Exciting week in the Life of the Barstalker
Bar Convent Berlin
and afterwards the 6th German Rumfest, this was a l o n g week where I had to take some extra holiday. I really take my hobby and passion seriously. The adventure already started on Sunday, when I picked up one of my favourite bartenders from the airport. I spend the evening with great bar luminaries from Schumann’s Bar Munich, The Clumsies Athens, Spinte Whisky Bar Thessaloniki and Vesper Bar Berlin. We had dinner at the Grill Royal next to Tom Hanks and Campino. Afterwards, we went to Immertreu. Immertreu is the place where you find the best spirit selection in town, and Ricardo knows how to concoct amazing drinks.
The official opening of the BCB is the Mixology Bar Awards. I didn’t attend the ceremony at the Maritim Hotel, but I watched the live broadcast at the Mixology Market. When I entered the venue I found The Gin Joint crew in front of me, inside I found Baba au Rum. So happy to see the Greek guys again, although, they say I am in Greece every month anyway 😉 I love the hospitality and the warm welcome and, of course, the delicious drinks. There are two bars on the list of the World’s 50 best bars, namely Baba au Rum and Clumsies. This evening all the Greek guys could be found at the Vesper Bar. One year ago, exactly at this bar, I promised to visit Athens, and I did, two months later.
This year, I have decided to visit the bar scene in Istanbul and have already booked my ticket. I really have to see Alexandra Cocktail Bar. We took a taxi to finish the night at Immertreu. After I got out of the taxi I noticed that my cell phone had disappeared. One of the guys reacted so fast to my misfortune that, with the help of the “Find Me app”, we chased my iPhone through the city. We found the taxi driver, who had waited a few hundred meters away, holding my phone in his hand. The alarm of the lost iPhone is really annoying, and he had to find the device in his car to stop it. Who was this helpful guy saving my digital life? The young and talented Osman Fethi Baycan who works wonders at Alexandra Cocktail bar. What a nice coincidence, Alexandra Bar helped Alexandra! After a proper nightcup and some sleep, the BCB officially started on Tuesday.
Massive venue, innumerable exhibitors, many presentations and the best opportunity to meet all the bar luminaries from all over the world. The space was so huge that it was impossible to experience the whole event. The parties at night were also numerous, and it was hard to decide where to go. I prefer good cocktails and more independent spirits, and I know that bar shows are more for the bartenders and industry. Immertreu was the best place to spend time with friends. We also went to Lebensstern to see the amazing selection of spirits, to Salut! Bar another favourite bar on my personal list, and finally we visited Buck & Breck. After another long day at the BCB, where I listened to the presentations of Baba Au Rum and said hello to the icon of the bar world Charles Schumann, it was time to say goodbye to some of the guys.
I had some tasty drinks, tried the new The Bitter Truth selection, liked the new Slim Tonic of Thomas Henry, had to queue for some food, met amazing people and got a lot of inspiration for my upcoming adventures!
I still had one more day off, and spend the afternoon with friends, coffee, shopping, and finished the night again at Immertreu. You always meet nice people there, and this evening, some of the rum experts. Usually, the Rum Festival takes place the weekend before the BCB. This time it was vice versa. The 6th German Rum Festival officially started on Saturday, and the blind tastings for the awards had already started. Some members of the Jury also decided to go to Immertreu for a proper drink.
6th German Rum Festival
For the last two years, I joined the GRF as a guest. This year I had a kind of “guestshift” behind the counter. I handed over the nosing glass, the booklet with the tasting vouchers, and a bag. The hours passed quickly without noticing, and without me having a closer look at the festival’s treasures. Fortunately, my Greek fellows provided me with tasty samples. I really fell in love with Nine Leaves, a Japanese rum and, of course, some others. I have a huge heart for good spirits 😉
Working on the rum festival was “Serious Barstalking”. I really feel honoured to have been part of this event.
Have you ever met the guy who’s craziest about rum? I have! I met Nikos the first time in Athens when he was behind a bar. “Nikos Arvanitis has been working as a bartender since 2006. Rum is his passion and his desire to understand it lead him to the Caribbean. Using the Island of Barbados as his base, he has visited 15 Islands in the tropical zone of the ‘West Indies’ and over 30 Rum distilleries and sugarcane fields, both active and inactive. His journey is still on and he has named it “From The West Indies to the World”, find on https://rumdiariesblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/02/a-potted-history-of-the-rockley-still/
I have never seen such a passion and dedication in a face than that of Nikos. He can smell the country, the amount of sugar, the still, all the flavours … it was very exciting watching him, and also very interesting looking at the others faces while he was describing every single detail. I think his favourite bar in Berlin is Lebensstern at the moment, where we had some Daiquiris and straight rums together. I am looking forward to listening to his presentations at the Athens Rum Festival and Bar Show in November.
My adventure started on a Sunday and ended one week later on Sunday around 10pm. My liver and I need some rest now. I had an abso-fucking-lutely amazing time. Wonderful week and my thanks to all who have supported me! 🍸💗