to gaze over a sea of dancing people who appreciate the music and one another; to provide the space for euphoria on a dance floor and observe people letting go, with smiling faces, and to feel “we’ve created this” – that’s just the best feeling in the world, that’s why we make parties, says Nils.

 

 

Like the sun coming out
Ooh, I just know that something good is going to happen
And I don’t know when
But just saying it could even make it happen

 

Interview by tradermagn.us

What made you pursue a career in bartending and how did you get your first bartender job?

I was working in retail, selling tea, coffee and a vide range of delicacy products and sweets before I got into the restaurant business and bartending. I have a weakness for the pleasure in flavour and culinary experiences. My very first job in a bar was pouring draught beer and mixing booze with soda in plastic cups for 4 weeks at ’The dolphin shack’ in Sihanoukville, Cambodia in 2012. This was as far away from quality one could get, but I was curious and it was an experience for sure. When I got back to Stockholm my first bartender job was at Berns where my friend Freddie was manager and he placed me in the out door bar at Bistro Berns over the summer. That was a great introduction to the scene and industry.

Where are you originally from, and how did you end up at Melody Nelson and Twinpigs?

I’m from Gustavsberg on the coast of Stockholm, but I travel quite a lot and have lived on and off in Stockholm for the last 7 years. I ended up in Berlin because I went to the Bar Convent in October and missed my flight home the week after. I decided to stay, so I went job hunting. Luckily I found Twinpigs and Melody Nelson.

Can you describe the current cocktail concept at Melody Nelson and Twinpigs and the story behind it?

At Twinpigs we released our new list on March 17th and it’s a compilation of mine and my three bartender colleagues creations. It’s fun and playful balanced with quality and ambition I’d say.

Melody Nelson is a speakeasy in Mitte that offers classic cocktails with only 3 signature cocktails that changes every 3rd month or so. We have about 50 different classics listed in our menu and we let them speak for them selves, perfect as they are.

Which place/places has/have been most important regarding your knowledge and skills?

Can’t pick.

Which is your favourite and least favourite drink to make and why?

My least favourite is Long Island Ice Tea because it’s a shitty shitty drink and the people who orders it have no taste.. usually they’re already drunk too.

My favourite used to be ”Cookie Monster” at Laika because it was so cute and everyone loved it and it made people laugh. Now I just love to make customised cocktails for people with curiosity.

How would you describe the perfect customer?

Hehe the perfect customer is cute, charming, interested in what I have to offer and likes what I make. Of course I like innocent flirting over the bardisk. A good conversation and a laugh is always thrilling. He/she hopefully leaves a number and tips 😉 

But really, I like any guest who’s just nice and polite, you know.

What’s the weirdest drink order you’ve gotten?

l don’t know… A dark and sour? I mean what is that? A German thing? A mix between Dark and Stormy and a Whiskey Sour? It took some confusing minutes to figure out that he wanted a London Sour. He had a heavy accent.

What do you like most about your job?

The people I meet. Colleuges, guest, DJs etc etc. It’s a business for crazy or at least semi crazy people 😀 And that’s what make it so interesting and fun.

Do you have any special bartending skills you’re extra proud of?

I’m super good behind the bar. It’s my scene. Where I shine. I’m an excellent co-worker and I’m proud of that. I care about everyone on the team and always wanna create an nice ambiance amongst the staff and guests.
 
How do you spend your spare time?

Working on my blog tinashine.com

It’s almost like a part time job 🙂 Mostly I devote the rest of the time to music and singing. Currently I’m also studying German.

What do you drink when off duty?

Beer and coffee.

What do you have in your private liquor cabinet?

I move around so much and this is actually the first time I have a little booze collection at home. I’ve got some bitters, rum, gin, vodka, liqueurs… and Brown tonic syrup. I finally like tonic thanks to Brown. It’s the guys at Twinpigs who make it.

What upcoming cocktail trends do you think we can expect in the near future?

Hmm.. I dunno. But for the summer I hope for milkshakes and poptails (popsicle cocktails) since my love for ice cream is beyond!

Which are your favourite bars/bartenders around the world and why?

I worked in Montpellier, Southern France in September – October 2014 with one of my best friends Tony Comas who is an excellent bartender, as much of a freak as I am, and he always seems to know what I want before even I do. 

He took me to Le Parfum where some of his friends work and it’s the most beautiful bar I’ve ever seen. Not only aesthetically but the bar is so well planned, a perfect balance between style and function. And a short person like me wouldn’t have any problems working there, since they haven’t got a back bar with high unreachable shelves – that’s always a huge plus in my book -Instead they use the back wall for a light projection that resembles smoke. Melody Nelson also has a low back bar, + !
http://barleparfum.com

In your opinon, how do bars in Sweden compare to Berlin and internationally?

I can’t tell the difference in general, I just have my view from a staff perspective and there are some differences in structure and employer-employee relations for example. Berlin feels even more family-like than Stockholm, but Stockholm is a more convenient scene to work in. Can’t say which scene I prefer.. So I’m just gonna go back and forth a bit I think!
Oh, and in Berlin you can smoke in most bars!

What’s your opinion on cocktail competitions, have you entered any and in that case how was the experience?

I have no experience in them so I have no opinion. Might enter one one day though, just for ticking it off my list of experiences. But they don’t beckon to be really.

How do you come up with new cocktail recipes and what inspires you?

Curiosity, trial and error. I love watching other bartender work and I ask a lot of questions. I read some bartending / cook books and I listen to ”Med eller utan is” – a bartenders’ podcast by Jonatan Östblom Smedje on Soundcloud. That is very inspirational.

Which of your signature drinks, if any, and what else in your career are you most proud of so far?

Hehe this interview is what I’m most proud of so far 😀 And my blog!

Where do you see yourself in five years from now?

In 5 years I’m in Tokyo singing jazz, making music together with DJ Krush alongside working with a master and keep learning about mixology and this industry. But I’m kinda like Pocahontas in the sense that I go wherever the wind takes me, and 5 years is a long time so you never know.

Would you like to share one of your own recipes?

This is a super delicious raspberry – salty liquorice cocktail that taste like liquid candy (but not too sweet even though the recipe might indicate it) and that I’ll make into poptails this summer!

40ml Fennel infused vodka (infused for 5 days)
20ml Chambord
20ml Lemonjuice
20ml Raspberry puré
20ml salt-liquorice syrup
hard shake on ice, double strain over cocktail glass
* no garnish