-Good evening shaker man!! One more evening we are enjoying your cocktails at the Pool Bar of Lagos Mare Hotel!! Can you describe us the meaning of “bartending” for you?
J.P.: Good evening guys! My name is Joseph Pegkos and I would like to thank you for honoring me with your presence here at Lagos Mare Hotel. In my point of view bartending is something more than just another job title; I could say it is a life experience! Did you ever wonder what a bartender deals with every night? Trust me; it’s a long story… (Laughs)
-Give us a small description of your previous working experience as well as the reasons that you decided to work at the Pool Bar of Lagos Mare Hotel.
J.P.: My first steps as a barista were at the age of 15, at a local coffee-cocktail bar nearby the place I lived. That place used to be crowded every single night so I had to learn how to create some cocktails (at least the basics, at the beginning). Over the next few years I started to experiment at the bar and it turned out that’s what suits me better! So I keep going forward all these years and now I feel very lucky for the unique experience to work at Lagos Mare Hotel. A very beautiful place, amongst the leading hotels in Naxos, distinguished for its elegant decor, top quality services, excellent cuisine and many more that impressed me from the very first moment I got here. The main reason, though, that I chose to work in Lagos Mare was the opportunity to come together and serve tourists from all over the world, a new challenge at my career that inspired and motivated me.
-What are your feelings when you see satisfied customers enjoying your drinks?
J.P.: My satisfaction is automatically doubled not only because the customer is pleased but also that’s a sign that I’m doing my job.
-According to your experience, what are the ‘key skills’ that will validate someone as a bartender in our days?
J.P.: I learned since I was very young that everything is based on practicing, so day by day I was trying to get better and I always had my ears open to new ideas, opinions and advice. Moreover, the experience has a significant role at the career development of a bartender because it normally defines your next steps. I also attended some bartending seminars that helped me a lot and I would also like to mention that I had some influences from the expertise barista that was introducing these classes, which was very important in my future career.
-How important is for a bartender to understand the differences between spirits, beer and wine to in order to serve better each customer?
J.P.: I think it is very important to be in the same time a good bartender and a good taster, because it is on your duty to serve suitably even the most demanding customer.
- How do you feel working in an environment like Lagos Mare Hotel? Could a smooth workplace be an extra motivation for someone?
J.P.: To be honest this is the first time I am working in a hotel bar and my experience so far is very optimistic. All my colleagues are very friendly, cooperative and pleasant from the first time I joined the team. That was something that helped me acclimate very easily at the workplace.
-How is the interaction with customers here; How would you deal with a displeased customer?
J.P.: So far everything runs smoothly. Our customers are very polite, smiling, a little demanding but above all pleased with their drinks and the atmosphere of Lagos Mare. I didn’t face any disappointed customer till now, but in such case we will definitely find a solution according to the problem or the complaint that may occur. In my opinion, good mood and smiling are the key ingredients to keep the balance on my watch.
-Is there any cocktail that represents you and would like to share with us?
J.P.: Of course guys! It’s a cocktail which came out of my first days here at the hotel. Inspired by the Citrus Naxos, which is a famous local liqueur, ascended the famous «Lagos Mare-Tine»:
1,5 oz. Citrus Naxos
0,7oz. Green Apple Schnapps
0,7 oz. Apple Juice
Fresh lime juice
2 apple slices
2 mint leaves
-What should a customer expect from the shaker man of Lagos Mare Hotel?
J.P.: Good mood, prompt service, comfort bar but above all beautiful cocktails!!!
Thanks a lot we wish you all the best for the season Joseph!