Andrea, is the bar manager of Little Quarter in Stockholm. He makes two cocktails for us, one is with Rye Whisky and the second one is with rum and green chartreuse
Andrea introduce yourself
I’m Andrea and I am the bar manager of Little Quarter in Stockholm. I come from a little city around Milano. In 2004,
I moved to London and I started to work in a bar because I didn’t have any other options and I didn’t speak English.
When I started in the industry I got really lucky and met the right person at the right time. His name is Giuseppe Gallo and he worked at the Sanderson Hotel, where I was a bar-back. He let me stay next to him, so I could learn everything quickly.
I was very jealous of the bartenders because they got more tips than we did as bar-backs. Guiseppe was a great teacher, and I learnt a lot watching all of the other bartenders as well. Then I was asked to start as a bartender and the rest is history… here I am. It was all about cocktails at this bar and each time the waiters and waitresses said to me they really liked my cocktails, I started to believe in myself and knew it was the job for me. After 5 years at the Sanderson I moved to another hotel within the group. I decided to move to Sweden because someone helped find me a job here at the Scandic Hotel in Stockholm. Then 2 years ago I started to work at Little Quarter to learn something different. Even if I learnt a lot about service in hotels, I’ll never regret my choice.
The classic you want to show us
Rock and Rye
70ml of Rittenhouse 100 Proof Rye whiskey
1 barspoon of home made rock candy syrup
2 dashes angustura
2 dashes oranges bitter
The bar or party you dream of
My bar would be just like Little Quarter because for me, it’s the perfect bar. I feel at home here, like it belongs to me. It’s small and cosy, but rough at the same time. There’s nothing pretentious about it, it’s real with great drinks. Maybe I would add air-con because when it’s packed, it gets a little bit too hot. The music would be diverse, like jazzy when it’s quiet and more rock or hip-hop when people want to have fun. I don’t really see the connection between cocktails and food, but I would have something to nibble like a cheeseburger, so you don’t get pissed too quickly.
When I am off I stay home and during service we close at 3 am. But sometimes on a Sunday friends and I go to see other bartenders at Ling Long for instance or get dinner in a nice restaurant.
The spirit you like the most
To drink I like agave based spirits, but to work I really like to work with rye whiskey. I like the spiciness compared to bourbon. It’s more peppery and again it’s more me. I like to put myself into the glass. And for me, stirred is the best way to make it flavoursome.
What makes a good cocktail and which product do you want to highlight at this moment
Of course at the end it’s the right balance, because whatever the context, if the drink is shit, it’s still shit. It’s also about the atmosphere and who you are with. It’s about the customer and their tastes, so in the beginning I ask what they absolutely hate. Sometimes when I want to be tricky I just make them drink that to educate them.
The product I want to talk about is orange flower water. I don’t know why but I love that and if it was only about me, I would put it everywhere. It just adds something more to a drink.
The signature cocktail you want to show us
By the book
70ml of ron superior Bacardi
1 barspoon of honey water
1 barspoon of green chartreuse
1 dash of orange flower water
Glass rince with absinthe
Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender?
Here in Stockholm you should go to the meet the guys from Bottles in their pop up bar. The location changes every month and at the moment you can find them at Ling Long in the Story Hotel.