Articles by Jared

Jared Goldman is the Bar Manager at both Goldman’s Bar and Fabisch…and our expert on fine drinking in the city. To contact him: goldman [at]

Letter from Srebrenica

(Part three from Jared’s trip to Bosnia)

As I mentioned in one of my previous blogs, I have been reading a book about the search for Radovan, in which the author spends 6 years trying to track him down before finally coming face to face with him through the glass at the Hague. This is kind of how I feel about my trip. I came face to face with something that I still don’t understand but feel I will leave better informed than when I arrived. That is all I can ask for. I came on the search for information and I found various levels of information that will keep my mind replaying different conversations I had with people and the feelings that I experienced this time around.

On Tuesday I woke up with a small hang over heading to the Europe Hotel to meet my guide for the day. As I tried to enter the hotel I noticed a very large police presence. This is not uncommon for this hotel so I didn’t think much about till I tried to enter and realized that the place was full for security and even had a metal detector.

I thought for sure my guide would not be inside waiting for me so I placed myself directly across the street expecting him to sweep me up in the car. As I was waiting I realized more and more guys coming out in the street with ear pieces, and there were many large black men also dressed in suits and wearing sunglasses. I knew they were American judging from their accents and thought ok somebody slightly important must be coming out.

To my surprise I saw Mrs. Hillary Clinton walk out of the hotel, waving at nobody because I was the only person standing outside with any interest.  My hangover dissipated and shock came over me. Since was not expecting that and I was close enough to have touched her.

After she peeled out of the hotel I got enough guts to enter and found my guide drinking coffee and smoking and he said I have been waiting since 8:45 for you. I explained to him that I didn’t really think they would let me in to the hotel since Hillary just came out. He told me no problem they all know me here. I know all the security, I just walked right in.

We found our driver and headed off to the city of Srebrenica. We had a long drive but I had prepared some questions and we talked about hours about everything that came to my mind.

We arrived in the city and headed straight to the hotel I stayed at 3 or 4 years ago where the owner speaks good German and is a famous chef and people come from all around to his place. I couldn’t believe I was back at this place and told him that I  just read about his restaurant in a book. He offered us a table and we quickly realized we were not the only guests he was waiting for. There was a large table already set for a  luncheon. There were lots of questions exchanged but there seemed to be a lot of hush hush. According to my translator nobody was allowed to say who was coming. I think they all knew it might have been Hillary or surely part of her delegation.

We had a beer and a fabulously prepared meal of veal, chips and some kind of vegetables that were unrecognizable. Just after my after-meal ciggie and with my beer not finished my driver and guide jumped up and said lets go! The next thing is that again big American-looking dude started pulling up in cars, radios were going off and everyone was looking at me very suspiciously. But I had to go to the toilet and my guide said go ahead. I had one of those moments where I could hear more and more agents coming in and I felt like the scene in the god father when he goes to the toilet to find the hidden gun. I managed under extreme pressure to finish my business and as I came out I was escorted by my guide and driver.

I felt like I really had my own security and later in the day I found out that I did!

We had a bit of  walk around the town went up into the hill and drank from a fountain that may have silver in it. The town used to be very wealthy with a health spa and the water is meant to be very good for you.

We then started with the darker part of the tour and that was stopping at the football stadium where nobody plays. Around 200-300 hundred Muslims were killed in this stadium. At this time the hair on my neck started to rise and after a pleasant car ride, decent lunch, I suddenly felt an overwhelming sadness. I had tried to prepare for this but I don’t think its possible.

After that moment the rest of day changed, conversation was kept to a minimum, my guide seemed to be quiet, not talking, and a bit angry and disturbed.

Next we went to the barracks of the UN troops from Holland. This was the spot that you can see on TV footage of 1000s of people waiting outside to try and get in. The walls still had the graffiti left on it from naked girls, calenders with the days marked out, and Harley Davidson eagles.

I was then shown a movie made by British women about the area, the accounts of wives about the last time they saw their husband or children, and scenes from the mass graves. This again put a huge weight on my chest and as I walked past photos of the men trying to escape to the hills I no longer had a voice. I was introduced to a guy who is in charge of the museum and my guide said, ask questions he has the answers, but I was still in a state of shock and tried to speak but could no longer find a voice.

