GOLVET Bar&Restaurant - Interview with bar manager Andreas Andricopoulos
Berlin is characterized by its culinary diversity - and GOLVET is just as varied. The star restaurant in the heart of Berlin stands for hospitality, a relaxed atmosphere and quality at a high level. In addition to an exquisite selection of dishes, drink connoisseurs also get their money's worth. Andreas Andricopoulos, has been providing his guests with unusual creations in glass since 2017, which are characterized by Northern European influences. The bar has carefully selected spirits, mostly produced in small factories, and, with more than 50 varieties, it has the largest selection of aquavits in Germany. We met with bar manager Andreas Andricopoulos and talked to him about GOLVET and his experiences as a bartender. Andreas comes from a Greek family of restaurateurs and therefore learned early on what hospitality means. Maybe that's why he sees himself as a host and not just a bartender. In this interview he tells us how he got behind the bar, which non-alcoholic drinks he would recommend to you and what developments he has observed in recent years.
Laori: Tell me a little about yourself. How did you get behind the bar?
Andreas: I come from a Greek family of restaurateurs. We had a tennis court, a snack bar, a restaurant and a bowling alley and had always lived above our restaurant. As a little boy, I started clearing tables and sorting empties. At some point I improved and was allowed to wash glasses, clear the tables, then do a whole station and at some point draw beer - and then when I was 17 I ran the whole place. I then started my training as a hotel specialist and quickly realized that it was quite easy for me. This meant I could do the service straight away while other trainees still had to stay in the kitchen. In the third year of my apprenticeship I realized that the bar just suits me! After my training, I came to the best hotel in the city at the time, the Dorint Hotel, and started mixing cocktails there.
Laori: Do you remember what your first cocktail was?
Andreas: I'm pretty sure it was a Pina Colada. We're talking about 2003 here. Therefore it was definitely a Pina Colada. I also drank more of them than I would like.
Laori: What happened next for you?
Andreas: I also worked a lot in clubs to promote bartending. It was easier to make drinks and have fun in a club like this than in a hotel. After that I had to leave the city and went to AIDA as head bartender. There I was able to talk to different nations, study the different drinking cultures and ultimately be inspired by the different ingredients. You are always at new ports and always get new ingredients. For example, if you go to ten ports, you will get different mints at all ten ports. After AIDA, I worked in other clubs and bars. After stops like the Kameha Grand Bonn and the Alto Bar in Berlin, I was asked in 2017 if I would like to try something new and I've been at GOLVET ever since.
Laori: Tell us about the restaurant and bar. What does it matter?
Andreas: The GOLVET is a 1-star restaurant with an initially Scandinavian orientation and partly Asian regional influences. Now, for a year, it's been minimalist cuisine with a regional twist. The name is Swedish and means something like 'ground'. The 'ground' refers to down-to-earth.
Laori: Star cuisine and down-to-earth: how does that fit together?
Andreas: Star cuisine can be down-to-earth, for example by using down-to-earth products. We have courses in which the turnip is used in all its forms, without playing with truffles or caviar. Our service and style is also very down to earth. Our classic, for example, is salty caramel butter with bread. We then simply place it in the middle of the table and everyone can dip their bread into it. I would say that we are the young star generation. We play loud music and consciously do so. The way we interact with our guests is also very relaxed and not as rigid as we usually see in star-rated cuisine.
Laori: What drink accompaniment does your menu have?
Andreas: We have a classic wine accompaniment - and you can choose a non-alcoholic drink accompaniment. Our 7-course menu always comes with three to four drinks. If you choose non-alcoholic, that would be a kefir, a kombucha and a 'pure' non-alcoholic drink, such as a glass of non-alcoholic wine. The topic of alcohol-free is now very present for us.
Laori: Which three cocktails would you make me if I came to your bar and was alcohol-free?
1. Alcohol-free Cosmopolitan with salted raspberry syrup, lime juice, non-alcoholic gin and a zested orange
2. Salty Watermelon: salted watermelon juice infused with grapefruit and a squeeze of lime fill up with grapefruit lemonade.
3. No-Cuban with non-alcoholic vermouth, mint, red grape syrup, lime and non-alcoholic sparkling verjuice.
Laori: Does alcohol-free have a chance of becoming the new vegan? What trends have you observed?
Andreas: Since we opened here, I've seen a constant development that it's getting more and more. We had a few non-alcoholic drinks on the menu at the beginning and many guests came for the non-alcoholic kefir kombucha accompaniment. In the past, perhaps five out of 100 drinks that we mixed in the evening were non-alcoholic. Now it's an average of 40 out of 100 - and there have been evenings where more non-alcoholic orders were ordered than alcoholic ones. You also have a lot of 50/50 things. The guests have drunk a non-alcoholic accompaniment during the course meal and then come to the bar and order an alcoholic gin & tonic. What also strikes me is that people already have a certain expectation. If a few years ago guests were happy to have something non-alcoholic on the menu, today a certain offer is expected. So it's very similar to the vegan development.
Laori: What are your tips for mixing non-alcoholic drinks at home?
Andreas: Good ice cream! Good ice cream is always important. So you either buy good ice cream or you get XXL ice cube molds. You can tell good ice cream in the supermarket by whether it can be crushed. If you can crush it, it's not good ice cream. Plus fresh ingredients. That doesn't make the drink worse, it just makes it better!
Fancy delicious non-alcoholic drinks?
Are you thirsty? How about a classic drink, the Negroni? You can find the recipe for the non-alcoholic Sanbitter Cocktail here.
Photos: Dennis Dorwarth