Alexis Argyrou is a bartender at Lost + Found Drinkery in Nicosia, Cyprus. He makes two cocktails for us, one with rum and lime and the second with Mastiha and Pineapple Cordial.
Alexis introduce yourself
My name is Alexis Argyrou and I am 22 yers old. After serving my time in the army, I began studying politics and became a host at Lost & Found where my brother was a bartender. I got used to interacting with people and making sure they were having fun. When my boss saw how at ease I was interacting with people, he proposed I train for the bar. So I began as a barback, then 6 months later I entered my first competition for Skinos. I loved the idea of explaining directly to people about my creation and why I did it. It changed my life, and I had to make a choice… so I quit my studies to become a fulltime bartender at Lost and Found. My mentor in the industry is my employer who finished in the top 8 for Bacardi Legacy in 2014 and we also had a Legacy event at the bar and I was impressed, especially by Gn Chans performance on Youtube, he was the winner two years ago. So I decided to take my chance for the Legacy this year. It’s one of the most serious competitions because it combines rcommunication skills, how to sell your drink through a marketing plan and of course the quality of the drink itself. And it’s a great learning experience because we have to improve our english too. I really like how we create connections and set up a network during the whole competition. It’s good vibes all the time, like when Sullivan came to our bar.
The classic you want to show us
60ml of Bacardi Carta Blanca
25ml of Lime Juice
10ml of Simple Syrup
The bar you dream of
My dream bar would have a small capacity for around 30 people. It would be in Cyprus too, in an old local house, like we’ve done with Lost & Found. There would be no table service and everyone would have to come to the bar. I’d only use fresh juices, homemade ingredients or high quality products by locals and premium spirits. Drinks would be from regular classics to twists with our local ingredients for people to taste who are not used to these flavours. We’ll serve proper cypriot cuisine with a modern twist from a menu that offers three choices. They’d be dim lights with electro-blues music or hip hop jazz to keep the vibe, withtout taking over from conversations.
What do you do in your time off
It depends on the day. Could be glass of wine to chill or a more lively club bar to discuss with industry crew.
The spirit you like the most
My favourite spirit is rum. There are different variations, you can use it with fruits and create a long tasty drink or go for a boozier option by just creating a stirred cocktail served in a coupette. The possbilities are endless compared to other spirits. Cuban rum is my favourite as it suits most people’s palate.
What makes a good cocktail
Balance between the spirit and the other liquors and balance between acidity and sweetness. I also like a good concept behind a drink. For instance the Negroni has many years of history, as does the Daiquiri and a Last Word with it’s prohibition story.
What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktails
When it comes to rum, I like to play with fruits as it brings the drink to life. Regarding sustainability, I enjoy making cordials and shrubs so you can use them for a long time.
The signature cocktail you want to show us
50ml of Bacardi Carta Blanca
30ml of Pineapple Cordial
4 drops of Skinos Mastiha Spirits
1 drop of Aromatic bitters
Half a pinch of Salt
Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
Come to interview other bartenders at Lost & Found in Cyprus. Otherwise in summer come to the Meditteranean to visit the guys from Oz Cocktail Bar in Chios, Greece (the island where the masthia is produced) or go to Central Station in Beirut.
Thank you to Bisou for letting us shoot the videos during this guestshift.