Interview with Patric Glaubke, Reisen Bar

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Patric Glaubke has been around the Stockholm bar scene for quite a while, and worked at a number of the most prestigious establishments. Around a year ago he was offered the opportunity to become bar manager at First Hotel Reisen and it was an easy choice. With a new cocktail menu launching any day now, I'm sure it will be well received by connoisseurs from both near and afar.

Without further delay, here's a little Q&A with Patric which I hope you'll enjoy!

What made you pursue a career in hospitality and how did you get your first bartender job?

I've always had a good hand with people and when I was done with school I was offered a job at a home appliances store where I got in touch with costumers of all kind. Eventually I felt I needed to switch those boring appliances for something else and when I got offered a job by a friend of mine at one of the bars at the airport I started there. This was in 2004 and you were still allowed to smoke in bars and restaurants. :)

Where are you originally from, and how did you end up at Reisen?

I was born here in Stockholm and after various bars, nightclubs, cocktail bars and hotels I got offered to take over the bar at Reisen in April 2016.

Can you describe the forthcoming cocktail concept at Reisen and the story behind it?

The concept will be cut into four different categories with a bunch of cocktails in each category. Each category will be inspired by different types of cocktails or mixing techniques and made with our own twist or house-made ingredients. We also want to tie down the heritage of Reisen being a well established cocktail bar in one of the most iconic parts of the city and try to keep the "Old Town" spirit. A little flirt with the past.

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You recently started a pop-up concept together with Anti-Saloon League Sthlm, can you tell us about the first event and what's to expect in the future?

I'd be happy to! The first event was a pop-up bar by The Commodore Room from Karlsruhe, Germany. We wanted them to come here, set up their bar, doing their thing but in our characteristic, hidden bar - speakeasy style and for one night only. We wanted to create an amazing atmosphere in one of the most iconic parts of Stockholm. The cocktail menu was five cocktails only and made by the guys from Commodore Room. The theme of the night was Merlet Cognac. I couldn't say anything else that the night was a success! We're already working on the next event, but as for now we don't want to give away too much... All I can say is that it's going to be at least as exciting as the previous one. Maybe even better...

Which place/places has/have been most important regarding your knowledge and skills?

Two places, but in totally different ways. I was working at this nightclub in Stockholm where I got to pick up a lot of speed that has been really useful later, but it was actually at Marcus Samuelsson's restaurant Aquavit here in Stockholm in 2009 where my interest for cocktails really boosted. And wow: the bar team we had back then! It was a real dream team!

Which is your favourite and least favourite drink to make and why?

My favourite to make is definitely the Sazerac! When you get an order for a Sazerac, you know that the customer you've got in front of you knows his or her taste. The worst - Mojito. I just don't get what the fuzz is about. Not to mention Hot Shots. Not even touching those...

How would you describe the perfect customer?

The perfect customer is easy-going, not afraid to ask for recommendations or try something new to them. The perfect costumer knows his/her way in a public environment and is behaving properly and respectful to staff and other customers. Regardless of the amount of drinks consumed. And doesn't spit snus on the floor. ;)

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What's the weirdest drink order you've gotten?

Ooooo that's a tough one. But it has to be someone asking me to mix Bailey's with cream, Fernet Branca, Green Chartreuse and Coca-Cola. And they wanted me to shake it WITH the Coke...

What do you like most about your job?

Actually two things: 1. Being able to be creative in the way we are and 2.To meet so many new people every day.

Do you have any special bartending skills you're extra proud of?

I would like to claim that I'm kind of good with people. And I've created one or two good cocktails every now and then too.

How do you spend your spare time?

With my wife and two-year old daughter. Or strapped into a snowboard. Or at a rock concert

What do you drink when off duty?

Negronis, Sazeracs, Old Fashioneds or whatever is on the menu of the bar I'm at.

What do you have in your private liquor cabinet?

Ooooouff. A little of everything, from Malaysian Arak to a bottle of Maker's Mark. No banana liqueur though....

What upcoming cocktail trends do you think we can expect in the near future?

Definitely more and more sustainability thinking in bars with more focus on local stuff and whichever products are in season at the moment.

Which are your favourite bars/bartenders around the world and why?

Attaboy in New York is probably it! I could sit there for hours. I love the atmosphere there.

In your opinion, how does the bar scene in Stockholm compare to the rest of Sweden and internationally?

The bar scene in Stockholm is definitely up there when it comes to international standards! Gothenburg is also really up and coming. And there is quite a few bars in the rest of Sweden starting to make a name.

What are your thoughts regarding cocktail competitions?

Cocktail competitions in general is a good way to sharpen your skills. Personally I prefer competitions that put a lot of focus on creativity, like Bartenders Black Box, instead of presentation.

How do you come up with new cocktail recipes and what inspires you?

Honestly it's so different from cocktail to cocktail. Most of the time I think about what I would like to drink right then and take it from there. Kind of like "obey your cravings", but sometimes I get inspired by one particular flavor and try to find a nice way to make that alcoholic.

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Which of your signature drinks, if any, and what else in your career are you most proud of so far?

I did this one drink with cognac, Pineau, Campari, grape juice and bitters that turned out amazingly well. That's definitely a favourite of mine. What I'm most proud of in my career is actually looking back at all these years to see how many fantastic friends and colleagues I've made throughout the years and how or if I've made an impact on them. That and to have been a part of this industry for the last couple of years.

Where do you see yourself in five years from now?

Hopefully running my own bar with the best possible crew around me. That would be kind of nice...

Would you like to share one of your own recipes?

Sure! This one is from our current cocktail menu.

From Yokohama with Love
30 ml Linie Aquavit
20 ml Choya Umeshu
15 ml of ginger and soy sauce rock candy
2 dashes of grapefruit bitters.

Stir on ice and strain into chilled bell glass. Garnish with a mini Japanese flag.

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