This month, drinksmith Adrian Gomes talks to Elias Olaria, former Head Bartender of the Scotsman Hotel in Edinburgh, and the newest addition to The Tippling House (see flyer below), the forthcoming Belmont Street project by Gomes’ 10 Dollar Shake. Nothing wrong with a bit of self-promo…
Originally from Andorra, a principality on the French/Spanish border, Elias got in touch via a Facebook group, expressing his interest in joining 10 Dollar Shake. A couple of Skype interviews later, plus a trip to meet the team in Aberdeen, Elias became one of the final pieces of the recruitment jigsaw.
The Tippling House, the new project by the same team that created the art/music/drinks pop-up brand Rumour, is a subterranean late-night tavern serving boutique spirits, hand-crafted cocktails, fine Scottish ales & inspired casual dining. Residing at the former Belmont Bar (who isn’t happy to see the back of that ‘joint’), the new bar/restaurant will also feature Chris Tonner from Beetroot Restaurants as Executive Chef & Kitchen Consultant.
Introducing Elias Olaria of The Tippling House…
Works: In the Tippling House, Aberdeen’s newest cocktail joint.
Previous: Been around a little bit so, in reverse chronological order; Edinburgh (where I’ve had the pleasure to live for the last three years) at The North Bridge Brasserie and the Scotsman Hotel (as Head Bartender), Ghillie Dhu (almost lost my soul over there) and Oloroso. In London where I was for almost 5 years, I was behind the stick of the original Camino in King’s Cross and The Big Chill Bar, both part of the Cantaloupe group, as well as Peachy Keen, a small cocktail bar in Kentish Town (unfortunately closed down) and the infamous Sport’s Cafe in London’s Haymarket.
Off-Duty: I do enjoy travelling, as well as the outdoors, so looking forward to the landscapes that Aberdeen has to offer, hopefully not just oil rigs. Not a gym guy although I enjoy hiking and cycling. I also enjoy reading and try to read as much as I can, as much variety as possible…before anyone asks I haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey, and I’m not planning to.
Drinks: I do enjoy my drinks and try to have a balanced diet. Cocktails-wise, kind of like drinks that retain the flavour of its spirit base, drinks such as the Manhattan, the Negroni or the Old Fashioned are among my favourites. I am not afraid to try new and unusual drinks – have been used as guinea pig in several bars. Spirits-wise, I prefer aged spirits, mostly whisky, bourbon and rum – but still enjoy good eastern european vodkas, specially Polish. Beers-wise, I do prefer ales and microbrews, although again I try to stay open-minded and try to enjoy different styles. I was recently in Portland (Oregon), microbrewery capital of the States and in 3 days I tried over 30 beers. Needless to say that I am not that young anymore and at least one of the days after was rough.
Inspiration: It comes in all forms and shapes, so keep your mind and eyes open. Trying different and unusual cuisine can open your mind to use ingredients that usually you wouldn’t. I do like to play with spices, herbs and sauces when I cook, I’ve got a tendency to set the fire alarm off, but that’s another story.
Travels: Recently came back from a 4 month solo round the world trip, where I visited Asia, Australia, the States and Canada. The trip was drink-related and I visited some great bars as well as distilleries and breweries. When travelling I try to avoid the usual tourist traps, blend in as much as possible (that didn’t work in Asia) and lose myself and explore as much as possible. That’s the reason why I ended up in the projects in the States. Twice. Travelling definitely opens your mind as you get the chance to enjoy different cultures, different ways of life, meet different people, as well as try different drinks and cuisine. Planning to do another trip in a couple of years, if anyone fancies joining me, this time it’s going to be Indochina, New Zealand, maybe Japan, Mexico and might do some of the Southern States.
Looking Forward: To seeing what Aberdeen has to offer and what I can offer back. In the long term, well, time will tell, although I would like to open my own place, where and when is the big question, meanwhile I will try to learn and enjoy as much as possible.
Looking Back: Life is full of decisions, I have been abroad for over 10 years living in four different countries so far, although it could be five by 2014. All these decisions I have been taking through the years have brought me over here, it might be that I just like to keep moving, or that I haven’t found the right place yet, wonder if I will settle in Aberdeen, if I keep going North it’s going to be the North Pole. At the end of the day, I’ll keep wondering if it was all due to the one that got away.