The Art of Mixology with Roman Foltan

13 Март 2015

For whisky drinkers, the cocktail shaker has been more of an ornament for the last few years. However, as whisky has grown in popularity, so has its use as an ingredient in some new and exciting concoctions. 

We met up with one of London’s top mixologists, Roman Foltan, to discover what it takes to make the best Glenfiddich cocktail.

Firstly, many still assume that whisky should be enjoyed neat. Can you help dispel that myth and tell our readers how high quality whiskies like Glenfiddich can be versatile as a cocktail ingredient?

Whisky is a spirit with so much potential and body. What’s more, you can make whisky cocktails without ever losing touch of the original tasting profile of any given expression.

If you don’t believe me, come to the Artesian and we will show you!

How did you get into the Art of mixology?

I’ve worked in hospitality since I was 14, starting out as a Kitchen Porter first before moving to front of house. I’ve worked in numerous cafes, restaurant, clubs and cruise ships across the world, but have never actually worked behind the bar until now. 

Everything started here at the Artesian, where I got a job as a bar-back without any experience at all.

What's the best part about working at The Artesian?

Lots of people expect that because we’re a 5 star hotel bar, we’ll have a pretentious atmosphere, which simply isn’t true at all. So, when customers tell me they had a great time and that they will definitely be returning, it makes my day! 

How does your team develop new cocktails?

Every Saturday, we all sit down as a team to talk about new ideas, products and cocktail recipes. We call it our ‘Creative Session’ and, even after a Saturday night shift, everyone has to come up with at least something, even if it is 5am! 

What is your signature serve?

The Solera Rosso. It contains Glenfiddich 15 Year Old, two types of sherry, citrus, sugar and fresh raspberries with chocolate bitters. It’s a really simple but delicious recipe, and perfect for trying out at home. 

What was it like to be part of our Glenfiddich Malt Mastermind competition and what advice would you give to people interested in taking part?

I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the judging panel at the Glenfiddich Malt Mastermind Final. I had the opportunity to taste some amazing serves and I was blown away by the standard of cocktail making. Next year, I’d like to see more women taking part though. 

What is your favourite Glenfiddich whisky and how do you normally enjoy a dram?

I’m a simple guy so I like to keep things, well, simple.

I’d have to say that Glenfiddich 15 Year Old is my favourite expression and I enjoy it with just a splash of water to allow its hidden notes and softer aromas to emerge.

Where can our readers find the best cocktails in London?

We’re spoilt for choice here in London and there’s a huge range of amazing bars across the city. If I had to select a few of my personal favourites though, I’d choose Artesian Bar (of course!), White Lyan, Dandelayn at the Mondrian Hotel, Termini Bar in Soho and Oblix at The Shard. 

What should one consider when creating a cocktail at home?

Remember to keep it simple and don’t be afraid to experiment. If there is something that you really like, put it inside your glass.

What whisky tips would you give people who are looking for new ways to enjoy a dram?

Lots of people drink whisky neat, and they are reluctant to mix it with anything. So, I always tell them to trust me and try whisky in a cocktail. If they don’t like it, it’s on me and they can always go back to their favorite way of drinking it at any time. So far though, I’m yet to meet someone that hasn’t enjoyed a cocktail I’ve made them – here’s hoping that continues! 

If you’d like to ask Roman any Glenfiddich cocktail-related questions, you can find him on twitter @RomanFoltan. Or, if you’d like to share your latest Glenfiddich creations, you can find us on Facebook. Good luck.