How do you mix a Polar Bear or a Lynchburg Lemonade? At Stampus, Helsingborg, the bar crews learn more than cracking beer bottles. The ability to mix a challenging drink is just as important.
Inside the grand walls of the student house Villan, all of the Stampus bar crews come together on a Wednesday evening in September to learn how to make cocktails. The room is decorated with wallpaper dating back to the early 20th century, and with a large set of bookshelves filled with old books it seems like we have regressed in time. As the sun goes down the room becomes dimmer and more solemn for the purpose of the evening.
A table is providing juices, glasses, and a wide range of liqueur and spirits. Around the table are chairs forming a semicircle, allowing everybody to get an overview of the drink mixing process. People start dropping in, and the class of the evening can begin.
The pub masters Evelyn Ackema and Erik Berggren are running this cocktail school. Both of them study at Campus Helsingborg, one of them Service Management, and the other Strategic Communications. Joakim Risby, the Service Management student, is assisting pub master and tonight’s designated teacher. Also, he has been a bartender for a couple of years.
“What’s important is to allow everybody who wants to learn how to make cocktails and then to allow them to stand in the cocktail bar,” he says
“Tonight, we’ll have an informative workshop where we mix every drink on the drink menu, and everybody gets to taste them. After that, they get to work from the cocktail bar when the tide is low. That way, they learn as they go” he continues
At a high pace and steadily he alternates between White Russians, Lady Killers and Polar Bears, and the drinks are then passed around the crowd.
“Keep in mind that it is important for a bartender to have a sip of everything he or she makes. Working as a bartender is a lot of fun. A bit hectic at times, but those are the times that are most fun,” Joakim Risby explains.
Stampus president, Hampus Fernström, says that the profile gravitating towards cocktails in the bar was formed last spring.
“The aim is to get a good drink for a decent buck. Previously, we’ve only had ordinary drinks, such as Redbull vodka. Also, lot of people who work here say that it’s more fun mixing a drink instead of simply cracking a beer, Hampus Fernström explains.
The idea is to further develop the pub, and the more staff able to make drinks, the more frequently the cocktail bar can be open.
“A friend who came to cocktail school last spring said that it was great and that I just have to do this. That’s why I’m here, says Silja Vanninen, first year Service Management student.
Evelyn Ackema, who is also a trained bartender, says that a lot of people felt much more confident after the last session, and that they enjoyed themselves. There are hopes of turning this into an annual event.
Text Saga Sandin
Foto Tim Jedeur-Palmgren