I was taken to the museum which is now in the hanger or a factory where 5000 people were let in. This is the spot where women were having babies, the elderly were dying and because some people knew their fate around 12 men committed suicide. The guide gave me the history of the place let me walk around looking at the history of the town and in the end there is a well presented exhibition on different stories from people that had lived in the town and disappeared and part of them and their belongings had been found in mass graves.

In the exhibition  there were belongings and again to see the wedding ring of a man or a young child’s bracelet spun my head out thinking of what those people went through. There is something about seeing their objects that brings reality a bit closer to home.

I walked outside with my guide still absolute silent and we walked across the street to the cemetery and memorial. The one that Bill Clinton inaugurated.

My guide in silence looking at the names showing me the members of his clan on the white marble with all the names. He was also looking to see if any had been crossed out since some people in the end were still alive.

He then took one of my cigarettes and when I turned around he was gone. He had vanished! I was left lonely surrounded by white grave stones that seemed to go on and on forever. I felt a bit better for some reason that at least these families found their love ones and they could lay them to rest. What about all the people still out there that have not been found yet?

I walked around for a half hour had my final look and headed back to the car. My guide said in his great accent “lez go home”. On the drive back nobody talked. For at least an hour and half no one spoke. My naive questions and my search for knowledge that I had been planning for hours the night before all seemed so stupid and I could only reflect on what I had seen and felt.

We arrived back to the hotel and attached was the Vienna cafe inside, my body ached from being in car all day. My spirit shattered and I was in desperate need of a beer.

This broke the ice with my guide and we continued to talk about a lot of different things when he started to reveal stories about what he did in the war and the rations that he sold on the side, and then he started talking about his friends before and after the war. As he described that many of them no more get along the beers kicked in and he started to shed tears. He kept saying I am sorry, I am sorry. I of course told him that there was no need to be sorry and that everyone is allowed to be sad.

He jumped up in his chair now stone cold sober and said yes you are right. He started laughing and thanked me because he had never thought about his. He said he  must write this in international law. that everybody in the world has the right to be sad. He mentioned what a paradox that you can’t know what sadness is without knowing what happiness is.

This really made his day and it made mine as well since I seemed to have helped him discover something he had never thought about. On this note we said our good byes and he disappeared into the dark corners of his mind somewhere in Sarajevo.

Like the guy in the book I came on this trip on the search to find something. I am still not certain what I have found but I have found somethings that I certainly wont forget.

Sharing Food in Sarajevo

(The second blog from Jared’s trip to Sarajevo…)

Friday was my first real day in the city, having finally had a good nights rest. It began with me writing the first blog entry, and ended up again in my favourite pub with the new books I invested in. The great thing about arriving in a city that you already know is that there is less pressure to try and see everything, and you have a bit more freedom to relax and explore other avenues.

As I was sitting in the pub reading and having my breakfast, I thought I recognised one of the students that I met last year. At first I was convinced that my eyes were playing tricks on me, but low and behold, it was the same person. We had a small chat, which I think he found a little uncomfortable as he had not spoken English for a year.

I headed back to my hotel to drop off my books, and my mouth was watering for those little sausages that I mentioned in the first blog. But before I could get back out on the street, the owners of the hotel invited me for a small lunch of freshly-made borek. It is really good here in the shops, but this one was even better, and you could really taste the love that went into making it.

After a short nap, I headed out to services at the Jewish synagogue. I arrived early and so sat in the waiting room with two guys no doubt wondering why I was there. Everyone was smoking, and it seems that here even the holy places are not holy enough that smoking is forbidden. After a quick ciggie, we were ushered upstairs with about eight me into the main synagogue. The service was short but sweet, and I couldn’t help wishing that they had been that way when I was a kid. Afterwards I was invited for an egg, some bread and fried cheese, and a glass of wine.

It was the second time that day that I had been taken in by strangers and invited to share something as special and important as food.

Since the service had been quicker than I expected, I headed out into the city in search of somewhere that was showing the European qualifiers between Bosnia and Albania. I found a small bar with a mixed crowd of girls sipping cocktails and men drinking beer and watched the game. I met up with another friend from last year, and after the game he took me to the twisted tower. This is the largest building in Sarajevo, with a view that cannot be beaten. These are the type of buildings that every good traveller should collect, such as the TV Tower in Berlin, or the tower in Sydney. From up there it was not only an amazing view, but it was very clear how the city could have been attacked from the hills so easily during the war.

