It all started when he was hired to bartend at Restaurant Daniel in NYC alongside head bartender Marcie Andersen and chef Daniel Boulud. Fast forward a couple years to the start of the Pandemic, Andrey moved to the Berkshires to run the bar program at Cafe Boulud at the Blantyre Hotel in Lenox. Since then, he’s been involved with several projects including the development of a full bar program for Winbrooke, an events venue mansion in Tyringham, Massachusetts.
To Matseyev, the term “mixologist” fails to encapsulate every aspect of what is required of an excellent bartender. He adds “A well-made cocktail is nothing without proper timing and well-mannered service with a smile. I’d like to think that I specialize in making a beautifully balanced cocktail along with the perfect atmosphere for enjoying it.”
At the establishment where he exhibits his mixing mastery, Bimi’s Canteen a curated menu of classic cocktails is offered for guests who crave a classic. However, the establishment’s claim to fame has been their house creations, which lean on vinegar shrubs, foams, fruit compotes, flamed citrus oils, barrel aging, etc.
When creating new libations, Andrey relates the process to composing a song because the inspiration can come from anywhere at any time. “It could be a beautiful vintage glass that would dictate the style of a cocktail, a pretty herb that would lead to a spirit to go with it, a new exciting product added to the bar portfolio, or it could be a cocktail that I had elsewhere that had potential but wasn’t quite all there.”
Keeping up to date on the latest trends brought about by health-conscious imbibers, Matseyev has taken the initiative to sharpen his knowledge on low abv beverages. He gave Chilled the rundown on what to consider when whipping up a low abv beverage. “It’s all about the best ingredients, and attention to detail. A low abv cocktail that lacks a punch should be amplified with something that will zing ; spice, herb, smoke, house-made shrubs, compotes, egg-whites, bitters and most importantly, fresh citrus juice, fruit, and syrups. And garnishing is key: foams, local herbs, flowers, and fruit, atomizers, floats. They all create that “wow!” factor.
Andrey makes exciting Low abv Menus by using tried-and-true classics like the Adonis or Americano as a foundation and then expanding on amaros/bitters. Seasonality is another essential factor, which is why he leans toward tropical drinks in the warm months. In the Summer he keeps it refreshing and sparkling, and in the Winter, he incorporates clove and smoke to add a complex sense of warmth.
Wrapping up, he offers one more tip to those interested in the new wave of drinks. “I like to use heavy spirits as a finishing spritz on my low abv cocktails. It’s a clever way to bring the complexity of that spirit without the weight of alcohol.”
The post We Ask Bartender Andrey Matseyey How To Make Stand Out Mocktails appeared first on Chilled Magazine.