GOLVET Bar&Restaurant - Interview with bar manager Andreas Andricopoulos
Berlin is characterized by its culinary versatility - and the 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 will also get their money's worth. Andreas Andricopoulos, has been providing his guests with unusual creations in the 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 the bar manager Andreas Andricopoulos and talked to him about the GOLVET and his experiences as a bartender. Andreas comes from a Greek family of restaurateurs and therefore learned early on what constitutes hospitality. Maybe that's why he considers himself a host and not just a bartender. In an interview, he tells us how he got behind the bar, which non-alcoholic drinks he would recommend and what developments he has observed in recent years.
Laori: Tell me a little bit 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 have always lived above our gastronomy. As a little boy I started clearing tables and sorting empties. At some point I got better and was allowed to wash glasses, clear the tables, then do a whole station and at some point tap beer - and then at 17 I even threw the whole shop. I then started my training as a hotel manager and quickly realized that it was really easy for me. This enabled me to do the service directly while other trainees had to stay in the kitchen. In the third year of my apprenticeship, I realized that the bar just suits me! After my apprenticeship, I went to what was then the best hotel in town, 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, so it was definitely a Pina Colada. I also drank more of them than I would like.
Laori: How did it go for you then?
Andreas: I worked a lot in clubs on the side to promote bartending. It was easier to make drinks and let off steam in a club like that than in a hotel. After that I had to leave the city and joined the 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 visit ten ports, you will get different mints at all ten ports. After AIDA I worked in other clubs and bars. After stations like the Kameha Grand Bonn and the Alto Bar in Berlin, I was asked in 2017 if I wasn't interested in something new and since then I've been at GOLVET.
Laori: Tell us something about the restaurant and bar. What makes it special?
Andreas: The GOLVET is a 1-star restaurant with an initial Scandinavian orientation and Asian, partly regional dishes impacts. Now, for a year, it's minimalist cuisine with a regional twist. The name is Swedish and means something like 'floor'. The 'ground' refers to down-to-earth.
Laori: Michelin-starred cuisine and down-to-earth: how does that go together?
Andreas: Michelin-starred cuisine can be down-to-earth, for example by using local products. We have courses in which turnips are used in all their forms without playing with truffles or caviar. Our service and style is also very down to earth. For example, our classic is salty caramel butter with bread. We then simply place it in the middle of the table and everyone can dip their bread in it. I would say that we are the young star generation. We play loud music and we do it consciously. Dealing with our guests is also very relaxed and not as stiff as you would expect from a star kitchen.
Laori: What drinks are there with your menu?
Laori: What three cocktails would you make me if I came to your bar and went alcohol-free?
1. Non-Alcoholic 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 permanent development that it's getting more and more. Right from the start we had a few non-alcoholic drinks on the menu and many guests came for the non-alcoholic kefir-kombucha accompaniment. In the past, maybe 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 also been evenings where more alcohol-free than alcoholic was ordered. You also have a lot of 50/50 stuff. The guests drank an alcohol-free accompaniment during the course menu and then come to the bar and order an alcoholic gin & tonic. What I also notice is that people do have certain expectations. 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 either you buy a good ice cream or you get XXL ice cube molds. You can tell good ice cream in the supermarket by the fact that it can be crushed. If you can crush it, it's not good ice cream. Also fresh ingredients. That doesn't make the drink worse, just better!
Fancy some delicious non-alcoholic drinks?
You got thirsty? How about, for example, a drink classic, the Negroni? You can find the recipe for the non-alcoholic Sanbitter Cocktail here.
Photos: Dennis Dorwarth.