As we entered the Fire Bar on a rainy Thursday afternoon, we didn’t expect to see the bar literally up in flames, however, that’s what we were greeted with (cleverly done with a mix of orange lighting and steam, mind). Fire Bar, the sexy older sibling to the UK’s only Ice Bar, is certainly living up to its name…
We’re here to talk about Fire Bar’s cocktail of the month, The Colour Purple, an interesting mix of floral notes of violet and elderflower paired with Brockmans Gin and Fever-Tree’s aromatic tonic. We’re warmly welcomed by Bar Manager George Dontidis, who shares a little insight into his hospitality journey thus far…
“I come from Greece. I was studying to be an economic analyst, and I soon realized it wasn’t for me – I wasn’t getting the interaction I wanted with people. During university, I was working at nightclubs in Greece as a bartender. I really enjoyed the interaction of people behind the bar, it was nice to do my bit to help people feel less stressed, more relaxed. They were able to tell me their story and talk about their problems more easily. I grew to realise it was the connection to people that I loved about bartending – this was the reason that kept me in the hospitality industry.”
George has been in hospitality for over 10 years now, working his way up from bartender, to Bar Supervisor, and now, Bar Manager at Fire Bar, London. He says it still feels like yesterday when he first started – time flies when you’re doing something you love.
“My other great love is cooking, so being on the bar is my perfect combination – interacting with people, and mixing flavours. I ensure everything I create is made with love – or I don’t bother at all. It’s not about who I am or what my name is, or what I made – it’s about how I make my customers feel, creating memories for them. I love making my customers feel special.”
We have to admit – we’ve felt pretty special from George’s hospitality, especially with his attention to detail while making our cocktail, The Colour Purple. He explains how the cocktail was created:
“The Colour Purple was actually created by one of my bartenders, Mustafa. He had the idea of making a sour, violet cocktail and adding a little bit of tonic. I wanted a unique spirit that would marry the floral flavours coming from the violet and elderflower. Brockmans was the obvious choice.”
The flavours paired together are delicious – especially complimented with the angostura bark and aromatic botanicals from Fever-Tree’s aromatic tonic.
Since we’re at the Fire Bar, we thought it would be only fair to ask George a ‘fire round’ of questions…
1. WHAT IS IT ABOUT BROCKMANS THAT APPEALS TO YOU?
“I like the crispness and freshness of Brockmans. I also like that it isn’t a light spirit – it’s good ABV wise, and this is what I personally look for in a gin. I also love the bottle, it’s quite sexy.”
2. WHAT’S THE BEST THING YOU’VE EVER OVERHEARD AT A BAR?
“Not overheard, but I will always remember a conversation I had with a particular couple who have been married for over 40 years. I really admired their outlook on life, and I will never forget it.”
3. IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE LAST DRINK BEFORE YOU DIED, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
“I would like to have Mextaxa brandy, 12 years old. This is a famous brandy in Greece. I’m an old-fashioned guy – if I have to die, I would like to do it in style. A double shot of Metaxa, and I’m ready to go anywhere.”
THE COLOUR PURPLE
- 40ml Brockmans Premium Gin
- 20ml Violet Liquor
- 20ml Elderflower cordial
- Fever-Tree Aromatic Tonic
- Fill a wine glass up with cubed ice.
- Pour Brockmans, Violet Liquor and Elderflower cordial over the ice.
- Top up with Fever-Tree Aromatic Tonic, and stir with a bar spoon. Garnish with an edible flower.
Fire Bar can be found inside the Ice Bar, 31-33 Heddon St, London.