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Paris Christofides

Paris Christofides

Paris Christofides is a World traveler, a connoisseur of lifestyle and a perceiver of situations. He has the charisma of seeing through things but seeing things coming in the future as trends although often creating trends! He is an extremely creative person capable of putting things together in a unique manner and has a way to present simple things in a stunning way. He is highly communicative and a people’s person thus a good trainer. He is flexible and adaptable coming from being a gypsy and an aristocrat the same time. His trade is being a consultant on food/drink and music, design and atmosphere, organization and management, personality coaching and…concepts, concepts, concepts!

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We have visited the celebrated and possibly the busiest bar in Limassol, ‘Μανταμ’ Madame, where the highly trained people behind the bar are cool and modist. There was Christos Tirzlakis an upcoming charismatic bartender who just came back from visiting Ireland as he won the Jameson Cyprus Competition 2017 stating with a smile “ I have a lot to learn, I first want to become a good bartender before I become a mixologist or something like that… as a bartender I am what everyone wants me to be, a listener, a server, their lawyer ….I try my best !” .

There was the man himself behind the concept of Madame, Mr.Stephanos Athanasiou stating “ when I am looking for people to work with us I am not judging anyone’s past or career on what they can do. I allow then to drop off everyday life issues and relax with us, I’ts simple, be yourself,  a human being and forget about stirring and shaking! Just relax and be a nice person, the skills and knowledge you will build with us”.

On board with Stephanos approach which is chaneled throughout the bar’s energy we met another persona, Laura Meilunaite, being there with him since stones and wood and participates quietly behind the creations and the dealings prior to surfacing a new cocktail and not only. We reccon that such a lady on board the team, probably keeps balances and handles a lot more on back scenes of what customers see in a bar! Here is what we hacked out of her! 



. Coming from Lithuania and having finished your studies in Office management you trained for an ambitious high end bar. What personal qualities of yours were important to achieve your positioning behind the bar?

First of all coming from other country gives me this different approach to everything what is going on behind the bar. I have studied Office management so I say now that  “Madame” is my office. My colleagues already know that I am super punctual and believe me it is very difficult to be punctual in Cyprus. While I am always in time, everybody are just always late. So I have to be very patient and I am trying my best to adapt to this Mediterranean life style. I always choose  a compromise than an argument, that is a very useful working in the bar. I like to socialize, meet new people, interact with customers. I am very active person in general - roller blades, stand up paddling , windsurfing, bicycle- I am a big fan of action and dynamic activities so working behind the bar fits this category perfectly!



. What would be your advise as the most important points for women thinking to approach this profession seriously?

In any hospitality business the most important thing is to be passionate about your job, this is a key point in every business actually. If you like what you do it will make things easier, so just go for it! I believe that bartenders profession is for people who are extroverts because you are always surrounded by people, it is so essential to channel good energy and create positive vibes. Also be able to work in the team is one more crucial point. You can be great as a individual but bar is a team work playing field. Don't be afraid of challenges and be creative! (More like unisex advises).



. What happens when a new bottle/label appears on the bar?

After the first look at the bottle/label I always judge the style and design. Is it interesting? Is it something you notice in the bar shelf? After that follows tasting and  deeper research of the product.


 . As a woman bartender in service and being a multi task persona you probably fit in the following category. Mothering starting bartenders, customers being everything from patients to intellectuals, from flirters to ‘arrogant’ men, young ladies feeling insecure or super confident, frustrated and happy and all those circumstantial people approaching you at the bar. What is the mechanism that you as a woman try to apply in order to deal with all that?

I treat all customers the same, always being polite and caring. Bartender is like a psychologist some times, so as a very good listener I think I am doing a very good job on this part. People come to the bar for many different reason, but the most important one is to relax, have a good time and have fun. As a person behind the bar I can offer them their favorite drink, serve some snacks, have a chit chat. I believe that me and my colleagues have created a very nice and friendly connection with all customers so everybody can find what they are looking for.

I could describe myself as a multitasking person, yes! It’s a perfect quality for this dynamic work in the bar. Also being a part of a very good team helps this mechanism to work.


. What is Madame for you?

Madame is the place where I fell happy and I can express myself. I love vibrant weekends and casual weekdays in the bar. Everyday has its own charms here.  I saw how Madame opened its doors for the first time and it is always a big pleasure to see satisfied customers, people who come and spend their time here. This bar is constantly evolving and developing its own unique style. Madame is like a real Lady changing her clothes occasionally, but the most important thing stays the same: She is welcoming, flirty and full of positive energy! I am very proud to be a member of Madame family.



