Discovering Curated Cocktails at Mykonos, Greece’s Myconian Collection
The moment I stepped foot into the Myconian Kyma hotel in Mykonos, Greece (part of the Myconian Collection), I knew I had come to the right place. The warm classic Greek aesthetic, with blue and white hues everywhere I turned, calmed my spirit in a way I haven’t felt in a very long time. After achieving internal peace, I suddenly realized I was both hungry and thirsty.
Throughout my two day stay at the luxury property that boasts not only the Myconian Kyma, but also the Myconian Naia and Myconican Korali all on the same property, I drank and ate my way through the three different food and beverage concepts. I was wildly impressed with the innovative cocktail menus found at each. I found myself to be even more enthusiastic about the Sunset Cocktail Party that the Naia property hosts every night at sunset, one of the most picturesque spots I have ever seen.
Given my great enthusiasm for the beverages (most notably after-dinner drinks that had me hypnotized) I had to sit down with Irina Marouli, the Myconian Collection’s Bar Manager, to ask her about the curation of the beverage program and how they strive to continuously innovate and create.
Irina has a long history with the Myconian Collection company and has worked for them for over ten years. Today, she runs the three bar concepts that I visited, but got her start with them as a morning shift bartender in here early years, where she climbed her way up the proverbial beverage ladder.
Below, The Daily Meal sits down with Irina to talk about the beverage program, the ultimate sunset party, and what she likes to drink when she’s off the clock:
The Daily Meal: How did you come up with the beverage menus for the three properties: Kyma, Korali and Naia?
Irina Marouli: The bar menus for the hotels change every year and in order to do that I attend seminars and bar events during the winter. This is the best way to discover the trends of the season and the new spirits the industry is using each year.
How do the beverage menus differ in each property to complement each different cuisine?
The menus among the hotels differ. We do that in order to present as many creations as possible and also combine them with the exquisite food offered in the hotel.
Every year the chef informs me mostly about the style he will follow on his menus and the main ingredients he is going to use. Other than that, I use only fresh fruits as a way of sweetening the cocktails naturally, as opposed to using sugar. I also avoid products that go through many procedures before coming into my hands.
In the bar, almost everything we use we make, in order to be able to be sure about the quality we offer.
Your after dinner drinks were quite creative. What are some of your offerings?
With some of our cocktails, we use a few unique products that I like to add for a more sophisticated palate such as palmarosa or edible gold. Therefore, every year depending on the style, I create cocktails according to the time or the occasion.
For example, this year we created for the first time low alcohol cocktails, which is actually a trend for this season but can be offered under the sun, right next to the pool on a very hot day.
After dinner, I like to give a sweet finish most of the times, without overdoing it though. Usually what we offer after dinner is a light and fruity spirit combined with a sense of seasonal fruits and herbs. We update the recipe every now and then with different ingredients.
What type of cocktails do you showcase for your Sunset Party at Myconian Naia?
For our Naia Sunset Party, we present what we call Romeo and Juliet: two exclusive sunset cocktails that contain rum or vodka and a secret combination of delicious summer fruits and bitters.
What are your favorite spirits to create cocktails with?
My personal favorite spirit is rum. I believe it always has a story to tell. It is created from different ingredients than we use in Greece, from people with a different culture and life. Drinking it can give all kinds of exotic, spicy and sweet notes. A nice neat rum cocktail with fruit peels and bitters, accompanied with a nice mellow cigar, can be the absolute summer/sunset/nightcap experience!
What is your favorite guilty pleasure cocktail?
As for my guilty pleasure cocktail, I’ll give you a hint. It’s spicy, sour and full of celery bitters! Have you guessed it yet? It’s the Bloody Mary with real tomatoes and a freshly cut celery stick.