Mixologist of the Month - Stelios Papadopoulos
- Date of Birth: 26th August 1986
- Birth place: Athens
- Height: 1m 86cm
- Eye colour: Blue
- Nationality: Greek
"I believe I caught the "bar fever" at a very young age. My parents were F&B managers in some of the best hotels in Greece, so I basically grew up in a hotel, learning about perfection in service straight from the horses mouth.
I graduated, took my Captain C Class license and started travelling around the world until one day I came back to Greece and decided to attend a bartenders training program. Then it was a flair tending seminar, then one thing led to another and I became a bartender in Egomio Ache under the great guidance of George Bagos.
Cocktails and Flair became my everyday life and I did a lot of reading, seminars, workshops ,bar shows and trips. I continued my trip working in Pere Ubu, head bartender at Bardot and bar manager at Amigos Mexican Bar Restaurant. I became brand ambassador for La Fruitiere du Val Evel and flair bartending instructor in Bar Academy, I took place in many competitions and even judged some of them... Today I am still trying and working hard to spread the "bar fever" to the others."
Stelios' Signature Cocktails
Awards, Accolades and Trophies
1st place at Smirnoff Black Cocktail Competition 2010
2nd place at Bar Academy Flair Bartenders Competition 2010
1st place at Bar Academy Bartenders Challenge 2011
3rd place at International Flair Bartenders Competition by HBA (Hellenic Bartenders Association.) 2012
National champion at BOLS AROUND THE WORLD, 2013 Bartending Championship 2013
Finalist in the Greek Bacardi Legacy Cocktail competition 2014
Q & A
What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you?
It is the bartender's good old friend... Always there for you, always cold and delicious. Nothing better than the "after work first sip of beer" moment with the other bartenders.
If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be?
Hard working, head held high and a pure smile. Service is everything and details make the difference. Bartending is a language; learn how to speak the same language with your clients and everything will come in place. Every morning when you wake up ask yourself "Do I make a difference?" If the answer is "No"... WORK HARDER!
Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share?
A nice, neat, elegant shirt is a great bartender look. But the "Boardwalk Empire" vests, bowties, hairstyles and attitude...You can do better than that...
As a mixologist/consultant, you work directly with many restaurants on their drink menus -- describe the parts of this process.
First you need to understand the concept of the restaurant and the needs of the client. Then comes a good research about the facilities and the abilities of the restaurant, the target groups and where it stands in the market. You gather all the info, you pay attention to the details and then create an innovative product that will match the requirements of your client.
How did you get started?
At a very young age, looking up to my cousin, who was a bartender and I thought he was something like a Superman.
How were you trained in bartending?
I attended bartenders training programs, seminars and workshops.
Did you take any courses?
BCB Berlin Bar Show 2013-2014 seminars.
Tequila Distilleries Training tour 2013 (Jalisco Mexico)
EBG (Exclusive Bartenders Group) seminar of modern mixing methods & skills by Thomas Aske.
EBG (Exclusive Bartenders Group) seminar of Modern mixing methods by Nick Wykes.
Bar (Exclusive Bartenders Group) Academy's Show 2011-2012 seminars.
BCB Berlin Bar Show 2011-2012 seminars.
Modern methods and Techniques by Fluid Movement.
EBG (Exclusive Bartenders Group) Exclusive Training by Andrew Nicholls Ginspiration.
V.I.B training at Whiskey (Highlands Scotland).
EBG (Exclusive Bartenders Group) seminar Whiskey Mas.
Rum & Tiki Master Class by Ian Burrel.
Gin Master Class by Phillip duff.
Bar management by Angus Winchester.
Cocktails seminar by Salvatore Calabreze.
BCB Berlin Bar Show 2009-2010 seminars.
Anastasia Miller & Jared Brown Cocktails History.
What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
There is a lot of food pairing and cooking lately. A lot of premium spirits conquering the market.
What's your process for creating a new cocktail? And what inspired you in the first place?
Idea, Inspiration, imagination, innovation, balance, presentation and smile.
An inspiration can be anything; a person, a scenery, a song, a movie, an ingredient... in one word LIFE.
What is your favourite cocktail To make?
What are some of your favourite tools?
My shakers bar spoons and my garnish tong.
What is your favourite mixology resource? Colleagues, bar shows, books and customers.
What does success mean for you?
To be able to have a genuine smile when you go at work and see that it reflects into your customers and colleagues.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Settled down... In my own bar, working hard to keep my drinks alive and having fun.
Plus 2 kids...
If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
Probably back to the ships industry. Travelling around the world.
Your biggest career influencer? My family and especially my wife.
First drink you ever tried?
Whiskey I think... At that age I have to admit that was a really bad experience.
We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid?
I guess I would have to say Ouzo... Good spirit but obviously bad experience for me and my stomach...
Your hangover cure?
Water or tomato juice.
£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
First I will have one month of relaxation on an exotic island with a lot of Margaritas & Daiquiris and then travelling the world searching for knowledge (bars, distilleries, seminars, bar shows, etc...).
After that coming home; investing the money and sharing the profits with my closest.
Bar or cellar at home?
I am not hiding that I am a fan of the Greek wines...
Lost & Found Drinkery in Cyprus.
Anywhere they have fresh Mediterranean seafood. My best is Takis tavern in Mani, Greece.
Lately Aloe Blacc/Good Things.