Vangelis Dimitris: Late Bloomers (Zurich)

Vangelis Dimitris is the co-owner of Late Bloomers in Zurich. He makes us two cocktails, one with Rum and Mastiha and the second with Rum and Hazelnut.

Vangelis introduce yourself
My name is Vangelis, and I am a co-owner of Late Bloomers Bar, located in the “Sinner’s Area” of cosmopolitan Zurich. Although it has been super challenging, it’s also been motivating to repurpose the neighbourhood in some way. Growing up in the west of Athens, I remember getting involved in hospitality around 20 years ago, starting from a DJ’s perspective, as it has always been one of my favourite hobbies and still is. Around 2008, I began working as an assistant waiter, gradually progressing to waiter and occasionally hosting duties. The socializing and direct interaction with people from all backgrounds have always fascinated me. It was around this time that I began to envision opening a venue that could become a warm place where every person, regardless of their background, would feel welcome. This vision became my big target. Breaking it down, a significant milestone for me was in 2013, when I decided to pursue opportunities in Norway. There, I became a bartender in two high-end hotels, further refining my skills and experiences in the hospitality industry.
Another milestone was when I came to Zurich at the beginning of 2017 after some close family had the kindness to invite me. Shortly after, my best friend Stelios from Athens joined me, and simultaneously, we started a small importing business where we were trusted by a company that may be the most successful bartender’s story I know (Three Cents). We met our third partner, Aineias, in Zurich, and voila! Common vision, common values, right people! Step by step, struggle by struggle because some things in Life are worth waiting for we officially opened our doors in November 2022.

The classic you want to show us
Tsoureki Colada
40ml of White Rum
20ml of Mastiha Liqueur
10ml of Citric Solution
80ml of Three Cents of Pineapple Soda
Top with Coconut Mahlepi Foam and Tonka Powder

The bar you dream of
Even though I prefer to focus on the Now, I’ll provide two answers. Firstly, the bar I dream of would be “Late Bloomers” but based in the Alps, housed in a cosy wooden chalet where we could offer partial accommodation. We would exclusively use regional products and spirits, with our distillates even better. Secondly, many years down the line, I envision a seaside establishment in the Aegean Sea, perhaps on the islands of Ikaria or Amorgos. This bar would specialize in local spirits and serve a selection of seasonal dishes sourced from our nearby farm.

What do you do in your time off
Time what??? Certainly, I try to create time off and I like to research select records, read books and often release pressure by working out and trying to spend some quality time with my friends and family.

The spirit you like the most
I would say vermouth for various reasons. I like the spectrum of flavours and the complexity, the international variations one can find, the excitement of fortified wines brought back to life or initially created that way, and their use in numerous cocktails. Additionally, it serves as a great base for low-ABV beverages.

What makes a good cocktail
In my opinion, a good cocktail must, of course, be enjoyed by the person who orders it and the mood the person is in. Taste and balance are crucial, but love and being “well made” are equally important. There should be respect for the base spirit or the classic version if it’s being twisted.

What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktail
I would say anything seasonal brings me excitement, and I see it as a canvas to build on.

The signature cocktail you want to show us
Subbed Zero Hazelnut
70ml of Hazelnut Rum Overproof Blend (50g of blended rum with 2,5g of coffee bean, 16g of Hazelnut powder and 10g of regional apples, 18,5g of water)
Freeze at -20 for a night then fastwashed with Nutella.

Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
Not Far, I think you should visit our neighbour Moritz Kriech, head Bartender at Kasheme, he is the right person to introduce to the “tribe” of Kasheme. I have thought to recommend you back to my second home Athens. Aimilia is the
“Wonder Lady” behind the “Walk in” Project at Exarcheia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.