Mixologist of the Month - Erik Lorincz
- Date of Birth: 5th December 1979
- Birth place: Nitra, Slovakia
- Height: 6'2"
- Eye colour: Brown
- Nationality: Slovak
When I was 16 I fell in love with herbal plants.
My grandmother was a a great herbalist and during the summer she would prepare different tinctures, oils and would dry herbs for the winter and make various herbal teas.
I learned from her how to use them, and started to make my own tinctures and teas. Today I realize that even back then, I was already somehow connected with the art of alchemy.
During my high school years, I discovered a magazine ad', a bartender, who later became a colleague and good friend, was posing with bottles and a cocktail shaker for the final of a cocktail competition in Prague. I decided to visit Prague for the first time. Deciding to attend this competition, was for me a sort of 'Serendipity', which means that I've found what I've been looking for, without knowing that I've been looking for it!
A year later, after searching long and hard for a proper bar school, I once was again found myself in Prague, but this time to learn the art of mixing drinks, and for the next three months I learned as much as I could and finally begun to realise my dream may come true.
I tended a bar in the capital of Slovakia, Bratislava, and made all sorts of drinks, but the hardest period of my career came, after three years when I decided to study English. I left my bar manager's position and changed Bratislava for London, and found myself in the middle of the Soho, at the legendary Attica club, sweeping the floor, collecting glasses and cleaning ashtrays.
Finally, again I'm standing behind the bar counter in the historic Connaught hotel at the Connaught Bar which was recently recognised as The Best Hotel Bar and awarded and it's the best team I've ever worked with.
Bartending for me means not only making a drinks; it's a philosophy of etiquette, how to be a gentleman and how to treat your guests . Not just make them a drink, but make them a night to remember.
Erik's Signature Cocktails
Awards, Accolades and Trophies
2007 Havana Club Grand Prix, National Final, Slovakia, winner.
2008 Finalist of Havana Club International, Cuba.
2008 Theme Magazine,Bartender of the Year, London Heat, winner.
2008 Theme Magazine,Bartender of the Year 2008, UK Final, finalist.
2008 Nominated for Bartender/ Mixologist of the Year, New Orleans USA.
2008 Class Magazine, Bartender of the year, London Heat, winner.
2008 Class Magazine Bartender of the year, UK Final, finalist.
2008 Belvedere vodka competition , London Heat, winner.
2008 Belvedere vodka competition, UK Final, winner.
2008 Belvedere vodka competition, World Final, winner.
2009 Bacardi Legacy competition, London Heat, winner.
2009 World Class, rum category, London Heat, winner.
2009 Woodford Reserve bartender of the year, Kentucky, USA, winner.
2010 Bacardi Legacy competition, UK Final, 'most promising' ,winner.
2010 World Class UK winner.
2010 World Class Global, Athens winner.
Claim To Fame
Never give up!
Q & A
What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you?
Considered as the oldest beverage should be treated with respect as any other liqueurs.
If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be?
Work hard and believe that your dream can be one day true.
Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share?
As a mixologist/consultant, you work directly with many restaurants on their drink menus -- describe the parts of this process.
First of all is important to match the style. After the big revamp of the Connaught hotel and the American bar today know as the Connaught bar was to do not destroy the feeling of that bar. Essence of our bar is to recreate a modern interpretation of the classic such a cocktail list, service and offer a fine drinking experience preserving the heritage of the Connaught hotel.
How did you get started?
After the military service got a job as a waiter which I really enjoyed but I knew that I want to do something else. One day I got in my hand a cocktail book written by legendary Czech bartender Roman Uhir and that book gave me the direction of what I want to do. I gave him a call and month later I started at his 3 moths bartending school.
How were you trained in bartending?
By Roman Uhlir who really didn't care, I was the only one foreigner from the class, if you want to become a bartender you have to work hard, that's were his words. And he really made me to work hard. During the week I was at his school in Prague and on Friday I took a 6 hours train to another capital city, Bratislava, where I worked over the weekend and Monday I was back again at his school.
Did you take any courses?
A part of my first course I've absolved also the UK Shaker bar school, Gary Regan's cocktail in the country, Mr Kauzo Uyeda's Japanese technics.
What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
It's a wave of molecular mixology, reborn of classic and Japanese cocktail techincs.
What's your process for creating a new cocktail?
Looking for the right balance, harmony between each ingredients. Right technic and appropriate glass.
What is your favourite cocktail to drink? To make?
In a wet London weather Wet gin martini, Caribbean it would be Daiquiri and in NYC Manhattan.
What are some of your favorite tools?
Cobbler shaker and jiggers.
What is your favourite mixology resource?
My colleague Ago Perone with never-ending knowledge which always help me to inspire me.
What does success mean for you?
Happy guest who always return to the bar because they like the way you tried them and make them evening better then was before they walked into the bar.
What is your favourite drink to make?
I love all kind of drinks, punches, maritinis, daiquiris.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I hope still happy and healthy from what im doing. Maybe standing behind my own bar.
Your hangover cure?
Do not mess it up in the evening, less trouble in the morning.
Your biggest career influencer?
Mum and dad, love to make them happy of what Im doing and they love to see me to do that.
First drink you ever tried?
Wine made by my grand dad.
We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid?
Well Im not a very picky person, but too sweet unbalanced mixtures are on the list.
£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
Would share them with people who really need them. Also if something left that would be a culinary school or other training center.
Bar or cellar at home?
Dad got a cellar now we need a bar!
Cold please! Lager would make me happy...
From my dad harvest.
Light with juniper, dark with malt or molasses flavour.
Gin Martini or Daiquiri.
Quo Vadis, Tender Bar.
Imbibe by D. Wodrich.