10 Fleet Street Bar, at The Morgan Hotel in Temple Bar, has become quite the cocktail destination in Dublin’s ever evolving night scene. Since its reopening in July 2018, the space, décor, food and especially their cocktails have been the talk of the town.
But who are the people behind the counter, and what do they have to say about the expertise of making these cocktails? We introduce you the Man Behind Your Cocktail, Bob Andrei.
Bob is one of the Mixologists at 10 Fleet Street Bar, and he explains how his mixology journey began: “I started working at a bar 9 years ago, and I was fascinated with all that was happening behind the counter. It took me a whole year to observe and learn from my fellow bartenders until I started experimenting with my own creations”.
Today’s culture has somewhat started to worship cocktails associating them with the best aspects of our daily lives, transporting us to holiday destinations through flavours, creating beautiful photograph moments with modern trends, or remembering old times with revamped classics. We asked Bob, in such a busy and vast cocktail scene, where does he get his inspiration from?
“I get my inspiration literally from everywhere, but most of all from the kitchen. Mixology is becoming more and more like being a chef, it’s great to see what new ingredients are being used and how to incorporate them into my work. Travelling also inspires me – I take in as much as I can from each destination, and always check local trends, unknown to the general public”.
No doubt travelling is a big part of the cocktail’s life story, as we now have access to even more exotic ingredients and exclusive flavours. Bob told us despite all of the unthinkable ingredients you can include in a cocktail, his favourite is the humble bitters – “When you add a few dashes of bitters in to a cocktail, it will completely change its taste and turn the cocktail more complex”.
So, if such a simple ingredient can make such a difference in a cocktail’s texture, what exactly makes a cocktail special - Good ingredients? Good flavour combinations? Or simply good technique?
“All of these make a cocktail special, but the crucial aspect of it are the story behind the cocktail, and its presentation. The cocktail must be tasty and look good, but the interaction with the guest is what makes it special.”
Speaking of which, is there a cocktail you’ve created that also has a great story?
“One night I had two guests in the bar that asked me to create a special cocktail for them. They loved it so much, they started to recommend it to other guests in the bar. To my surprise, everyone in the bar drank that cocktail all night!”
Guest’s recognition is undoubtedly the best form of a compliment, but nothing is more gratifying than recognition between fellow mixologists. Perfect executions and extravagant creations go hand in hand, and they also transpire confidence and trust to guests. We asked Bob what was the most unique and challenging cocktail he was ever asked to create:
“One Saturday night, a few years ago, I overheard a guest asking my colleagues if they could make him a Paloma. They were not sure how to make it. I was very new to the bar at the time, and had made these in the past, for a group when I was abroad. I made the cocktails, the guest was pleased, and that was also the moment when I got the respect from the bartenders.”
Being a mixologist is for sure a respectable and reputable position, as pleasing others is the key to success. But, what is your favourite cocktail, Bob?
“Negroni –I will always choose a Negroni!”
Bob and his team have perfected the art of mixology at 10 Fleet Street Bar, and look forward to welcome you soon. We asked what was their most popular cocktail at the moment:
“We have two cocktails tied for first place. Gone in Smoke and Once Upon a Thyme. The first is a Whiskey Sour twist, and the second is our version of a Negroni. The cocktails are smoked at the bar, which brings lavender and cherry wood smoke scents to the room, enhancing the whole experience and reaching the senses. Bringing the guests into the cocktail experience is what makes the difference at 10 Fleet Street.”