. Can you pair a cocktail with the following food? 

a. Fresh oysters – glass of champagne or French 75

b. Smoked Haddock- pint of Czech pilsner

c. Basil Pesto pasta- Mexican Garden served in Madame :) Keep it herbal!

d. Coconut curry- pint of wheat beer for citrusy and fruity mix of flavours

e. Salmon and avocado rolls- why not to try with Martini?



. How would you begin to examine a new cocktail presented to you?

First of all is how it is presented -  garnish, glassware,  colours. Next step is aromas and only then tasting – is it balanced , drinks texture and flavour layers?


. What is the ideal bartender for you?

The ideal bartender is this person who helps you to  choose your drink using his/hers skills and experience. It doesn't need to be a cocktail, it can be beer, wine or any other drink. I believe that there is a perfect drink for everyone. Ideal bartender - polite, organized, tidy, good communicative skills, creative, original but never arrogant!


. In which direction will mixology develop in the future?

We are in this age when bars became like big laboratories. Number of techniques and pieces of equipment are used to create cocktails, infusions and mixtures. Trends are changing so quickly. I am fan of simplicity so whatever changes will come in the future I hope that quality of the drink, fresh ingredients and cocktail taste will stay essential aspects.


. Do you have mentors and why?

When I arrived to Cyprus and started to work in the bar I had no previous experience. I was lucky to have Stephanos Athanasiou as my colleague so I count him as my mentor. Concept of hospitality and overall understanding about bar business came through his point of view. It is really rewarding to have him as a friend and a boss. 7 years working together with different catering projects and now Madame, I think  it says it all :) The best team!

Also while working in Madame I had opportunity to meet Julio Bermejo, the creator of Tommy's Margarita, and Tomas Estes, ambassador of tequila in Europe, both of them showed me how important is to be passionate about what you do! 


With its roots from the monks of Kantara, since the Venetian times of Cyprus (1450-1500 AC) the family Filipou inherited this unique recipie for FILFAR liqueur. The recipe was passed from grandmother to mother and daughter so that it’s production eventually begun to be bottled after 1940 in Famagusta. Today the distillery is at the village of Monagri just off from Limassol in Cyprus, producing other than Filfar orange also lemon, mandarin and bergamot liqueurs.

Filfar orange (34 % vol) is established amongst a few Cypriot spirits that Cypriots should be proud of like Zivania, the unique Anglia’s Brandy or Brandy in general, Comandaria etc.


Tasting notes of Filfar orange

An evident nose of orange leading to elements of perhaps chocolate aroma, slight mountain herbs and rather smooth palate with a slight burn. The soft burn gives way to a long lasting sweet orange taste and after taste.


Filfar development:

The truth is that tourism in Cyprus since its development in the early 70’s and in search of local produce has with time recognized a good authentic orange liqueur coming straight from Cyprus oranges. Cyprus oranges were regarded a delicacy in British grocery stores those days. Served at bars with ice or straight after a meal and a bottle to take back home as a holiday souvenir has definitely increased awareness, demand for exports and increased production.  One should remember that Cyprus in its early days had no system to promote its products to the world and at least since the standardized bottling of this product, if it wasn’t for the tourists the product would have stayed buried like many other production efforts.

Another factor to consider is that throughout the history of the island of Cyprus, its inhabitants never had the change to grow and develop feeling proud of the island’s products which is being proved through times by the lack of support and or the preference to imported products. Nowadays one should study the sudden explosion in using Pisco from Peru, or Mescal from Mexico, rough liquors at their original form and now refined , blended, infused or matured in some sort of method for marketing jargon by the drinks companies worldwide, only to all follow the new trends and not stay behind! Suddenly the Peruvians and the Mexicans have believed in their products buried years under their ancestor’s dreams! Now we have trendy Mescalerias in Mexico and the rest of the World……!  I am sure Zivania Cyprus mountain drink, Greek Tsipouro, Raki or any other hard liquor from Slovakia or Poland would have been also good enough to play with and mix in cocktails! But no spirit company went that road yet!!! So why Cypriots are not using and promoting their own products? Someone else is doing it for them ! Perhaps the tourists?

