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Monday, 26 February 2018 19:17

La carte de cocktails - Holy Garden


The new ‘La carte de cocktails ‘ of the favorable  Holy Garden in Athens  at the Athens Concert Hall according to the creating team of Xavier Misailidis, Ilias Marinakis, Diamantis Iliadis, and Stelios Rapos, embraces the smells and aromas experienced the whole summer. It is an ode to the summer capturing sun kissed memories, it is a taste interpretation to honor the country (Χώρα) of eternal sunshine. There is not a lot of waiting for, summer is close, and till then they have tried to place it in our glass.

Summery indeed and why not to enjoy the tastes of exotic fruit with rums and mescals, gins, herbs, peppers, chocolate, bitters and flowers throughout the year. Any excuse to travel to the whole world! There is quite an elegant approach of menu card design featuring exotic birds and colorful flowers. Right at the top, the Holy Tiki cocktails like the JACK SPAROW, a blend of Caribbean & Cuban rum, married with chamomile and spices, pear liqueur, ginger root, fresh pineapple, citrus mix and plum bitters.



We liked the title and we went for the cocktail ‘ 6 MILLION WAYS TO LIVE’ with Armagnac Darroge 8 Ans D’age, Bulleit Bourbon, D.O.M Benedictine, Green Chartreuse, banana liqueur and Cynar. COACHELLA cocktail with yuzu, tequila, chili liqueur,black mustard seeds, strawberry puree, homemade ginger and vanilla syrups. ‘ Coachella is a reminder of the continuous summer(in our hearts)where the ginger works as the wake up call to the present’    Ilias Marinakis.



The SUNSCREEN intended for those reminiscing the sunshine. It features Vodka, banana liqueur, coconut, vanilla and ginger syrups and pineapple puree.’ Sunscreen is acting as a notification to all of us not using sunscreen under the  sun. A tiny taste of where we’ll be all in a few months. It took it’s name from a song of Baz Lurthmann , Everybody’s free (to wear a sunscreen)’    Ilias Marinakis



Under the section Heads up, the RED DEVIL BEET, uses the qualities of two different gins, one infused by Indian pepper, homemade strawberry and beetroot shrub, prosecco and apple geranium. ‘Red devil beet, took its name from Tom Robbin’s novel ‘ Jitterbug Perfume’, but in our case, beetroot is the missing key ingredient to connect the dots used here in our version of attempt to seek morality’ Diamantis Iliadis



Under the section Blessed by the Gods we chose the PINEAPPLE SKULL with Mescal, green chartreuse, pineapple puree, organic basil, raspberry pure and sea salt for contrast. ‘ Pineapple Skull is our way to approach this adorable and heavenly fruit within its dark side, or create it. Like the one we all have somewhere hidden inside us, the one that we prefer to show only under specific circumstances.’ Diamantis Iliadis



If you are ever in Athens visit the HOLY GARDEN under the same roof with Mama Fuga at the Athens Concert Hall and lookout for the crowd . Feel the endless sunshine in your glass and travel the world through taste. After all, summer is only around the corner! 

The team will be the perfect hosts, as the team of Speakeasyhacker have experienced!



Kokkali 1


Published in Booze
Monday, 26 February 2018 19:07

Javier Garcia Vicuna - Brand Ambassador

‘…when you have a connection with that Brand, you are talking, explaining about one love, one passion.’


‘Hola everybody at Speakeasyhacker, keep up the good work! Let me introduce myself, my name is Javier García Vicuña. And I was born in La Rioja, north of Spain. I studied Gastronomy and I´ve been working as a bartender in so many places, hotels, bars, restaurants for a long time.I love to be in touch with people, welcome them, offer nice drinks and be kind to them. The most important thing for me is enjoying looking after people ¡ If you enjoy it they will enjoy too.

Recently I started to work as a Brand Ambassador for Diplomático Rum and the Diplomático Family in Spain.’

Javier Garcia Vicuña

Javier participated in quite a few competitions and received prizes and awards:

Origins by Schweeppes 2013
Pink Pigeon Spain 2014
Merlet Competition Spain 2014
Gin Collection Contest Spain 2014
Diplomático World Tournament Spain 2014
Martini Grand Prix Spain 2016
Stolichnaya Elit Spain 2017


He creates with passion and presents cocktails with an element of surprise.




