Alena Dmitrieva, Sommelier at Art Cafe MUAR
Knows How to Celebrate an Event
Text and photos Sergey Koshkin
In your opinion, what kind of character should a Sommelier have to be a success?
I think that a good Sommelier is one who “captures” the guests in the fi rst few minutes of their visit to the restaurant and charms them with all the skills of a fi ne actor. I call on all of my imagination when a customer arrives to take his or her dining pleasure at our restaurant. And you must love your job, of course.
I suppose being a Sommelier takes a lot of time and effort?
Oh, yes! Recently I caught myself with the thought that almost all of my friends also work in the restaurant business. We have the same interests and concerns, that it is complicated to divide work and free time. But I like it very much. You know, I work nights and it is better for me. I hate to wake up early in the morning. And then I have more free time for sports and I study Spanish and go to the cinema, all in the daytime.
Why do you like this profession?
Well, I always wanted one thing: every day when I wake up to feel that I am a happy person and feel eager to go to work. I feel completely happy having the chance to be helpful and bring happiness to people. I get only positive emotions from all that I do.
It was during the 16th century that British sailors in India discovered the local beverage known as “Punch”. The drink, whose name derives from the Hindustani word for “fi ve”, is composed of fi ve distinct elements : sweet, sour, bitter, weak and alcoholic. As far as can be determined, this beverage consisted of sugar, a bitter aperitif, lemon juice, beer and pure alcohol. The original Punch, which soon took on many forms, became popular throughout Europe. By the early 19th century a Frenchman catalogued over 500 hot and 750 cold punches, nearly all tasty, ranging from mild to absolutely devastating.
Punch : “Wild Berries”
Fill the glass with Irish coffee and add 20 gr. of honey and then the liqueur “Crème de Cassis” 20 gr. Cut raspberries, strawberries, blackberries into small cubes. Brew separately any fruit tea (preferably red). Pour the tea into the glass; decorate with a twig of fresh mint.
In its pure form, a cock tail made with a measure of “Crème de cassis” (blackcurrant liquor) topped up with white wine. In France it is usually drunk as an aperitif before a meal or snack. It is named after Félix Kir (1876-1968), Mayor of Dijon in Burgundy, who in the aftermath of the Second World War popularized the drink by offering it at receptions to visiting delegations. Following the commercial development of crème de cassis in 1841, the cocktail had became a popular regional café drink, known as blanc-cass, but it has since become inextricably linked with the name of Mayor Kir.
Kir Imperial for one: Pour 20 gr. of raspberry liqueur “Marie Brizard” as the fi rst layer in the glass and then pour the second layer of champagne “Ruinard” 20gr.
Kir Royal - made with Champagne
Kir Pétillant - made with sparkling wine
Cardinal - made with red wine instead of white
Kir Normand - made with Normandy cider instead of wine.
Kir Breton - made with Breton cider instead of wine.
Cidre Royal - made with cider instead of wine, with a measure of calvados added.
The origin of the Bloody Mary is somewhat disputed. One claim states that it was originally created by George Jessel around 1939. Lucius Beebe, in his gossip column “This New York” (New York Herald Tribune, December 2, 1939), printed what is believed to be the first reference to this drink, along with the original recipe from the entertainer George Jessel which he called a Bloody Mary: half tomato juice, half vodka. The epithet “Bloody Mary” is associated with a number of historical and fictional women, most notably Queen Mary I of England. It is believed that the inspiration for the cocktail was the Hollywood star Mary Pick ford who earlier had created a similar cocktail consisting of rum, Grenadine and Maraschino named after her. In 1934, the cocktail was called “ Red Snapper ” at the St . Regis Hotel, where Petriot was hired at the time. It was here that Tabasco sauce was added to the drink, and the name “Bloody Mary” eventually won popularity. In the 1960’s it became popular to serve the cocktail with celer y at the suggestion of a guest at The Pump Room at the Ambassador East Hotel in Chicago.
Classic Bloody Mary for one: pour 200 gr. of fresh tomato juice and add 50 gr. of vodka into a highball glass. May be shaken vigorously or stirred lazily, as desired. Then strain into a chilled cock tail glass, add Tabasco sauce, salt and pepper. Garnish with a celery stalk; a skewer of olives, pickles, carrots, mushrooms, or other vegetables, or even meat or fish or cheese.
Bloody Fairy, Red Fairy - Absinthe replaces the vodka.
Bloody Geisha - Sake replaces the vodka.
Bloody Maria - Tequila replaces the vodka.
Brown Mary or Whisky Mary - Whisky replaces the vodka.
Bloody Bull - Beef bouillon and tomato juice.
The Mint Julep
This is a drink that requires special presentation. Greek mythology tells of two wear y travelers who could fi nd neither help nor hospitality on the road. Finally an old couple took them in, scoured a modest dining board with mint to refresh it, and prepared a meal for the strangers. The travellers turned out to be gods in disguise, who rewarded the old folks by remodeling their little hut into a glorious temple. Thereafter mint was considered a symbol of hospitality. The history of the Mint Julep is that the drink comes from the South of the United States, but it is mainly credited to the traditions of Kentucky and the famous Kentucky Derby.
Hennessy Julep – muddle mint leaves gently in a glass. Add sugar syrup or sugar (with a few drops of water to help it dissolve), and than pour in Hennessey VS 30 gr. Stir the mix ture gently, then fill the glass with ice. Add more cognac, and a little more ice. Stir the contents briskly until the glass frosts. If you want to get really decadent, sprinkle a little Jamaican rum on top and garnish with a few fresh mint sprigs and a slice of lime. You can also sprinkle the top with powdered sugar if you like.
Hennessey cognac can be replaced by pure sparkling water or champagne.
Champagne Julep - as above, but instead of the cognac, after all the muddling, stirring and icing, fi ll the glass with dry champagne. Decadent and dangerous.
Kremlin Colonel - with vodka instead of bourbon: the fresh mint fl avoring dif feren - tiates the drink from the similar vodka stinger that uses crème de menthe.