After the tower we headed to a Russian party, in a venue that is a cafe by day and a club by night. It was packed with people sipping on Heinekens and Red Bulls, and as my mojo was good I put on a little jig…I was with people I like and my mood good. At 1am the noise restrictions meant that the party had to shut down, but by then most of the people had already packed up and hone home. Obviously nobody wanted to be the last to leave. Not cool. I was still there to the bitter end…I guess I am just not cool ;-)

Letter from Sarajevo

Jared is away at the moment, and is spending time in a place that is close to both our hearts: Sarajevo. The following is from an email he sent, that he agreed could be shared on the blog – Paul…

Its always a rush when I arrive into Sarajevo airport. I can’t imagine what kind of craziness took place there. The planes coming in with humanitarian aid and all the UN trucks whizzing from one end to other but never taking anybody out of the place. The tunnel just underneath that was the life line to the city. You could go out with empty bags but not full ones and come back with full ones loaded up stuff to sell on the black market.

I dropped my stuff off at a little hotel and headed straight for my favorite pub for a Sarajevo pivo. As many of you know I did a tour with guy who is the only licensed tour operator in Bosnia and specializes on history and the war. I have been trying to contact him for over a week but as I was drinking my last little beer I noticed him in the street just starting one of his history tours. Not but one hour into my trip.

I approached his tour and he told me he had just replied to my mail 5 minutes before and invited me on the tour and told me the group would pay for me. So I expected to have a relaxing day but ended up after two days on a bar convention and then waking up at 5 in the morning which is my normal bed time (so I only could sleep an hour the night before) on a history tour with guy that has so much to share.

So I was walking around the streets of Sarajevo with a bunch of people from different countries that do census work, a few of which got yelled at by the tour guide since one was a Serb and did not want to hear about any massacres that took place in the streets. My tour guide boldly told him that this man was now in his country and that he needs to listen to what he has to say, just as he will listen to what that man had to say. But the overwhelming proof of one of shells that was the second biggest massacre in the city has to be explained and that he also had to tell people about this. If they did not agree with him they could keep their money and he would finish the tour.

Anyway we ended up in the brewery of Sarajevo my guide chain smoking at table of course joined him and tried to get as much info out of him as possible. The other people paid for his time but did not have any questions? The tour guide likes questions, he can talk a hell of a lot but he likes debate and questions.

He filled my brain with so many things that 12 hours later I am still processing what the hell he was talking about.

I have spent my morning enjoying the smell of sausages being prepared for the lunch rush and have been to my favorite book shops where I have spent my hard earned wages on literature about the war, the massacre in Srebrenica, and a book on the search for Radovan.

All of this is in preparation for my tour on tuesday which I will be spending half of my rent to visit Srebenica with the above mentioned man. This will entail seeing the genicide museum, the memorial and the place of burial of almost 8000 muslims, the stadium where people were taken to and the warehouse where the German peace keepers graffitied the wall some with very radical images that no human should have drawn.

I have been assured we will visit some places where men and women were separated and then killed and have heard that their spirits are still there and I expect to be very emotional.

Why I am doing this? I don’t know! But there is something about this place and I feel very at home here, but at the same time there is something that I am chasing a mystique that I can’t quite put my finger on and that’s what keeps me going and I keep on searching.

Konny Wedding

A little over a week ago one of the Circus team got married. Indeed, for Konny and his lovely bride Cami it was their 3rd wedding…and Jared went along to the Dorfkirche Blankenfelde to celebrate with them…

A few of us ventured out to see be part of this very special day. Toga and I made our plans on Friday of where to meet and I put Reiseleiter Lorenz in charge of the directions. We both met in front of the Burger King on Saturday morning, and both dressed to impress in our suits. Toga had his google directions and off we went on a two hour and fourty five minute journey to the bowels of Pankow.

I thought we would just jump on a S-Bahn and then need to catch a bus but little did I know that we were jumping on the U-6 to the very end Alt-Tegel. It all started off pretty calm but the further we got on the U-6 line the more Toga and I  were highly over dressed compared to the locals going about their normal Saturday business.

We arrived at Alt-Tegel and I was dying for a beer but Toga told me not before a wedding. I held out and had a look around at a part of the city that I had never really seen and admired that this was still Berlin and an undiscovered part of the city. We jumped on the bus 205 – a nice double decker – and made ourselves comfortable since we had a 35 minute ride through the city. Toga was so convinced that we would be on the public transport for so long that we would leave the zone B so we both bought ABC tickets. On the way home we found out that we never left zone B.

