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Selina Otremba - Mixologist Of The Month

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Author: Andy
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Bio

  • Date of Birth: January 2002
  • Height: Basically 6ft
  • Birthplace: Bavaria, Germany
  • Eye colour: Blue
  • Nationality: German

"I started working in hospitality in September 2021 as floor staff at Revolution de Cuba Reading to make a quick buck throughout my time at university - oblivious that I would discover my dream job. In April 2022, I moved to join the bar team at The Botanist Reading where I started bartending and after a couple of months - and several flooded cellars - I got the opportunity to join Milk Bar. Milk was probably the first instance where I was really introduced to the world of mixology and all that it entails, discovering my interest and passion with incredible support from the Milk Team."

Signature Cocktails

Claim To Fame

My comedic talent.

List of your awards, accolades, trophies

Winner of 2022 HSCC Buffalo Trace Competition Finalist in 2022 Chairmans Mai Tai Competition Second Place 2011 Year 3 Spelling Bee

Q & A

What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you?
Beer is amazing – not just saying that as a German. I love a good Sour, so Double-Barrelled’s Punnet and Lil Bit Of Pud by Phantom Brewing are right down my ally.

If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be?
Explore. There are so many paths bartending can take you down, so explore and see what fits you best. Try everything once and have fun. Don’t let imposter syndrome get the best of you!

Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share?
Ego and judgement. It ain’t that hard to be kind.

As a mixologist/consultant, you work directly with many restaurants on their drink menus -- describe the parts of this process.
Coming up with good drinks is one thing, but then understanding how they work on a menu, with the venue and from a service side of things is another aspect that needs to be accounted for. There are so many things to consider!

How did you get started?
I started bartending at The Botanist Reading in April 2022 and then joined Milk Reading a couple of months after that.

How were you trained in bartending?
I predominantly taught myself through research, asking a lot of questions, getting feedback and watching others.

Did you take any courses?
Nope.

What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
Sustainability is big everywhere right now – for good reason. Efforts to decrease waste in mixology definitely don’t go unappreciated and can often pose as a great selling point, offering a new perspective on mixing and drinking responsibly.

What's your process for creating a new cocktail? And what inspired you in the first place?
I am often inspired by learning about interesting techniques and flavours; however I normally try to start by working to understand the spirit’s taste and history and then add ingredients that I think will work to compliment and to create something unique.

What is your favourite cocktail to make?
Daiquiris!

What are some of your favourite tools?
Pen, notebook and nicely weighed tins.

What is your favourite mixology resource?
Books and people.

What does success mean for you?
Overall, gaining confidence. Any success I have had so far was directly related to a milestone in learning and becoming more confident in the craft and my skills as well as making sure everyone has a great ol’ time and good drinks. Oh, and not looking awkward or absolutely miserable in pictures taken of me.

What are some current trends you’ve seen in the cocktail market?
Increased demand for non- or low-alcohol cocktails as well as more sophisticated drinking, e.g. steering away from juice-heavy cocktails and increased interest in neat spirits as well as tasting events. Additionally, sustainability and social-responsibility have started to be integrated into the modern way of drinking more than ever before.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Still as happy and excited about what I do now but with a lot more knowledge and skill under my belt!

If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
Probably training as an accountant...

Your biggest career influencer?
Connie Cain and Andy Turner!

First drink you ever tried?
Beer. The legal drinking age is a lot lower in Germany so it’s perfectly normal and legal for a 14-year-old to have a pint.

We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid?
Sambuca… I will not go anywhere near that stuff.

Your hangover cure?
Dumpling Soup, highly recommend!

£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
Buy a motorcycle and turn my heating on.

Bar or cellar at home?
Bar.

Favourite beer?
Punnet by Double-Barrelled.

Wine?
Not a big wine person, but I’ll take a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc any day of the week.

Spirit?
Rum.

Cocktail?
Ninefold Daiquiri. Although this weather is calling for some hot rum.

Fav Bar?
Milk :)

Restaurant?
Peter Pane.

World location?
Tirol, Austria.

Fav film?
Howl's Moving Castle.

Book?
Hands off of Mississippi. THE book of my childhood.

Album?
Schick Schock by Bilderbuch. Austrian Funk Rock just hits different.

Singer/band?
Falco.

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