Gabor Fodor: Artesian (London)

Gabor is head bartender at Artesian in the Langham Hotel, London. He makes two cocktails for us, one with Gin and Acerola Cordial and the second with Unicum Keseru and Supermalt.

Gabor introduce yourself
My name is Gabor Fodor and I’m originally from Hungary. I was at university studying information and library science, when I was offered a scholarship in Florence for a year and began working in a bar part-time to make extra money. It was a simple bar, but each time I got an order for a cocktail I got really excited. When I returned home I made a deal with my parents that I would finish university, but my future was in bartending. I wanted to work in London, because for me it’s the centre of bartending, but felt at the time my english was not good enough. So, I got a job on a cruise ship and learnt a lot about discipline and american style cocktails, whilst at the same time improving my english. Two and a half years later I left and got my first job in London at Maze by Gordon Ramsey. I later moved to the Royal Exchange, managing three bars and then the opportunity at Artesian arose. As everyone can imagine it was a daunting task developing a new menu after the legacy of the previous team… they’re a hard act to follow. But we’ve all worked really hard on this menu which is based around perception and we are proud of what we’ve created. This menu plays with people’s minds, as to what they see, smell, touch and taste.

The classic you want to show us
HMS Bajian
50ml of Plymouth Navy Gin
70ml of Homemade Acerola Cordial (Falernum and Acid)

The bar you dream of
My dream bar would be somewhere warm and by the sea. I’d like a small place with a terrace and a relaxed atmosphere. I would prefer no cocktail menu and bespoke drinks would be made to suit each clients individual tastes. Food would consist of small classic bites, that are simple, yet delicious and I’d definitely be playing 80’s music.

What do you do in your time off
As I deal with alcohol 5-6 days a week, on my days off I tend to avoid bars and pubs. I just want to enjoy good food and try new restaurants with my girlfriend or we spend our time chilling out and relaxing.

The spirit you like the most
I really enjoy utilising new spirits or ingredients that nobody else is using. At the moment I love working with raicilla, which is made from agave plants. It is smoky like mezcal, but has a dirtier, earthier quality. I like to work around the character of a spirit and change the perception of how a particular spirit should be used.

What makes a good cocktail
Balance, something about the cocktail that’s surprising and the ambiance of the bar.

What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktails
I really like using salt in drinks as it brings the flavour profile of everything to the next level.

The signature cocktail you want to show us
International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)
45ml of Glenfiddich IPA
15ml of Unicum Keseru
20ml of Lemon Juice
10ml of Sugar Cane Syrup
1dash of Salt
Top with Supermalt

Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
My favourite bar is Satan’s Whiskers and I love the music there. I’ve also heard a lot of great things about Three Sheets, so you should check them out and of course Dandelyan is a must.