What Went Down at Saint Petersburg Cocktail Week

There are cocktail weeks, and then there is Saint Petersburg Cocktail Week. We recap what we consider to be one of the best industry events in recent years.

Saint Petersburg Cocktail Week made a grand debut in July this year. What seemed like a near impossible feat to pull off in a pandemic, turned out to be what we consider one of the finest events of our time. Only in its first year, SPBCW managed to get all the right attention, with attendees from neighbouring cities and countries showing up to support the El Copitas team in their maiden venture.

The El Copitas team, led by Artem Peruk, Nikolay Kiselev, and Igor Zernov launched SPBCW with the goal to showcase Russia’s undeniably promising cocktail culture as well as allow the local cocktail community to interact with global talent from some of the world’s best bars. The week was attended by well heeled delegates from London, Dubai, Mexico City, Barcelona, Berlin, Helsinki, Athens and more, with guest shifts sprawled across the beautiful city at some of the finest cocktail bars.

Complete list of guest shifts below:

Date: 9-10th of July

Host Bar: Arka Bar 

Guest Bartender & Bar:  Jose Luis Leon & Padron Novoa Benjamin (Licoreria Limantour)

Date: 8-9th of July

Host Bar: Bilbao

Guest Bartender & Bar: Manolis Lykiardopoulos (Odori Vermuteria Di Atene)

Date: 8-9th of July

Host Bar: Flowers Bar

Guest Bartender & Bar: Tim Etherington-Judge (Healthy Hospo)

Date: 8-9th of July

Host Bar: Social Club

Guest Bartender & Bar: Nikos Bakoulis (The Clumsies)

Date: 9-10th of July

Host Bar: Xander

Guest Bartender & Bar: Georgina Barbachano & Walter Meyenberg (The Hanky Panky)

Date: 9-10th of July

Host Bar: One And Half Room

Guest Bartender & Bar: Erik Lorincz (Kwānt London, Birdy)

Date: 8-9th of July

Host Bar: Ognivo

Guest Bartender & Bar: Eric Bergmann (Jigger & Spoon)

Date: 8-9th of July

Host Bar: Kompromiss

Guest Bartender & Bar: Linnea Stenberg (Liberty Or Death)

Date: 8-9th of July

Host Bar: Made and China

Guest Bartender & Bar: Jimmy Barrat (International Mixologist)

Date: 8-9th of July

Host Bar: Ultramen

Guest Bartender & Bar: Yuta Inagaki (Butler Moscow)

Date: 8-9th of July

Host Bar: Tagliatella Caffe

Guest Bartender & Bar: Georgia Georgakopoulou (The Clumsies)

Date: 8-9th of July

Host Bar: Schastye

Guest Bartender & Bar: David Cordoba (The Lovers Rum )

Date: 8th & 10th of July

Host Bar: St. Martin

Guest Bartender & Bar: Danil Nevsky (Indie Bartender)

Date: 8-9th of July

Host Bar: Imbibe

Guest Bartender & Bar: Marian Beke (The Gibson Bar)

Date: 8th & 10th of July

Host Bar: Pirs 28

Guest Bartender & Bar: David Negrete Lopez (Waikiki Tiki Room)

Date: 10th of July

Host Bar: Lendoc

Guest Bartender & Bar: Ingrid Trinidad (Las Brujas)

SPBCW also saw a healthy balance of interactive and informative masterclasses including some great talks at the lectorium by Danil Nevsky (Indie Bartender), Walter Meyenberg (Hanky Panky, Brujas), Benjamin Padron and Jose Luis Leon (Limantour), and Vitaly Kolpin. Spread across two days at an abandoned mansion house in the heart of the city, the Lectorium was programmed by the 5 Stars Mixology crew and paid incredible attention to detail in the scheduling, ensuring a steady stream of information and engaging interaction between attendees and speakers.

Complete list of talks below:

Date: 6th of July

Speaker: Shashin Evgeniy

Date: 6th of July

Speaker: Jose Luis Leon

Date: 6th of July

Speaker: Danil Nevsky

Date: 6th of July

Speaker: David Cordoba

Date: 6th of July

Speaker: Tim Etherington-Judge

Date: 7th of July

Speaker: Vitaly Kolpin

Date: 7th of July

Speaker: Eric Bergmann

Date: 7th of July

Speaker: Nikos Bakoulis

Date: 7th of July

Speaker: Georgina Barbachano & Walter Meyenberg

Date: 7th of July

Speaker: Igor Zernov & Artem Peruk

SPBCW was also the launchpad for Russia’s first ever Speed Rack, a high speed bartending competition for women that helps raise funds towards breast cancer research. This was a historic moment for the Russian bartending community and for Speed Rack and saw participants from across the country battle it out for the first time, backed by an audience of bartenders from across the region.

It wasn’t all talks and masterclasses though. The entire week was peppered with some incredibly fun parties including a special one hosted by the Perfect Serve bar team on a lovely terrace – complete with great cocktails, sprawling views of the city, oysters, and….a massage if you’d like one. That’s right, these guys went all out. The Perfect Serve bar is part of a group of bars spread across the city, each one compelling in theme and concept and hosted some of the best guest shifts that week including a wildly successful one with Eric Lorincz. 

The revelry didn’t stop there – there was something lined up for almost every day of the week, in addition to all the guest shifts. The highlight of these was a midnight river cruise organised by the SPBCW team – a solid 3 hours of scenic views of the historic city, wonderful tunes under the clear summer sky, and great cocktails to help everybody unwind after some smashing guest shifts across the city. 

What was most remarkable about how SPBCW was planned was the fact that there was no grandstanding, no endless pontification – everyone was there to learn from each other, to share what they know, and to come together as a community after an incredibly challenging past year. A recap is incomplete without a special mention being made of the spectacular teamwork and organisational skills of this team in how they looked after the international guests. Every single detail from travel, airport transfers, and accommodation, to testing, meals, and ensuring each person had enough personal time to experience the city in their own time and pace outside of the programmed schedule – nothing felt like too much or too little. The team was relentless in working around the clock and behind the scenes to guarantee an experience none of us will forget in a hurry. A special shout-out to the powerhouses on ground including Danil, Andrei, Katerina, Sofya, and the entire bar team at El Copitas and their fellow volunteers. This team has not only raised the bar for all community events of this scale but have inspired a whole generation of their peers, giving them the opportunity to interact with the extended global community and feel like an integral part of it.

In our view, this is a bar team that embodies the spirit of community like no other. With a Midas touch and a genuine thirst for raising the bar, Artem, Igor, Nikolay have not just built an inspiring team but also successfully piloted one of the world’s finest cocktail weeks – one that will be hard to match and that we look forward to being a part of for years to come.

Follow Saint Petersburg Cocktail Week and El Copitas on Instagram.

Have something to say? Write in to editor@thedramattic.com

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