.What are the trends for 2018 according to you with the drinks?

In my opinión, there a few things are very trendy,at least in Spain.

- Fermented drinks, there are a lot of places using this kind of drinks and working on it.

- Low alcohol drinks, healthy movement has arrived. Less alcohol, more drinks.

- Simple garnish, less is more. Back to classic style. 



.How would you train a person to become service oriented?

Ok, the first and the most important thing: you have to love this job, if not it will be very difficult.  You are working when everyone else is on holidays.

Apart from this point, knoweledge is the foundation. Very important to understand with which products and ingredientes you are working with. So is essential to know your ingredients. 

We live in a very big world, full of interesting and unusual fruits, plants and ingredients all at our disposal. We must be constantly informed about everything. How can we use it all and what these ingredient will do to my cocktail. Techniques are important too.

 Then to become service oriented you have toknow all the above to have a foundation. When you are knowlegable and sure of yourself you may give! You must be give service through being humble, honest, patient and polite to your guests. You have to be there before they need you. They have the key of your bar, you don’t.


.What is it like to  be an Ambassador for Diplomatico?

Yes I was the Head mixologist  for  the Venezuelan Rum DOC for two years. Recently, I am the Brand Ambassador of Diplomatico in Spain & Portugal. To be an Ambassador for Diplomatico is very important and a serious position. Simply you are the image of this Brand. You must know as much as posible about the process, the history, how to serve it…everything about yout Brand which is a great responsibility.

Is very easy when you have a connection with that Brand, you are talking, explaining about one love, one passion. I am also very proud because Diplomatico is a wonderful brand all over the world.

You must also know about the category, competence and become better and better.



“ Every single day ”  one of Javier’s favorite and dedicated to Speakeasyhacker


4cl Diplomático Mantuano

1,5cl Olorosos sherry Lustau

1cl Ysabel Regina

1,5cl boletus syrup


Smoked with black cocoa. Paired with tiramisú foam.



‘Disfruta y disfrutarán . Salud’



Published in Faces
Saturday, 17 February 2018 13:49

Rich Woods


I have collected so many cocktail books from around the world dusted on the shelf and I was quite skeptical to yet acquire another one. It is not often that a cocktail book can be interesting anymore, especially nowadays that the internet exposes everything that was previously suspicious if not uncertainly unknown. I have come across the recent cocktailing works of Richard Woods during dinner experiences at the Sushi Samba and The Duck and Waffle Local in England, and bought a copy of his book ‘The cocktail guy”. (Released Nov 2017)


‘The modern drinker is a more experience-led individual, wanting encounters that offer a shift of polarity in tastes and trends. They are interested in drinks that move perception around challenging ingredients in moments that stimulate provocation.’ 
Rich Woods ‘The cocktail guy’



Rich Woods in 2014 claimed first place in the UK and Ireland Bombay Sapphire’s “World’s Most Imaginative Bartender Competition” and his cocktails feature weird and wacky ingredients, combining out of the box ideas with the finished product a spectacle in itself.


Kobe Cocktail Pink Peppercorn Lemonade


Today he is the mixologist and Head of Spirit and Development at the Duck and Waffle Local and the Sushi Samba chain. His creative book is his lab bible, at least an inspiration to the industry of mixologists. The book is fresh and intriguing with statements for thought. Reading through and having previously, consumed quite a few surprising numbers from his cocktail lists, I found his creations quite at the point of taste described, with an element of surprise and of ‘je n'est ce quoi’ that challenges your taste to search further. It was spectacular and exciting! I would say that it is justifiable that The Evening standard voted him into the top 1000 most influential people in London.

Some of the attractive cocktails with infusions, distillations and innovative combinations are ROASTED RED PEPPER & BLOOD ORANGE BELLINI, AVOCADO BATIDA, CLARIFIED BLOODY MARY, TRUFFLED NEGRONI, CARAMELIZED RED ONION MANHATTAN, CHOCOLATE & BLUE CHEESE MARTINI and a lot more.


