It’s been a while but I hope you’re ready for another interview, because this time I’m proud to present none other than Ludde “Låda” Grenmo, a hard working and award winning bartender who currently resides at super cool Linje tio/Tjoget here in Stockholm. Just a few weeks ago he was chosen to participate in the Absolut Abroad international bartender exchange program, and worked for one week at Lebensstern, one of my favourite bars in Berlin. Anyway, without further due, on to the Q&A!
|Thomas Altenberger and Ludde at Lebensstern, Berlin|
What made you pursue a career in bartending and how did you get your first bartender job?
Went to Mallorca. Learnt shit, but made me continue. I lied on my resume to get my first job.
Where are you originally from, and how did you end up in Stockholm and at Linje tio/Tjoget?
Which place has been most important regarding your knowledge and skills?
Marie Laveau is my birthplace in real bartending. All the other bars taught me about speed, versatility and multi-tasking.
You are one of many bartenders who graduated from International Bar Management in Nyköping, and in 2011 you won their award for most promising student – what can you say about your time there?
Hasse Bihl is the man. He really wants and sees the best in people. He hooks you up with the internships of your own skills and gets you working events and such for those who needs practice. Almost all the teachers are the best there is in their own category.
Which is your favourite and least favourite drink to make and why?
My least favorite drink is the Whiskey Sour. For me it’s like someone asking for the wi-fi. Though, a very good drink. My favorite drinks are made by me or my bar crew. Beacuse that’s what we are mixing for the moment.
How would you describe the perfect customer?
The perfect guest treats me with the respect that I treat her/him with. What she/he drinks doesn’t matter. Tip is always welcomed.
What’s the weirdest drink order you’ve got?
A really stoned guy asked for a glass of grenadine. That was odd. He told me to hold the ice. Then he puked and got kicked out.
What do you like most about your job?
MONEY! Kidding.. Respect, diversity, the network, friends and social activity.
Do you have any special bartending skills you’re extra proud of?
I pull people like a boss. Ping! Micke Karlsson. I also like to work hard, have loyalty to my employer and get my crew to feel good. The rest is for others to judge.
How do you spend your spare time?
Depends from time to time. I guess living #thegoodlife is standard.
What do you drink when off duty?
Wray Swizzles are always nice. Rum cocktails is my choice right now.
What do you have in your private liquor cabinet?
Right now, 23 bottles of all kinds. Nothing special. The specials are gone. Like it should.
What upcoming cocktail trends do you think we can expect in the near future?
Hopefully the trend of different types of cocktail bars. Then you can choose what do drink and where to drink from night to night. Stockholm is growing, hopefully with diversity.
Which are your favourite bars/bartenders around the world and why?
The perfect gentleman is Johan Ekelund at Happiness Forgets. Great bar too! Connaught Bar, Strøm in Copenhagen and Smuggler’s Cove SF. All great bars. One of the best bartenders I’ve met is Jimmie Hulth.
Last summer you went on a US road trip with a friend, did you notice any significant similarities and/or differences regarding bars in the cities you visited?
The US seems to have a lot more money in the business. Bigger staff. Nicer interior. Everyone is much more polite and service-minded, their culture is much more social and open.
In your opinon, how do bars in Sweden compare internationally?
By knowing what resources and restrictions Sweden work with, we’re one of the best countries in the world. The main thing people from other countries think about Sweden is the costs. That’s sad. We’re fucking Awesome!
You worked at Lebensstern in Berlin as part of the Absolut Abroad program, what can you say about your experiences?
Lebensstern is a beautiful bar in a Stammhaus with a great history, service and drinks. I got to know a lot of Berlin lifestyle, bar scene and trends. I think the service at the good cocktail bars was poor. Really poor.
How do you come up with new cocktail recipes and what inspires you?
From getting my ass slammed a Friday night behind the bar. Someone asks for “a good drink” and I just let the creativity go. From there I develop it to perfection (in my opinion).
What’s your opinion on cocktail competitions and do you have any experiences of your own you’d like to share?
Some are good, some sucks. I like small brands competitions, feels more genuine and intense. I don’t like it when you win ambassador internship. Money, travels and booze. I competed a lot last spring. I had a great time.
Which of your signature drinks, if any, and what else in your career are you most proud of so far?
Fame and Fortune is the cocktail I’m most proud of. It got recognition abroad. Otherwise winning different Swedish awards for Linje Tio.
Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
On a throne with a cup of brandy, a lions cape, a crown and small midgets making me comfy like a little boy. Or in a bar.
Would you like to share one of your own recipes?
Fame and Fortune
40 ml Bénédictine D.O.M.
15 ml Cocchi Barolo Chinato
10 ml Ginger juice
10 ml Lime juice (FRESH!!!!!! Like á la minute)
10 ml Simple syrup
3 dashes Angostura Bitters
Built in higball, crushed ice, soda top. My garnish is a mint sprig and a dried slice of orange.