Dimi Lezinska - Mixologist of the Month
- Date of Birth: 26th April 1974
- Birth place: Paris
- Nationality: French
Born and raised in Paris and now living in London, he perfected his craft at some of the UK's top cocktail bars including the legendary Atlantic Bar, Mash, Eclipse and as the manager of one of the most highly acclaimed bars in the capital, LAB.
Dimi went on to achieve international recognition as the co-host of the Discovery Channel's hugely popular "Cocktail Kings", a guide to some of the best cities in the world and the cocktails to enjoy in their most stylish bars, restaurants and hotels.
Dimi first moved from Paris to the French Alps on the Italian border where he trained to be a chef. It was here, says Dimi, that he developed an interest in experimenting with different combinations of fresh ingredients to create a sensory experience.
Dimi now has the enviable role of Grey Goose global ambassador travelling around the world sharing the art of cocktail making in many different languages - Dimi is fluent in French, English, Italian and speaks a little Spanish too.
Dimi is always on the look out for new ingredients with which to create new taste experiences - the more exotic and unusual the better. He also loves to experiment with new cocktail-making techniques including molecular mixology - which applies the laws of science to the art of mixology with spectacular results.
Awards, Accolades and Trophies
Winner of the Woods 100 comp 2 years in a row - 2003/4.
Claim To Fame
Dimi's TV show was broadcasted in 56 countries!!
Q & A
What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you?
If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be? 1.Its not about you, it is about the customer! I always use this line to illustrate the importance of service and good hosting by a quote by Maya Angelou: "People will forget who you are, people will forget what you told them but people will never forget how you made them feel". 2.Bartenders should communicate to consumers that it is not about drinking more, but drinking better!
Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share?
What annoys me is the arrogance of talented bartenders who think they know it all when they don't. The enemy of knowledge is not ignorance but... the illusion of knowledge.
As a mixologist/consultant, you work directly with many restaurants on their drink menus - describe the parts of this process.
Presently, I am the Global Brand Ambassador for Grey Goose Vodka, my role is more ported on inspiring bartenders and educating consumers from all over the world as well as creating all the cocktails for Grey Goose global events rather than doing consultancy for bars. With my work, I am very fortunate to travel the world and find new techniques as well as the most incredible ingredients. My role is to combine those 2 and excite people as ultimately as my friend and colleague (Ludo Miazga) said: The world deserves better cocktails!
How did you get started?
I started bartending after my national service in France and arrival in the UK. My fist job wask in Soho's O Bar. I was fortunate to get a job at the Atlantic Bar and Grill working with a very professional educated bar team who opened my eyes to the world of cocktails and spirits. From there I never looked back.
How were you trained in bartending?
The Atlantic Bar and Grill offered in house training and from there, all the venues that I worked in developed the same and were going deeper and deeper in the subject. They were also a lot of training by brands and those were growing all the time. We should not take from granted the power of the London/UK bar community, it is very close and we did not have all the information available today but were very curious. But the best learning were all those nights spent working behind the bar with some of the most talented bartenders in the industry who have now become successful ambassadors, bar owners, company trainers as well as very successful consultants.
Did you take any courses?
Not yet but enrolling in the WSET soon as well as Distill.
What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
I think smoking guns are on a growing agenda as well as making your own flavoured sodas as well as sourcing local ingredients.
What's your process for creating a new cocktail?
For me a drink tastes better with a story, so all the drinks need to have a theme or a place. From there it is about creating a memory by making this moment special. Therefore find local ingredients in detrimental in achieving this, I find that when I have my direction it is easy to find matching flavours (with ingredients who are linked to the theme or place) and fine tune.
What is your favourite cocktail to drink? To make?
My favourite cocktail to drink depends of the company, the place, time of the day, season, and ambiance. And to make, it is the next one I will be working on
What are some of your favourite tools?
I like my steam juice extractor, it allows me to get incredible juices and its really unique. From here I am able to come up with really imaginative drinks. Also the shaker for me is just simply great, I find a really affinity just as in Full Metal Jacket and their weapons.
What is your favourite mixology resource?
Fruit markets and cook books.
What does success mean for you?
I would like to see the bartending profession to be respected around the world. All ambassadors, bar consultants work to the same goal, obviously promote our brands, but really give inspiration to bartenders who are not respected and that this is a beautiful craft and tomorrow indeed, I hope that the world will serve better cocktails and this profession will be respected.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
On the beach drinking a Pina Colada and laughing at all the bartenders you hate to make them!
Your hangover cure?
I find the answer to this question changes as I get older, I wonder why... Now, I drink less and eat something before I go to bed and drink water.
Your biggest career influencer?
Colin Appiah, this is a people's industry and he is just great with people.
First drink you ever tried?
It might be something with pineapple...
We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid?
£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
Sure you will find out when it comes to that.
Bar or cellar at home?
Not really a beer guy.
Depends on the food.
All the spirits that are a great expression of the local produce/raw material.
Depends on company, location, time of the day, mood, ambiance.
Anyone who has a great decor, with good music, nice people, friendly barstaff and great drinks.
Have different ones around the world with different cuisines.
Am a globetrotter so can't stay in one place for too long.
I love documentaries and prefer those to films.
I love Zouk Music (from the West Indies).
Depends on mood.