Roasted Red Pepper Bellini Avocado Batida Ristretto Negroni


He regards as the most important tool of a cocktail connoisseur the taste, the sense of balance and passion.

”Skill can be taught, but without passion the skill is just a tool not a weapon. Without a sense of taste you can’t imagine flavour. Without the concept of balance your ideas may never be understood.”Rich says



Rich Woods oversees more creative works through the development of ever-changing drinks programs across the globe, as well as creating new brands and products. I look forward to his new creations and inspirations.

Paris Christofides


Published in Faces
Monday, 12 February 2018 18:39

Rum and new distillation systems!

The rum market and the influx or etiquettes has taken over the bar scene! But yet there is no method of correct information on the labels as the production is not regulated in certain countries or regions of production.

 It intriques me that what it looks as a prestigious rum label may come from a location with no distillery! The consumers should be more aware as to what they are been served, the bartenders should research a lot more, but the traders has to respect this beautiful product more and come to a sort of upgraded codes of communicating the virtues and the methods of production.

Serious works though from one of the largest producers of rum at the bottom of Andes mountains in Venezuela, Diplomatico rum is distributed in over 60 countries and it holds the ‘Ron de Venezuela’ DOC (Protected Denomination of Origin) and is recognized as one of the finest rums in the world.

Diplomatico’s unique elaboration process, combines new technology with craftsmanship combined with tradition which all derives to the art of making rum. The distillery has developed a unique style of merging different distillation methods to produce a wide range of complex distillates. The Distillery Collection highlights these distillation systems with two new expressions, released in October 2017, a Single Batch Kettle rum and a Single Barbet Column rum. The distillery collection is a limited edition featuring each rum’s individual personality.



No 1 Batch distillation system

The Single Batch Kettle was made with a batch kettle still that was brought to the distillery in 1959. The batch distillation method was originally employed in Canada for the production of American whiskey. The “complex” and medium-bodied expression is made from sugar cane honeys, and is aged in American white oak barrels. After aging the rum acquires an elegant and rich nose of aromas like vanilla, cherry, strawberry and banana. A well balanced on the palate, sweet at first followed by a notes of tropical fruits. A soft, sweet and cool aftertaste.

‘The batch kettle is a discontinuous distillation system ,as in the case of pot stills. The main difference between them is that the batch kettle  system has a column attached that substitutes the swan neck of a traditional pot still. It’s in this column with multiple plates that the separation takes place. In a more controlled and precise manner, thereby obtaining a product profile in line with the master distiller’s specifications. 



This system is characterized by a batch distillation, which means that a certain volume of fermented liquid is introduced for distillation and ,as this is gradually depleted, it leaves a residue or water that is drained off to be added to the next batch. This system is controlled by the Maestros Romeros, and is therefore considered a semi-artisanal system. ‘


No 2 Barbet distillation system

The Barbet Column distillation system, originally created in France was also brought to the distillery in 1959. The Barbet column is made of 100% copper, a type of metal that enables the elimination of undesirable sulfur compounds, which form in the fermentation process. Single Barbet Column is aged in American white oak barrels and uses high-quality sugar cane molasses. Described as having a “strong fruity” profile of mango and passion fruit with caramel and oak. Smooth palate and dry with delicate wood and citrus flavors. 

‘This distillation system consists of two columns: the Aldehyde column, in which the undesired elements are separated from the rest of the liquid, and the Rectifying column. In the latter the congeners are separate and  only the desired elements are kept, such as esters and aldehytes. The rectification system is not found in other traditional systems of extraction-type columns. It is unique to this design and is what gives the characteristic profile to the alcohol obtained.



The Barbet column is made of 100% copper, as opposed to traditional columns, which are usually made from stainless steel. Copper is a material able to eliminate sulfur compounds, specific to the fermentation process, and undesirable from a sensorial point of view. In this way copper can separate out these elements and eliminate them’. 


These additional bottles on the Diplomatico rum range,  The distillery collection, 

No 1 Batch Kettle rum and No 2 Barbet rum elevates the distillery to another level and increases the expectancy for more beautiful and individual character rums to be presented in the near future. Best enjoyed neat and cheers!


Published in Booze

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