Now it’s time for me to introduce Elias Malmberg, who quite recently (and unfortunately for us here in Stockholm) quit his job at Tiki Room. He’s currently “big kahuna” at Brass Monkey in Copenhagen, and last weekend he competed in the Tiki Challenge at the German Rum Festival in Berlin – too bad he didn’t win!
|Photo © Stine P. Sidelmann|
When and how did you get your first bartender job?
During the 4 week course we got the chance to work in a nightclub in Stockholm, just did a couple of shifts.
What is your favourite and least favourite drink to make and why?
The customers that comes through the door and wants to see what you got in store for them! Really like the interested customers but I like all customers that are having fun and without going over the limit.
The creative part, that you always can learn new tricks and things and meeting a lot of different people with different experiences. And that it gives you a new challenge every shift!
Do you have any special strengths or weaknesses as a bartender?
I am quite nerdy and want everything to be perfect, I am trying to relax a bit more and have more fun. I think its both a strength and weakness. And I got a secret weapon, Banana Liqueur that is a big strength! Otherwise I wish I could improve my Danish rapidly so it would be easier to have conversations with the people from Denmark.
I have no idea, we are already doing so much good things and I wish we can keep the diversity in bars. So no matter what you feel like there would be a place for you!
Andreas Nilsson, Jimmie Hulth, Robbie Radovic, Martin Cate, Anders Sandberg and everyone that really enjoys what they are doing, having fun with it and just kicking serious ass. Always with a big smile and having a good customer service and the ability to do that little extra thing. Forgot a lot of people of course but these are a few of my favourites. But these fantastic five blended in one would definately create the strongest bartender in the world!
What about spirits and cocktails inspires you?
How complex it is to make a simple drink or cocktail that is what inspires me most about cocktails. That it is so damn hard to master. And I am a sucker for chemistry and all the processes are just fun to know how the spirits are produced, what happens in the barrels, if your pour it in a glass, mix it with another spirit etc.
Which are the main differences between working in a regular bar and a tiki bar?
Smaller then I imagined as first. The drinks are just a bit more complex and takes longer time to make.
How do the Stockholm bars compare to Copenhagen’s?
Stockholm has the better edge to me there are a lot of amazing bartenders and the knowledge is so high that it is insane! They got one problem though the spirits behind the bar. They know so much, want to do so much, but sometimes they just can’t get their products. Copenhagen is a bit more relaxed and have really talented bartender group, here we can get the ingredients that can keep us up to level with Stockholm!
Which of your signature drinks and what else in your career are you most proud of so far?
What do you think about cocktail competitions in general?
Fun way to boost creativity and show people what you do, just wish there was more audience and that the judges would let me win 😉 But for me it is all about the exchange between bartenders and a nice way to meet people from the same business. We like to keep some secrets for ourselves and during the competition you can finally see what the others have been preparing behind your back!
What can you say about your participation in the tiki drink competition at Rum Festival in Berlin?
I just sent in a mad recipe and was really happy when I got the invitation back. The drink is called Jojo the Monkey. And yes it contains everyone’s favourite ingredient banana liqueur!
What do you hope to achieve in the future as a bartender?
Keep my customers happy, have both feet on the ground and just be that nice guy that makes good drinks and will make people come back. And just keep getting better at everything nothing that I can’t improve!
Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
Do you think bartenders get the recognition they deserve?
Yes and sometimes a bit too much. Would love to answer the question with a no and have a huge statement how much effort we put in everything, from going mad with an icepick on iceblocks until you are left with a tiny diamond, squeezing all the juice fresh for every single drink, flaming zests, having the oldest recipe for whatever drink. But the ones drinking these drinks often expects that as a minimum.
Would you like to share one of your own recipes?
45 ml Ypioca 150
10 ml Benedictine
5 ml Calvados
25 ml Lemon juice
5 ml Orgeat
8 drops Ricard
Stirred with ice and strained into a glass of your choice I use a ISO glass, with a fat sugarrim and a lemonzest that I place in the glass before straining the drink, otherwise it tends to be a bit too much zest.