Meet Sergei Alexeev – the Bar Manager at 11 Mirrors a World Class Bar.
Sergey, besides being a remarkably talented bartender, is an interesting individual and a great companion. Alongside Kevin Patnode, Sergei has developed the signature World Class cocktails and formed the 11 Mirrors a World Class Bar team that joys the guests with exquisite cocktails and captivating stories.
Can you recall the exact moment, when you realized that bartending is what you want to do?
I realize that every time I serve a cocktail to a guest and receive a smile of approval. He liked it. Or perhaps the guest has been pleasantly surprised. Quality, delicious, and most importantly, a suiting cocktail is the key to a beginning of a trustworthy relationship between a guest and a bartender. This is an incredibly intimate moment and bartending often helps me to feel what I do is important. The most crucial thing in our profession is people and working behind the bar is an infinite source of interesting encounters.
Do you remember the first cocktail you ever made? What was it?
Indeed, very well actually. The day after completing the bartending courses, I got myself some hands-on experience at a relatively famous night club in Kharkiv – doing the job of a barback (filling up the shelves and fridges with various products etc.). Occasionally, I would get a chance to make a mix-drink – gin tonic or be-ton.
Closer to the end of the night, a relatively tipsy man sat down at the bar, who, as it turned out later, happened to be an experienced bartender – an acquaintance of the local bartenders. When he noticed a newbie behind the bar, he couldn’t help but put me through a test by ordering a MARTINI. To this day, there is a confusion about this drink in Eastern European countries due to an Italian vermouth that goes by the same name. I tried to clarify what exactly does he want – a plane vermouth or the cocktail MARTINI with gin? His response was: “Do as you know”. And this is the story of how I made my first ever cocktail – Dry Martini. Moreover, due to lack of experience, most likely it was made incorrectly.
What were some of the most important aspects for you, when building the bartending team for 11 Mirrors a World Class Bar?
The main principles of our team – authenticity, punctuality, intelligence, solidarity, honor and sense of duty, as well as passion towards knowledge and personal growth. Our team – deeply engaging individuals from different parts of Ukraine.
When launching the bar, you had the chance to work side by side with Kevin Patnode – two-time finalist of World Class Bartender of the Year. What qualities helped him to climb to the top of bartending?
There is not a single person with whom Kevin wouldn’t get along with. Charisma, an incredible tact, and charm – Kevin is a professional with an extensive experience and a sophisticated taste.
Is there a specific cocktail that has become your favorite across your bartending career? If so, why?
I don’t think that there is a single favorite one. I am trying to view cocktails from the perspective of guests, thus, trying to understand what elements of certain drinks attract people the most. As for my personal taste – I love minimalism in mix drinks – 3-5 ingredients tops, not more.
What, in your opinion, is the most important element in creating an unforgettable atmosphere for the guest?
The nuances. Care and sincerity. First encounter, the greeting, the look – every single element matters.
Which signature cocktail was the hardest to develop?
Champagne Blossom. The most amount of variations we went through when creating this specific cocktail. As a result, it completely differs from the initial concept.
The balance of the cocktail is quite complex. We’ve tried out 3 different types of vermouth Bianco until we found the right match for Tanqueray No. Ten. As a result – we have a very delicate cocktail in a style of Martini 50/50 with an exquisite serve.
What will enthusiasts of great experiences find at 11 Mirrors a World Class Bar?
Design, the aesthetics, gorgeous view – these things come together to create a truly harmonious atmosphere. There are plenty of things that will catch your eye and most importantly you will always meet interesting people – the guests of the hotel, the guests of the bar, and 11 Mirrors’ team.
Tell us little bit more about the further development of the bar menu at 11 Mirrors a World Class Bar?
We would like to delicately and with taste implement certain ingredients only available in Ukraine. Besides the already existing cultural references in our cocktails, we will work on transforming ordinary products into something contemporary and fresh.
Last but not least, what should travelers or the citizens of Kyiv visit 11 Mirrors a World Class Bar?
At our bar the guest will find 11 reflections of an accomplished personality. You can always expect a warm welcome – we will recommend not only the finest drinks and food, but also must-see destinations, ethnic go-tos and upcoming events.