I wonder if Filfar is mixed with whisky and served with ice if it will taste better than Drambuie or if it is shaken with Zivania, basil etc if it can taste close to an Orange Caipirinha or mixed with any chocolate form in coffees, or cooked in a chicken dish with fresh Thyme or glaze a red meat with honey and peppercorns or………….Never ending ideas. Here are some cocktails created for Speakeasyhacker by a few bartenders around the island.


Dimitris Koumbarou

Dimitris as an inquisitive Bartender, continuously researching  and experimenting with new products. After professional training he has been worked at Ritual lounge Soma, Guru bar and now the Bartender in charge of the The Lounge at Napa Plaza hotel in Ayia Napa. 

Ginger and coriander Daquiri

4 cl Capucana Cachaca

3 cl Filfar Lemon liqueur

1.5 cl Fresh Lime

1.5 cl Real Ginger Puree

Fresh coriander leaves

Bashed lemon grass for garnish

(Method shake and strain into a chilled martini glass)


Giorgos Ashiotis

Giorgos comes from Cyprus. He is studying deep into the subject of mixology with his fort being Notes and Spirits label & bar in Nicosia. He has been participating many competitions in an effort to enlarge his experiences. His inspiration comes from his favorite book ‘ Liquid Intelligence ‘

Morning Nest

6 cl Buffalo Trace Bourbon infused with pistachio oil

1.5 cl Dolin rouge

1.5 cl Noilly Prat

1 cl Filfar orange

1 cl cold brew coffee syrup

(Shake and strain into a glass with ice and garnished with caramel thread)


Pavlos Aslanides

Pavlos comes from Thessaloniki/Greece where he has worked with many teams at reputable bars such as Vogatsikou 3 and Spitaki Cocktail Bar. He took part in many bartending competitions with distinction. He declares a rum fan while amongst the people that inspired his is Ago Perone and Marian Beke on the knowledge of ingredients. Pavlos is currently the head of Bar operations at the Columbia Beach and Columbia Restaurants.

From Cyprus To Japan 

3 cl Filfar Mandarin 

4.5 cl Masticha Skinos

Drops of rose water

3 cl fresh lime Wasabi paste 

(Shake all ingredients with ice and strain in a tumbler with ice. Top up with crushed ice and garnish with lemon and pink peppercorns) 


Marios Evripidou

Marios comes from Cyprus and has been a key player bartender at the Four Seasons Hotel in Limassol since 2009. He represents the hotel in various bartender competitions while he is studying the subject of mixology through International Bar schools and academies.

4.5 cl Pergamot  

3 cl Tanquaray gin

4 cl freshly squezed  pomigranate juice

2 cl passion puree

(Shake with ice and pour in a tumbler, topped with crushed ice and garnish with passion fruit and mint)


We buy with the eyes

in Booze
on: 05 August 2017

Simone Caporale (interviewed on faces) at a recent REAL fruit purees presentation , has shown various alternative uses of the purees to enhance the flavors of various cocktails. He has based his suggestions on classic combinations but changed ingredients and flavors to come to similar results but with new taste. Some of the suggested combinations were (a)Tequila, watermelon juice, fresh coriander leaves, dry sherry, agave syrup (b) Bourbon, sauvignon blanc, lime juice,  Pineapple puree, bitters. 

Simone maintain that a puree can sometimes bridge certain ingredients and not necessarily win the taste of the cocktail but just add some refreshing almost unidentified notes to the palate.

Here is a cocktail in a tulip glass dipped in icing sugar for effect using brandy with triple sec, maraschino liqueur, fresh lemon juice and blueberry puree as a bridge!



Simone’s  presence and experience  were definitely inspiring and educating to all the participants in the presentation as he passed on various aspects of bartending based on his beliefs . He spoke of bartenders to  respect classic recipies and rules but encouraged attempts  to experiment and break the rules even with the possibility of failure as there would be no development and progress in the field.


Simone Caporale

in Faces
on: 03 August 2017
"…………… get inspired of what others do and adapt it to something newer."
Simone Caporale


. You are one of the most charismatic new generation bartenders that have walked many red carpets of success since you left young from hometown Como. As you said to an interview, people on a night out need an experience otherwise they can drink at home. How do you stage yourself as a bartender in front of a customer without being repetitive in creating this experience?

I generally start from zero, any time… those first 30 seconds of talking with a new guest are the most important in order to “read” his/her personality and get the best option of drink….


. Fresh fruit vs. Fruit puree?

