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Beverage Innovation Manager - Russia and CIS
Before joining MONIN team, Nikita worked in different bars in St. Petersburg, Russia, while studying at St. Petersburg University of Aerospace Instrumentation.
In addition, he finished the bartender courses and started working at the first cocktail bar "Daiquiri Bar" in St. Petersburg. This experience truly made him realize why he needed to exercise this profession. "If you want to do something, just do it." This thought helped him becoming who he is as a bartender. He began to meet new people from the bar industry, to learn from European and Western colleagues and became involved in professional bar contests.
Nikita won several local competitions in Russia, including the MONIN Cup 2012 in Russia and went to the 6th place in the MONIN Cup Finale in France in 2012. He’s now convinced that this event changed his life, because afterwards he got what he called “the best team-family: the MONIN team”.
Day after day, this job helped Nikita grow, find new ideas, meet new people and introduce him to the bar community of the world.
In 2018, he won the best brand ambassador award in Russia, according to “Barproof Bartenders Awards”.
A FEW QUESTIONS TO NIKITA
What do you like in your work?
I think what I like most is to travel around the world, discover new sensations, find new emotions, and then create new, interesting drinks and combinations for my guests and clients. I also like that there are no “walls” in our profession, we can develop ourselves endlessly!
What do you like when creating a new drink?
When creating a new drink, recipe or balance, I often use the geometry technique. The usual set of products is often "square", very flat with sharp corners, tactile not very smooth. The same thing happens with a recipe, if there is just a set of products, the drink is usually not balanced, rough and not shaped. But when we begin to remove the sharp edges, we get a smooth and soft sphere. This happens with the recipe: by removing excess of spice, acidity or sweetness, we get the right cocktail balance !
What’s your vision of the work?
In my opinion, the work of a bartender / barista should be as honest and opened as possible. I often talk about this in my workshops. Not only we are working with drinks or ingredients, the main thing is that we work with real people and their emotions. That is why the most important thing in our profession is to be ourselves.
What I like about the modern bartender/barista is that they are young, ambitious and very elegant professionals. By developing their social networks and bringing new equipment in bars, restaurants, or cafes, it allows to develop professional skills very quickly. The final result of this development is the gratitude of our guests.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration for creating a new drink or a new combination absolutely everywhere. In the nature, cooking, drawing, music, cultural codes of different countries. Everything mentioned brings emotions. More recently, I’ve been observing chefs’ techniques and then try to apply them while creating drinks.
His favourite MONIN flavour?
MONIN Tonka Bean syrup, that he is using in his “Jeffrey's Day” :
Method: Bild in to the glass (Double old fashion glass), foam on-top
Garnish: powder of coffee and blueberry on foam
MONIN Guava syrup, used in his "Tropical Spritz":
20 ml MONIN Guava syrup
20 ml tomato-basil shrub
20 ml fresh grapefruit juice
100 ml Rosé wine
50 ml sparkling wine
Method: Bild in to the glass (Wine glass)
Garnish: Fresh ring of grapefruit and few fresh cherry tomatoes in to the glass, fresh basil on ice.
His favourite hot drink?
The "Hot Butter Rum":
Method: Warm all ingredients, pour in to the glass (hot cocktail mug)
Garnish: Apple chips with cinnamon powder
His favourite NO-ABV drink ?
The "If you drive a car":
10 ml MONIN Pink Peppercorn syrup
70 ml birch juice infused lemon-ginger-chamomile tea
20 ml lemongrass-pinapple shrub
20 ml clarified grapefruit juice
Method: Stir, pour into the glass (Nick & Nora glass)
Garnish: crust of Hibiscus and pink peppercorn on a glass side
His special tip (garnish, gesture...)
Simple garnish, more herbs and flowers. Use good ice and glasses of high quality.
HIS TRENDS PREDICTIONS
Flavour to watch?
Perfumery is one of the most important directions to follow for finding new flavors
Top beverage prediction and why?
In my opinion, 2019 trends will focus on the use of local products and low-abv cocktails.
There is a new generation of clients that is increasing, favoring healthy and fresh food and beverage. As a result, they order non-alcoholic cocktails or cocktails in the low-abv category.