The bus got away from busy city and ended up on extremely narrow streets most of which were still paved of stone. There were actually little houses and again was a real eye opener to a different part of Berlin. Toga and I kept looking at each other thinking we felt sorry for the people that had to make this commute everyday.

We neared our stop Toga hit the stop button but being in foreign land we noticed the next stop was one beyond where we were to meet our connecting bus.

Toga and I hopped off cursing the bus driver since it was only one bus stop but the distance between the two stops was about 3ks. Toga rolled a ciggy but had no time to smoke it since the next bus back was arriving quick. We both ran out little hearts off and made it back to the stop we were originally intended to get off at.

Of course we had a twenty minute wait so we watited hoping that someone in the middle of a two way road in the middle of no where would recognize that two guys dressed in suits were not waiting to take a bus ride but that we desperately needed to get to the church for a wedding.

The bus arrived we jumped on with only minutes to spare till the wedding was about to start. We saw Julia and were very happy to see someone that we knew and she also had her own story about her journey. This would not be the last one either.

We made it to the church a little nervours that we would not know where it was but there was a large gang of other people dressed up and in suits so we knew we were in the right place.

Konny came running out to greet us and ushered everyone into the church. I think he wanted to get the show on the road.

We entered a small very intimate church the organ started kicking some toons and then Konny and Cami came down the isle. We sang some songs listened to a very nice story from the priest about how Konny and Cami met and the rest I have no idea. I know that Steffi from the café snuck in with Matthew. They also encountered some problems with the public transportation.

They did the I dos and I think Cami also wanted to get the party because she I doed before the priest was even finished.

That being done we left the church went outside for some group photos (see photo attached) greeted the newly weds and headed up the road for a bit of sekt, cofffe and cake, beer and dinner.

Walking just 100 meters from the church to Konnys family house we saw the famous restaurant the Blue Duck. Steffi had seen this place on TV. It was one of those shows where a chef comes in and tells them what they need to do to improve the place. The only one that saw the inside was Steffi because there was some sort of goat farm across the road where to goats seemed to be penned in a fence. I personally thought this was some sort of breeding enhancer but everyone insured me this was animal cruelty. After Steffi did her deed of letting the restaurant know people came frantically running out to save the goats.

Once we finally  got to Konny’s house we drank some sekt, everyone else had coffee and cake, The place where Konny grew up was an amazing place. He must have had great time as a kid. A huge front lawn to play in and a great back yard with a nice area for grilling, a covered kind of open barn for having partys and I think they might even have had a sauna. What a great place to grow up and have parties at while the parents are away.   I drank more sekt, got the Circus crew another bottle of sekt and we had a few glasses more in the sun. We had some good laughs, well Steffi had a lot because she is a cheap drunk and after two sips she couldn’t stop laughing or talking the rest of the day.

There was a little show hosted by Lars with Konny and Cami’s friends doing little skits. After that the keg had been popped we drank some beer and had some dinner. By this time the Circus crew was a bit tipsy, full from dinner and was dreading the long way home.  We said our goo byes despite everyone wanting us to stay because they assured us that the real party was going to start.

We had to leave walked by the petting zoo to make sure Steffis goats were ok and jumped on the bus. The bus driver was very nice and complemented us on our attire. We decided to jump off and wait for the tram 1. There were a few more complications but in the end we all made it home in one piece.

It was a great day full of traveling to new places, meeting new people, good laughs, and great food,  and I would like to thank Konny and Cami for having me. I wish you all the best of luck in the future.

pankow football(Jared and some friends go to watch the football…or, what the Circus staff do in their spare time…Who’s Who from left to right: Andrew, Toga, Josefine, Sean, Bernie, Konny, Jared and Cami )

This past Sunday I woke up with the traditional feeling that it was Saturday night the day before. I woke up to my handy going off with a text: “Football today meet at Pankow S-bahn at 13:30”. So I nursed my small hangover and jumped on the tram to be taken way out of my hood. (I am known for never leaving Berlin Mitte). I arrived in Pankow and could only think: Dorothy, we are not in Kansas no more.

I arrived in Pankow to see a girl beating up her boy friend. Not something you see very often…but as Jim and little Jo Jo arrived with Andy and little Bernie I told them the story and it seemed to be some what of a regular occurrence in this part of the world. Sean rolled in and then Toga on his bike and to top it off, Konny and Cami in a car.

