Samuel Wiktorsson is a bartender at Pharmarium in Stockholm. He makes two cocktails for us, one is with gin and calvados sugar, and the second is with vodka and violet pearls.
Samuel introduce yourself
I’m Samuel Wiktorsson and I’m a bartender at Pharmarium in Stockholm. After my graduation, I didn’t have any experience, so I started to work as a waiter. Soon I began bartending but in bars that only did gin and tonic, rum and coke and those kinds of drinks. I moved to nightclubs in my region, where there was a wider selection of cocktails to create, even if it was more about quantity than quality. I really needed to do something more creative in the industry, so I moved to Stockholm to learn the basics and this is when my real cocktail education began. After a few months in a good cocktail bar and then being promoted I decided to join Pharmarium a year ago.
The classic you want to show us
40ml of gin
20ml of Calvados
8ml of grenadine
Spray of absinthe
The bar or party you dream of
I would like to create a kind of speakeasy. A really small place which would only fit around ten guests, so you have the time to discuss with your customers and explain the cocktails. I would have a short list of ten cocktails, with changes to the list every month. The design would be a mix of stone and wood and be quite dark. I’d have some snacks to go with the drinks, which could also be paired with some cocktails. There would definitely be music, like jazz music for the ambiance.
I like to go out for a calm night with a few friends, go to a good restaurant and afterwards visit friends in bars to taste their new cocktails. This way I can go out two or three times a week instead of having just one big crazy night.
The spirit you like the most
Tequila would be the one. It’s under the radar in Sweden, but I want to show it to the public. Here it’s mostly vodka that is used in cocktails or drunk, but with tequila it’s more fruity and grassy and I want people to discover that taste.
What makes a good cocktail and which product do you want to highlight at this moment
If you want to make a good cocktail now you have to be original and of course it’s about balance too. Something about the combination of flavours. Usually I start by combining two flavours and then work around that. I like to think about a dish or a dessert that I want to transform into a liquid.
I use citric acid that I can mix with sugar or syrup, so it will be sweet and sour to mix with s stirred cocktail and you still keep the taste of the spirit. For instance you can use it in a whisky sour.
The signature cocktail you want to show us
35ml of vodka
10ml Ciociaro amaro
20ml fresh lemon juice
1 barspoon of liquorice paste
2 drops of butterscotch essence
2 dashes liquorice bitters
Garnish with à tea spoon of violet pearl
Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender?
You should go to Ling Long here in Stockholm, there are no classics on the menu, only signatures like here. Gold bar at Nobis hotel is more classic style and of course Little Quarter.