A little background; where are you from, what inspired you to become a mixologist?
I was born in Tallinn, Estonia. I was 16 years old when my friend Julia and I went to a new cafe/bar in town, called “Island” which was owned by a Greek Man named Yannis. He sat next to us and offered me a job, and that is how it all started. I would not call myself a mixologist. That word gives me chills, to be honest. I love flavor and complexity when you combine different spirits, juices, and syrups together. Just a simple barkeep with a palate.
What inspires you for new cocktail creations? (examples: following trends, learning of new ingredients you want to try, reimagining classics, seasonal change….etc)
People. I go along with people, what guests ask for, or demand. They are the consumers and only they create the trend.
What was your first experience with tequila?
I guess that will take us back to 2006 when the only tequila in the market was Jose Cuervo Gold. Since then Tequila has grown to a whole different level, as much as every other spirit.
If you could have drinks with anyone dead, alive or fictional, who would it be what would you both be drinking?
My father’s mother. The woman was so strong and still a mystery to me. Probably Vodka.
What does the concept of Hiatus mean to you?
New, but Old. Hiatus teaches America what Tequila should be.
Blanco? Reposado? Or Añejo?
Añejo. Love that touch of Oak.
Did you discover anything new or unique while working on the Fall Hiatus cocktails?Working on the Hiatus Fall cocktail menu reminded me how a great, unique, and clean spirit can blend with simplicity and make something wonderful for everyone’s palate.