The spirit safari, if you will, begins upon opening the menu — better yet, the spirit story book.
“Just look pretty, sell as many frozen drinks as possible, and sell an extra shot or two of booze,” my boss instructed me. This is where my mixology journey began, like all great things, in sleazy obscurity."
Originally from a small village in Russia, I had no clue what comprised a Rum and Coke or Gin and Tonic, except perhaps the Coke. I was strong even in high heels, carrying as many drinks as would fit onto two trays at once. It fascinated me how different a blue, red or yellow slushy tasted, depending on what spirit was added to it. I was instantly hooked on the entire scene.
My twenties flew by with increasing sophistication and decreasing crushed ice, at the same time “high-end” cocktails became mainstream. I found myself and the industry evolving away from those simple, sweet ole’ days selling yard-long slushies — taking nothing away from that quintessential Vegas experience.
I also found myself closer to my Russian roots of resourcefulness and stylistic restraint. With extremely limited options for ingredients, I was accustomed to improvisation and creativity ever since I was a child. Artisanal mixology is, after all, best achieved combining well-chosen ingredients sparingly in a shaker instead of dumped into a blender.
I found myself and the industry evolving away from those simple, sweet ole’ days selling yard-long slushies…
An intimate knowledge of ingredients and their synergy is key. Traveling the world, I’ve been blessed to have experienced a wealth of cultures, their unique cuisines and their rainbow of distillates. Classically trained in art, I understand the essence of good orchestration — a perspective I use to build and integrate the flavor components of a cocktail.
My special power, were I a superhero, is my mental library of flavors I’ve cataloged over the years. My second superpower is my ability to imagine the interaction of those thousands of flavor combinations in my head. It saves money on booze, trust me.
Whether recreating a beloved classic or fashioning a novel libation, I approach the craft of mixology as a chef would create an entrée.
I find my purpose leading people through a well-provisioned cocktail journey, as does a seasoned expedition guide through the jungle. The spirit safari, if you will, begins upon opening the menu — better yet, the spirit story book.
What enchanted libation will you be experiencing tonight? “Peachcraft” or “Voodoo Brew”? Each masterpiece is custom built, uniquely garnished and lovingly poured to evoke the senses and help carry you away on an unforgettable cocktail adventure. I achieve my inner zen in the joy shown on the faces of others while sipping my creations and enjoying the journey I’ve thoughtfully curated for them.