Thanos Ioannou: The Gin Joint (Athens)

Thanos is a bartender at The Gin Joint in Athens. He makes two cocktails for us, one with Gin and Sauterne Wine and the second with Genever and Agave.

Thanos introduce yourself
My name is Thanos Ioannou, I am from the South of Athens in Greece and used to be a barista before I started working in bars. I’ve worked as a bartender for the last 6 years and really enjoy the creativity and hospitality associated with bartending. I worked in different bars around Athens and a large restaurant bar before starting at The Gin Joint one year ago.

The classic you want to show us
Gibson Martini
60ml of Thomas Dakin Gin
15ml of Sauterne Wine and Onion Brine
Pickled Onions

The bar you dream of
My dream bar would be in Athens actually, because I know the local culture. It would be a small dark place holding around 50 to 60 people, with loads of candles and designed with dark wood and big leather chairs and couches. Chill out music would complete the atmosphere. The cocktail list would include 15 seasonal cocktails which are easy to drink. I’d create cosy style drinks in winter and longer drinks for summer.

What do you do in your time off
It’s very important to do things during your free time. Even if I love my job and I get out to drink cocktails with friends, I try not to talk about my work. I like nature and snowboarding and try to go to the mountains every week in winter and to the beach in summer to relax. I used to do kick boxing and now I do brazilian jujitsu three times a week, to help empty my brain and just breath and think of nothing but that moment. It helps you build your body and spirit at the same time and let everything else go.

The spirit you like the most
Here at Gin Joint there are 170 different types of gin and now I know how to work with it, I know the exact ingredients that can perfectly pair with each one. I prefer dry gin like Juniper, which is more citrusy. My favourite gin is Fifty Pounds.

What makes a good cocktail 
A good cocktail has to be interesting and have something to say. Then you can play with color, the way it looks and the taste.

What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktails
Because I am Greek, I would have to say honey, honey, and more honey. In Gin Joint we have 5 different types of honey we work with. I love honey in cocktails because it gives body to the drink and the origin of the honey influences the taste with different perfumes and nuances, contrary to a simple syrup which is just sweet.

The signature cocktail you want to show us
No strings attach
60ml of Boompjes Old Dutch Genever
20ml of Fresh Lemon Juice
15ml of Agave syrup infused with Saffron
Rimed with Salted Caramel Coconut

Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender?
You should visit Little Red Door to meet Remy Savage in Paris.


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