Meet Your Ambassador! Here are some questions and answers about our ambassador in Barcelona: Andrea Senna!
Let’s talk about you. Where are you from? Where do are you working, currently? Hello! I am Andrea Senna and I work as a teacher and instructor of mixology, biochemistry and applied science of Food & Beverage in universities and schools. I am also a doctor and consultant of molecular biology and food biochemistry, by passion. But above all, I am a bartender – I fell in love with the world of mixology and the science of spirits! I alternate my day job as a consultant as well as a teacher for bartenders and bar professionals with being a bartender (which is much more fun), to which I dedicate the little free time I have on weekends.
How did you get into bartending? Many years ago, I was examining a bacterial culture at my university’s microbiology laboratory, during an experiment on fermentation in genetics class. That was second year of university. By accident, that day, I unknowingly had a contamination from yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). The next day, when I analyzed the culture I found, with stunning surprise, my little microorganism gave me a wonderful gift: my colonies were full of alcohol! That was the day I created something for the very first time related to alcohol. I was so surprised to discover how easy it would be to produce alcohol, that I decided to dedicate my life to studying this very interesting and curious compound that makes humans so mad.
How do you define your bartending/cocktail style? I consider bartending to be one of the most entertaining aspects of biochemistry. It incorporates everything you learn while studying for a biochemical degree in university and is a lot of fun. I would define bartending as one creative way to divulge science, and it is highly entertaining. As I wrote in my last ebook, my definition of a cocktail is simply that science made it drinkable. Starting from glass down to the ingredients, bartending is all about biology and biochemistry.
What is the most important factor in creating cocktails? The bartender that invents it. Taste is something extremely personal and relative, but the attitude of the bartender is universal. You can transmit good vibes and it doesn’t matter what language your customers speak; flair makes all of the flavors pop, along with a sexy-shake to mix all of the ingredients well. A smile is the most beautiful garnish a bartender can give to a cocktail and really makes it delicious. There are no good cocktails that don’t start with a good concept and these concepts from straight from the bartender’s mind.
What are the 3 bars/addresses in town where we can find you? You can find me working almost 24 hours a day at Las Vermudas, my new Vermouth and Amaro Cocktail Bar, opening in Barcelona very soon 😉
How do you come up with your new cocktail recipes? Inspiration is something you never control, it just happens. Despite this, if a customer asks me to create a new cocktail, I inspire myself in different ways. For example, I ask my customer to quickly say the first word that comes to their mind. If there are no customers around I just open a book, choose one random word, and start thinking of words that associate with it. I have always found delicious and curious inspiration for my customers… it always works and they are delighted because they are the starting point of their own personalized cocktails…
What is your go-to/favourite ingredient? As a biologist, I love to make my own liqueurs. The last one that I created is extremely amazing. The recipe is a secret of course, but I can share the three main ingredients with you: ginger, bergamot and rose petals – with everything macerated and sonicated in alcohol. No sugar, but a lot of glycerin and honey.
What are your must haves/bar essentials? A good collection of handmade aromatic bitters. You can easily understand the professional level of my bar from the collection of bitters I have.
Which alcohol do you take as a shot? And what’s your favorite drink to order from the bar on your night-off? No doubt, Amaro Cynar, artichokes chills…
What ingredients do you enjoy using in cocktails? All the fermented ingredients you can make. Starting from wine, kombucha, strawberry wine, beer, cider… there are no limits to fungi and bacterial creation.
If you could only drink one cocktail for the rest of your life, what would it be? That’s easy. My personal “eau de vie” is Amaro Soda, (Braulio) it’s low alcohol, low calories, healthy, refreshing, perfect at any time of the day… healthy cocktails you know.
What is your favourite Campari spirit and why? As a bitter lover, I love Cinzano 1757, the origin of vermouth in Tourin was vermouth was born. I define the bottle of Cinzano 1757 as the bottle-pedia of the history of cocktails and mixology, starting with the MI-TO cocktail…
What is the most ridiculous cocktail request you had? During one of my first jobs as a bartender in a five-star hotel in London, I used to chat with a lady every morning who always ordered just a glass of soda with angostura on the side… She was mixing angostura in her glass of soda, getting a powerful digestive cocktail for her stomach problems. It may seem ridiculous, but this cocktail underlines one of the most interesting aspects of alcohol: its pharmaceutical origins…
As a MWL Ambassador, what is your biggest challenge this year? Creating the most beautiful and biggest CREATIVE incubation laboratory for every bartender who wants to join the CAMPARI creative family. My biggest challenge is to coach all the bartenders and mixologists that sign up for this creative contest to express their IDEAS in the most powerful ways possible. As a bartender, I always served my customers, now I will serve other bartenders to express their best!
What advice/bartender tip would you share with our participants this year? GO WITH THE FLOW of your INSTINCTS and get inspired by everything around you… Bartending is all about working with your five senses… go with the flow and let it go!
What is one of the most important skills a bartender should have? The courage to explore new things and the ability to smile during very stressful situations!
For the Spanish interview: BARCELONA – ¡Conoce a tu embajador!