If you have seasonal fruit at the maximum of its characteristic you should use it fresh, otherwise a fruit puree can be the best option that guarantee consistency through a longer period of the year…


. How flexible do you find yourself from when you started to today in using ingredients, and techniques to arrive to the same result?

Flexibility is what assures you stability. Saying this, to make a good ingredient you must adopt good starting produce… you can get to a closer result to what you have planned originally if you know how to handle certain basic elements… I said closer, because also some ingredients are never the same during the whole year and this means that your drink constantly have a small variations, sometime unnoticeable.



. Lately you have been inspired by a line of perfumes or fragrances to mix with Tanqueray No. Ten for the Sartoria in London’s Mayfair. Give us some examples of what ingredients have you used to arrive to similar cocktail ambiance as a fragrance.

I did some cocktails using the same aromatic absolutes which form part of the aromatic structure of a perfume or an aromatic cosmetic… absolutes are very strong and powerful, basically undrinkable, so I had to dilute them up to 1 or 3 % and that’s what was the cocktail…. People were actually drinking what makes a real perfume. Simply diluted.


. London loves charismatic Chefs and Bartender professionals and treats them like Rock stars. Going back to the Roux Brothers, Nico Ladenis, Marco Pierre White, Brian Silva, Giuliano Morandin, Salvatore Calabrese, and more…At what stage of your career did you feel that the London system is loving you too and has opened your wings to fly to a new world?

The first and most real love any bartender can receive in the whole world and not just in London is the expectation and appreciation form a guest in the bar…that’s the real thing that moves all the rest of the energies…. You don’t need a system that allows you to spread your wing. You need a work environment, colleagues, managers who trust you and give you the freedom to be professionally creative…

Most of rock stars must do a show.. and shows generally are fake… or too much planning to be kept real… 



. Especially after the collaboration with Jamie Oliver on drinks tube you are an inspiration to many bartenders and ‘wanna be you’! What would be the five descriptive words that you feel should describe a true professional bartender today?

1. Don’t be afraid of making mistake

2. Keep in mind that you can not please everyone, someone will be always less positive or not keen on you.

3. Don’t work for free, especially when is related to a multimillion dollar spirits company

4. Don’t copy or replicate someone else, work for getting personal credit, get inspired of what others do and adapt it to something newer.

5. Remember that time is the most precious thing and the one you have lost it can not come back again.


. Name some of the most unusual ingredient combinations you have used in a cocktail so far.

Kiwi manhattan

Figs and chinotto

Cashew fruit and uni blanc

Abalone and pomelo



. When you take your suit off and with your casuals showing your tattoos (!) as a customer to a simple bar what would you drink?

I have stopped wearing a suit 5 years ago when I saw that it became a forced stereotype in global scale cocktail competitions… you don’t need a suit to be better or look better… it takes few second to define a person from being genuine or not…

I would drink everything… but now I have reduce my drinking habits up to 90%... I taste a lot but I don’t drink that much anymore…I’m getting old !!!


. How do Real fruit purees compare to whatever is available on the market?

Cheap things are not good. Good things are not cheap…

The difference its obvious. There is REAL fruit into it and you can see it by the natural sediments that occur and a shorter shelf life…I love to use them because I know what I get and they give me a lot of inspiration when I play with new flavor combinations.


. Pair the following ingredients to a drink

1. Smoked Haddock with horseradish and orange segments


2. Honey glazed five spice duck


3. Gyro tower with tzatziki layers


4. Artichokes with parmesan flakes on a soy and honey glaze



Simone Caporale, one of the most successful bartenders of the new generation. He started from coffee bars in beautiful Como, his home town, and little that he knew that going to London the world just opened up in front of him. International brands employed him as an Ambassador while many awards of recognition came his way but one must not forget that this is after long hours of hard work. What he promises ti us is more creativity and many more projects ahead!


Hacker Martini

in Booze
on: 18 July 2017

Diamantis Iliadis (see interview on FACES), Bartender at the Holy Garden, Athens Music Hall, has dedicated a Summer Mediterranean cocktail ‘HACKER MARTINI’


15 ml Pernord Ricard

60 ml Tsipouro (plain)

We aromatize the ice with the Pernod with a quick stir and we empty the liquid into another mixer but keeping the ice. We add the plain Tsipouro for another quick stir and we empty the liquid in the mixing glass.

We strain the liquid spirits in a cold coupete rimmed with a dust from black olives.


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