A perfect day in the life of a Barstalker ❤
I was waiting for Alexander ready to get on his scooter and ready for the Seminar of Alex Kratena. The seminar took place in the 5* The Met Hotel. 170 participants, mainly bartenders from all over Greece and I. The seminar covered the aspects of hospitality, drinks, menu and bar management and lasted until the afternoon. Alex Kratena is a pop star in the this business and won many awards (listed further down). The seminar was very interesting and I had a lot of fun with the guys.
Here comes the official description:
The Bar Testament brings to you Alex Kratena for the first time in Thessaloniki, Greece!
The cocktails are undeniably a contemporary global trend in the bar industry and living their second golden age. The bartending is evolving rapidly in Greece and cocktail bars continue to grow and multiply. The bartenders have entered the new era of creativity, with new materials and higher quality products, serving inspiring cocktails with homemade syrups, herbs, premium spirits, etc. The have not only elevated the art of cocktails but also simultaneously developing the culture of quality drinking. The bartending is not easy- it’s a creative process that thrives through the connection and communication between the bartender and the bar customer. Thus, with expertise and hard work, ongoing training is required too. However, continuous staff training is not the only element for the development of the area of bartending but proper management of bar businesses, good service and innovation are equally important.
This has been demonstrated by Alex Kratena, one of the greatest bartender around the world, through his work over the years. For this reason, The Bar Testament invited him for the first time in Thessaloniki, in order to explain all the things needed to be implemented by the bartenders and businesses to evolve properly. First he will talk about his creative process. Alex will also explain why quality of ideas is as important as quality of ingredients and how good organization & methodology leads to better cocktail menus. Alex will explain how to design a supercool cocktail menu, how to cost it and set up collaboration with brands, make profit and how to utilize social media to promote your bar and brand more efficiently. And finally, he will explain what makes a great bar, how to create the right culture and language for your organization and why hospitality is a team sport.
Master Class Content:
Drink ideas – Alex Kratena shows how to develop drinks, from ideas to concept, how to choose flavours and design service pieces. Alex will explain why quality of ideas is as important as quality of ingredients and how good organisation & methodology leads to better cocktail menus. How to write a supercool cocktail menu – Alex Kratena explains what makes a great cocktail menu. Alex will explain how to design it, cost it and set up collaboration with brands, make profit and how to utilise social media to promote your bar and brand more efficiently. Essential ingredients – Alex Kratena explains what makes a great bar, how to create the right culture and language for your organisation and why hospitality is a team sport.
Alex Kratena’s awards:
“Best International Cocktail Bar” (2015)
“World’s Best Bar” (2014)
World’s Best Bar Team” (2014)
“World’s Best Hotel Bar” (2012 and 2014)
“Bar Personality of the Year” (2013)
“Best European Bar trophy” (2012)
“Best International Bartender” (2012)
“World’s Best Cocktail Menu” (2011)
We all were starving and I was invited to join some important and famos people of the Greek bar business to a great restaurant. Ergon Agora is rather a large market hall with unique Greek products than a fancy restaurant. There are some wooden tables and benches where the food is served in a traditional manner with a modern twist. Many plates and bowls arrived and were shared. The food was amazing and it was way too many. I couldn’t finish my main course that was a delicious liver. The dessert was also brilliant I just had a spoon of each. After that opulent meal I had to rest and lie down in my apartment. If you ever travel to Thessaloniki you have to eat at this place.
After I took a nap, I got dressed and went towards Vogatsikou 3 where Alex Kratena had a guest shift. The bar was already packed. They recognised me and I was allowed to stand right next to the DJ with a great view at the bar. My ears were treated well by the music. The atmosphere encreased during Alex guest shift and the two drink I had were perfectly balanced. Alex served me additionally some glasses of Argentinian wine he brought from his trips. I really love the technique of throwing drinks what he did in a very uique way with turning the whole body from one side to the other. That was an abso-fucking-lutly brilliant experience. After a while it was time to leave ad move on to the pop up bar of Baba.
It was a warm spring night and I stopped over at Spinte to have a whisky outside. The Old Pulteney 17 becames better the more often I have it. I already tried it in the CV Destiller and I like the buttered salted popcorn taste. I started to relax after this thrilling day.
Like I started the morning I got on the scooter of A. again and we went to Baba. It was crowded and I celebrated this day till the bar team called it a day. But that wasn’t the end. We went together to the underground club “Berlin”. A very old institution that reminded me of my early 90s. After havig a beer it was time to go to sleep. N. returned me safely to the apartment and that was the end of a perfect day in my life with great experiences and even more great people ❤