I try to always bring a little bit of Sweden into everything I do, whether it’s through flavors, appearance or even the name of a drink.
TL: How did you get started with making your own cocktails? I’ve always been one to experiment, but it was only when I started entering cocktail competitions that I really started to develop my own concoctions from concept to creation.
Most of the drinks competitions involve getting creative with a particular brand or product, creating something that never existed before. My impetus to create cocktails came from entering my first competition Cherry Herring many years ago. I didn’t win that one but eventually I improved, made a few finals and even some gold medals – the feeling is impossible to describe. Now I’m lucky enough to have cocktail creation as my everyday profession.
TL: What was the first project you ever worked on? Rekorderlig was hosting a special bar night in Sydney during the annual bar week and asked me to create a cocktail for each of the Rekorderlig flavors we had in Australia at that time. Those drinks inspired a little cocktail book showcasing the versatility of the cider in cocktails and gave me a way to preserve my creations in a really beautiful and visual way. I like to think of that as my first official cocktail project.
TL: What inspires you? Everything. Not a joke. I can be inspired by a book I’ve read, or something a friend said or even some of my dreams. The conception of a new drink can start anywhere; with the glass, a particular spirit or even an interesting garnish. Sometimes it even starts with a name. I’m still to create my “Big Apple” libation, inspired by New York city’s infectious bar-culture. The name is there, the concept is written, but the drink is yet to come.
TL: How does being Swedish influence your work? I try to always bring a little bit of Sweden into everything I do, whether it’s through flavors, appearance or even the name of a drink. I’ve never read so much about my home country as I do these days and I’m still learning about Swedish history and traditions that I didn’t know when I was living there – I find it all so interesting. I’ve not only become an expert in cider, I’m now also becoming a bit of a Swede-guru in my Brand Ambassador role for Rekorderlig.
TL: Other Swedes you admire? I still listen a lot to Swedish music in my spare time and artists like Timbukto and Bo Kaspers have been with me for many years.
I also look to internationally known Swedes like Stellan Skarsgård, who live and work abroad but still show interest in Swedish politics and what’s going on in their home-country.
TL: What says “classic Swedish” to you? That beautiful juxtaposition of Swedish people between cool, calm exteriors but then given an opportunity to let their hair down and they party like no other. This is never more apparent than during the Swedish midsummer, which starts out as a calm get together of friends and family to celebrate Summer and before you know it you have been up for more than 24 hours and the sun still hasn’t gone down yet… Classic Sweden!
TL: If you weren’t living in Sweden where would you live? I have not lived in Sweden for many years. After spending many years in Australia, I now live in London but I secretly dream about calling New York my home one day.
TL: Your favorite way to spend time in Stockholm. Down by the river on a sunny day, sipping a glass of rose or drinking in one of the parks with my friends. There’s no city like Stockholm when the sun is out and every last person is outside enjoying it.
TL: If you had to give Stockholm a word, what would it be? Fenix – The bird of fire that dies and constantly gets reborn again.
TL: What is something very Swedish that you’d take with you wherever you went, if you could? I don’t go anywhere without Spotify (also invented by Swedes). I also love to always have a bag of OLW Ostbågar (cheese-dodles) at hand whenever I fell like a snack.
” I have not lived in Stockholm for a while now but there’s a place many people wont find on their first visit to Stockholm. Östermalms Saluhall on Östermalmstorg. It’s an old wooden market inside a huge building dating back to 1888. Lots of vendors are selling their wares inside and its definitely a place to see before you leave.”