Mixologist Of The Month - Andreas Tsanos

Andreas' Bio.

Date of Birth: 2nd June 1975

Birth place: London

Height: 1.76m

Eye colour: Brown

Nationality: Greek/British

I arrived in London in '96 to study Business Admin, then moved to (Hons) in Marketing & Management. During my last year of College I began working in a bar (too obscure to mention name); the moment I walked behind the bar I realised that this is what I wanted to do, be in the service industry dealing with people, uplifting their mood, bringing a smile to their faces...

Soon after, I started exploring, researching, tasting different flavours and spirits unknown to me at the time. The urge to delve deeper in the fascinating world of the bar kept growing and working professionally in an establishment of high standards was only a matter of time... Subsequently, I was very fortunate to be part of the start team at Hakkasan in 1999 alongside consulting legend Dick Bradsell.

After Hakkasan, an array of prominent and much beloved bar venues followed, like Momos Kemia bar, the Long Bar Sanderson, Sketch, Hix, Lonsdale and more..

In my decade behind bars I have learned that bartending is not only a job of serving drinks but a full on hectic lifestyle of hard work, stress and sleepless nights, however the rewarding side of it, can only be described as fulfilling and life defining!

I currently work at Purl, in Marylebone, alongside a fantastic team consisting of some of the most gifted and talented people of the industry!
Awards, accolades, trophies.

World Class 2010 -2nd place
Forbes 5 top London bartenders 2010
Tanqueray & Tanqueray 10 competition 2010 - 1st place
Don Julio competition 2010 - 1st place
Angostura challenge 2007 - 2nd place
Bartender of the year class magazine 2006 - nominated
Claim to Fame

Too modest to answer this question...

What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you?
With a history as old as time, beer is a very diverse beverage with a vast selection of flavours, abv strengths and classification to fulfil any one's mood. Personally, I like blending and experimenting with varieties such as dry stout, IPA and bitter in hot drinks.

If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be?
Be yourself, respect everyone you work with on every level, watch, learn and take examples. Don't be afraid to take on challenges and materialize your thoughts and ideas.

Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share?
Colleagues that are stuck in their own ways and ignorance. Need to share the passion.

As a mixologist/consultant, you work directly with many restaurants on their drink menus - describe the parts of this process.
Discuss the concept, once fully understood; then you can proceed with market research both local and general. Establish the targeted clients' profile, liaise with the chef for making drinks that become not only an experience but are also relevant to the food offerings.

How did you get started?
Summertime in Greece.

How were you trained in bartending?
Self taught, by working and reading but most importantly by watching and listening to fellow bartenders and colleagues.

Did you take any courses?

What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
The main industry trends that I find in the last years are, firstly becoming a lot more experimental in many ways into modernizing vintage cocktails into modern palates, home grown recipes and in-house infusions are also on the up not to mention the ever growing interest and knowledge of the customers regarding the spirit brands.

What's your process for creating a new cocktail?
Balance and identifying your ingredients is key. Once this is determined you have the bases of your recipe. The next step is taking the base of the cocktail (spirit) and trying with different brands of the same category over and over to maximize the right blend for maximizing the flavours.

What is your favourite cocktail to drink? To make?
The next cocktail coming.

What are some of your favourite tools?
My measuring spoons and jiggers.

What is your favourite mixology resource?
My culinary and drink research and travels.

What does success mean for you?
A combination of a lot of things, but keeping my customers happy and earning the appreciation and respect of my fellow colleagues are on top of my list.

What goes into creating a cocktail? And what inspired you in the first place?
Patience, trial and error and lots of love.

What is your favourite drink to make?
Every drink no matter how humble, elaborate or luxurious.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Doing exactly what I'm doing now, but a lot wiser.

If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
Probably on the other side of the bar drinking...

Your hangover cure?
Gym, Steam room and plenty of water.

Your biggest career influencer?
In my course in this industry, I've come across so many fantastic people... it would fill an encyclopaedia if I were to mention all of them.

First drink you ever tried?
Campari & soda with my dad at a very young age

We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid?
Had a few, but then again too few to mention.

10 million comes to you. What do you do next?
Find a remote, secluded beach on a Greek island and set up a beach bar for me and my friends.

Bar or cellar at home?

Favourite beer?
Innis & Gunn.

Barolo Patres, San Silvestro.

Depends on my mood and occasion.

See previous.

Fav Bar?
Purl, 69 Colebrook Row, Death & Co (NY), PDT (NY).

A fantastic Greek tavern (very old passed through generation to generation and kept its traditions) that I go to whenever I go back home.

World location?

Fav film?
Hitchcock's "Notorious" (1946).

"The fine art of mixing drinks" by Davis A Embury,
"Cafe Royal Cocktail Book" by Jared McDaniel Brown, William J Tarling, and Frederick Carter,
"Bariana" adapted by Charles Vexenat.

Northern Exposure Vol. 1.

Massive Attack.

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