We caught the bus to the stadium, where I discovered we were to watch Konny’s old team Einheit Pankow, who were playing against BFC Preußen.  Arriving at the out door pitch Konny shook hands with the guy selling tickets and organized us a deal at the door. Making our way to the beer Konny seemed to know everybody there. I knew Konny could play football (since I am the official circus physio)  but I didn’t know about his good old days as  a famous player for Pankow. He had to hang up his boots  since he got married and the team demands 3 days of training and one game day.

We hit the fan curve. It was just us all speaking English and about 50 other people drinking  crates of beer and smoking butts.. The away teams fans must have  got lost since they had about 5 of them there.

The game kicked off and we watched and yelled what ever and when even Konny told us too. We got a couple rounds of beer in before half time, and at half time it was time to wash a few sausages down with a few more beers. The second half was supposed to be more exciting than the first half, but the final result was 0-0 and there were few chances for Pankow to score.

The game ended and it was time to retire to the club house. Konny gave me tour of the club house where the players were enjoying asparagus and potatoes. They all looked at me like I was in the wrong place but Konny had my back and showed photos of his famous father on the pitch , in the period when he was a leading light in the over 50s team. Now he is playing for the over 60s!

Paul, Katrin and little Lotte showed up about a half hour after the game – we are still trying to figure out why there were so late – to drink a few beers (not Lotte). The sun came out later in the day and the kids were having a great time.

It was a great day to hang out with people since most have kids these days and they got no time for beer drinking. The weather held out for us, the beer was plentiful and well priced, and the football was as exciting as it gets. Actually I was more fascinated by the planes passing by about to land at Tegal.

Thanks for everyone that made or Sunday trip so much fun and I am sure when there is another game and a trip to the forgotten corners of the Berlin football world,  Konny will let you all know.

barzone(Taking a break from his tour of Berlin’s best bars, Jared finds something else that is just as good…a trip to one of Berlin biggest bar conventions…)

I am sure as many of you readers out there have started to notice the I like to drink. So twice a year in Berlin there are two bar convetions. The first one took place on the 4th of the 5th of May this year and the second one is coming on the 4 and 5th of October.

This last week I went with my fellow bar tender Christian to the bar zone. We woke up much earlier than any bar tender should have to and by 10:30 in the morning we were standing outside getting prepared for the day. I would like to add one reason out of many I much prefer the BCB run my mixology is that they listen to their readers and the convention starts at 12:00. A much more human hour to wake up for.

Anyway we checked in at the door got our badges and away we went. We had a a lot of business to get done on this day. This is a ba tenders code word for we need to do a lot of drinking but tell the bosses we were working hard. But don’t tell my boss please! One of main goals of the days was to find  Pisco de Oro the brand we choose for our new cocktail menu. The first stand we saw was this one so we jumped over to speak with Ana Rosa and by a quarter to eleven I had drunk 2 different types of pisco. What a start to the day! I know had to full shots on an tired empty stomach. Well that’s how these things go.

Next stop was a new Korn product on the market made in Berlin. The bottle was stripped down and very simple but eleganat but what caught my attention was the fact it was made in Berlin. I had look at the 1000 limited edtion bottles each numberd and out poped the representative for the company. Of course I had to try the product. It was very unentertaining much like vodka is but its made in Berlin it’s a cool bottle and what I liked even better was the price. So if anybody is looking for a gift just contact me and I am sure I can organize you a bottle.

So now with 3 shots in my belly getting close to 11 we took a small break had a look around and after that I got a bit thirsty again. I saw one of the bar tenders I have known for a few year Jacob from Stagger Lee working in the Borco stand. We greeted each other and he then kindly offered us a drink. Now it was time to get serious and have a real drink.

Jacob, being the excellent bar tender that he is, pumped us out drinks with nothing but the finest mixing spoon, mixing glass and jiggers that a bartender would like to have. His zests were perfect and filled the air with the smell of fresh citros and orange. It was one of the best drinks I have had in a long time. But I can’t for the lift of me remember what the hell was in it. Thanks Jacob and readers keep your eyes out because Stagger Lee is on the list for Mr. Goldmans bar tour.

We took another little break to watch some guy doing latte art but I was just not thinking about coffee anymore. We found another little bar stand that looked very inviting. We tried a few new rums one of which I must have for the hotel, and decided to have a cocktail. The bar man offered me one of his chocolate cocktails with a 25 year old rum and I was very disappointed. Christain ordered a rum manhattan and even that lacked the passion. The rum was good but I think that company better get a better representative.

