Elias Stergiopoulos : Baba au Rum (Athens)

Elias is a bartender at Baba au Rum, Athens. He makes two cocktails for us, one with Rum and Green Chartreuse and the second with Pisco and Elderflower.

Elias introduce yourself
Hi I am Elias Stergiopoulos, I’m 31 years old and I’ve been working at Baba au Rum in Athens for 3.5 years now. I’m actually the newest guy in the team because people stay here… it’s like a family. Before I became a bartender I studied electronics, but working in a bar part-time for money made me realise that was the job for me. I really enjoy the interaction with customers, but most of all the history of spirits and how they are produced. So, after I graduated from my degree I worked in several bars in the center of Athens, before joining the Baba au Rum team which was always my dream.

The classic you want to show us
Baba au rum
55ml of light bodied cuban style Rum
25ml of Fresh Lime Juice
23ml of Sugar Syrup
5ml of Green Chartreuse
1 Basil Leaf
2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
5 drops of Salt Solution

The bar or party you dream of
I have many ideas for a bar, but being Greek my ideal bar would be a small beach bar on an island, like Tinos Island. It would be a canteen style bar with tropical tiki drinks and light seafood prepared by myself for guests. While they drink and eat they could listen to afro beat or reggae music. I don’t like to work alone so I would have my fiancé or close friends work with me at my bar.

Generally I stay at home, but when I do go out I go to see friends in bars, like the Gin Joint. In a way, it’s part of our job, just like when you travel, you want to check out other styles of bars and see what they are doing.

The spirit you like the most
We are in a rum bar, so of course it should be rum, but two years ago after reading a book, I fell in love with Peruvian pisco. I went to Peru to visit Pisco distilleries and I’m going back there in February to learn more. It’s distilled but doesn’t aged like cognac or whisky and after 3 months it’s bottled without additives. It’s very mixable and as it’s made from 8 different grapes varieties you can have so many different results to mix with other products. I don’t have really a favourite brand because there are 700 distilleries in Peru and I didn’t visit them all. But I will say I am currently using Pisco Porton, made in the oldest distillery in America founded in 1682.

What makes a good cocktail and which product do you want to highlight at this moment
Even if balance is important, I believe it’s also about context, what a customer wants in that moment. I try to understand what a customer is used to drinking, then I decide what I would love to make for them and know they will enjoy.

Fruit would be my favourite ingredient to work with, whether it’s fresh, vaccum-sealed or infused in a syrup. But to be honest when I compare the tropical fruits available in Peru compared to the ones we have here, they are far less tasty, which is such a pity.

The signature cocktail you want to show us
Duchamp’s Punch
50ml of Peruvian Pisco Italian Grape Variety
25ml of Fresh Lime Juice
25ml of Fresh Homemade Pineapple Syrup
15ml of Elderflower Liqueur
2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
1 twist of Whiter Pepper

Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender?
You have to go to Gin Joint here in Athens and ask for Nataly or Thanos or go and see Benjamin at 1930 in Milan.

2 Comments

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