Cocktail Showcase with Scenic Bartender, Cristian Negreanu
Cristian is one of our wonderful Space-Ship bartenders – we caught up with him to find out what inspires him, how to craft the perfect cocktail and what delicious drinks guests can look forward with Scenic…
1. What is your favourite cocktail to make and why?
My favourite cocktail to make ...hmm that is a tough question! I’m a bartender and I love what I do, so I don’t have a preferred cocktail – just like a chef, all the cocktails that I make take a little part of me with them and I hope that they enrich the life of the drinkers.
I’m always checking the drinks and the taste and always ask for feedback from guests – on many occasions people have asked for the recipe or for the secret to a cocktail I’ve made them.
But if I was to choose a favourite, it would have to be a margarita, because I create my own sour mix with freshly-squeezed limes and brown sugar; it’s a recipe that I learned from my time working in Spain and I have to tell you it never fails. Also, I consider myself a “gin guy”, so I like to try new gins and explore new flavours, new botanicals and new infusions.
2. Which cocktail from the Scenic drinks menu would you recommend that all guests try during their river cruise?
This year we have a new concept regarding our cocktails; we wanted to give our guests something different from the usual classic cocktails so, together with my colleagues, we created ten new cocktails which we’re very much looking forward to serving to our guests. I’m not just saying this because I love gin, but the Basil Smash is a particularly great cocktail, with notes of citrus, spices and last but not least basil aromas.
3. Do you have any top tips on how to create the perfect cocktail? And what do you think is key to creating a great-tasting cocktail?
To create a perfect cocktail, first of all you need proper tools and equipment, but the tools and the equipment are nothing without passion and love for what you are doing. I always ask my guests what their favourite base drink is, how they prepare it at home; I always want to give them perfection.
Good ingredients are an important component of the perfect cocktail and also, proper measures. The perfect cocktail must be balanced in flavours and look nice: herbs, zests, bitters and fresh fruit will always be the key to make the difference
4. Which cocktails do you think are most synonymous with Europe? For instance, the Kir Royale of Paris and the Bellini of Venice. Are there any others you think our guests should know about?
Europe is a cocktail factory! If I can put it this way… our guests are always delighted to find out in our bar menu that the Aperol Spritz and Negroni were created in Italy, the Side Car and Mimosa were invented in Paris… not to mention that as a surprise for our guests, on the days that we are sailing or have a barbeque, we always make the famous Spanish Sangria either with white or red wine.
5. What cocktail would you recommend Scenic guests try at home?
I would recommend our guests try the Black Mojito at home.