Now I was in pretty much auto pilot mode and couldn’t really see properly at this point so we decided wehad  better take a beer break. Veltins dressed some girls up real nice and were kind to put some beers on ice for us so we had a beer and planned the attact for the rest of the day. The plan was back to Ana Rosa for pisco cocktail and then home.

We some how got stopped at another stand to try cachaca. One that was really not fitting to me but the bar man made us a drink and the drink was very nice. That is my way of saying I got no idea how it tasted at this point. He then went on to make a caipi for Christian but it was so bad that we told him we could not drink it.

By then we were ready to get out of there. But we went back to our friends at Pisco de Oro and finished the long hard day of work with a pisco basil smash. I couldn’t really taste the basil and wasn’t sure the bar man had any idea of what was going on but still I drank it with a smile on my face. I slightly remember drinking a pisco sour after that or maybe I just made that up!

Anyway that was our day I was in bed by 20:00 and was fit for another day in the office. Thanks to everyone we meet at Bar Zone and I am looking forward to the BCB in October.

Mr. Goldman over and out

The Bar Zone Website

Windhorst bild(Next up on Jared’s guide to the best bars of Berlin and elsewhere is Windhorst, a great little place in the heart of the city)

Located on a side street close to Friedichstrasse, the Windhorst is a small bar with place for about thirty souls, and every time I have been there the atmosphere has been busy and yet relaxed, usually with some nice jazz on the sound system. This fits the decor, with photographs of jazz legends and a Cuban guy drinking rum looking down from the walls.

The centrepiece, as in all good drinking establishments, is the bar itself. Elegant, beautiful and topped with a nice light wood, it is everything you expect of a bar. But of course, what is most important are the drinks placed upon it. I asked the bartender for a recommendation of something vodka-based but not too sweet. He pointed out a few on the menu, and I selected the Mrs Rockefeller, which is made with vodka, fresh lime juice, cassis and a shot of campari, and finished with grapefruit juice.

It came in a chilled martini glass, and I have to say it tasted very nice. The flavours were complex, and it was not too sweet…it was the fresh lime juice that was the key to the whole drink. The rest of the menu makes it clear that this is a bar run by someone who is passionate about the drinks that are going out, and there are no traditional cocktails. It looks mainly as if these are drinks that have been created in-house and carefully selected.

Altogether I can recommend the Windhorst for good drinks and a pleasant, unpretentious atmosphere. As with all the best bars, you can see the personality of the owner and the bartenders both in how the place looks and feels, and the drinks that they choose to serve. So hop on the tram M1 from outside the Circus, and go and check it out.

WindhorstWindhorst Bar and Lounge
Dorotheenstraße 65, Berlin-Mitte

Open Monday to Friday from 6pm, Saturday from 9pm.
Click on the map for a closer look of how to get there.

Jared at the Sage Bar School

barschuleberlin_header(Last year our bar manager Jared took a course at the Sage Bar School in Berlin, which was five intense days of bartender training, the results of which you can taste in Fabisch every time you order a drink. Here is his report of what he learned…)

The first thing I learned during the five days at the Sage Bar school is what Berlin is like if you wake up at eight in the morning. After years of working bars at The Circus, it was a revelation to discover that in the daytime the trams are full, and that people in Berlin actually go to work for a living. In between these revelations I also learned plenty about bar history, the different types of alcohol, speed mixing and cocktail building.

The course was led by David Wiedemann, an extremely knowledgable and good teacher, who was a fountain of information about all aspects of working the bar. During the week we learned about cocktails and drinks from the beginning on, including the history of cocktails – and the unique role played by prohibition in its development – the fermentation and distillation process, how different types of bars require different approaches, and then of course the drinks themselves.

The attention to detail was truly impressive, from the discussions about all types of equipment to what kind of ice shovel to use, to the detailed courses on different types of alcohol, including vodka, cachaca, tequila, gin, cognac, brandy, whisky and whiskey, as well as likore, bitters, amaro and champagne. Phew! By the end of the week we were tested on what we had learned, both written and practical, including a speed pouring test and well as cocktail building.

All in all it was a fantastic learning experience, and give me much to think about when it came to our drinks offer at Fabisch. For those who can read German, you can find out more about the Sage Bar School and their courses, from one-day workshops to six-month programmes, on their website.

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