Updated: Mar 29
Now in its second year & spearheaded by internationally renowned bartender Martin Hudak the Slovak Bar Show returned en-force in 2018 with a stellar lineup of speakers from neighbouring countries such as Hungary to as far as Japan. A cosy, humble & honest bar show situated in the heart of Slovakia it finds the perfect balance of unique location, relevant educational content & whole-hearted bit of fun.
This was a special bar show for Cocktails For You, we unfortunately missed it last year but we’d worked with Martin before numerous times. During our visit we were made aware that the Cocktails For You Facebook page had hit 1 million followers so the moment cemented itself deep into our hearts.
Line-up: One of the hardest challenges of small bar events is to attract international & unique speakers to visit & share some of their experience in smaller markets. At Cocktails For You we proudly travel & support these events as it falls under our principle of “Sharing is Caring”! Regardless we were very impressed with the lineup at this quaint Slovakian event, from the God of minimalism that is Remy Savage of the Artesian in London, to notorious rocktender Moe Aljaff of Two Schmucks in Barcelona & the irreplaceable Hiroyasu Kayama of Ben Fiddich in Japan!
For us one of the biggest highest was Remy Savage’s approach to what he calls “Minimalist Bartending”. Sometimes these big ideas can be very confusing to understand & utilise in a normal bartending environment because the guests come to just enjoy themselves & relax instead of getting a lesson. Yet Remy somehow manages to really distill carefully his thoughts into clear lessons we all need to learn - our favourite idea that we took away from the show is the “think outside the box” quote.
Remy pointed out that it is a completely ridiculous idea to “think outside the box”. See his slides below:
Another great was from the team at Termini Bar in London, they spoke a lot about inspiration about their drinks & concept but more specifically we loved their approach to a bartending team building event. He compares building a bartending team to drafting a football squad, there are specific roles for specific bartenders & this approach helped them build a bar where there was the same team for over 2 years running, a huge amount of time in one place if you’re bartender based in London.
As Robin Malek explained to us he breaks down the process of building a “bartending football team”as hiring the for the right position & the right personality. Just like a football has a multitude of roles that ALL need to function together in order to score the goal so does a bar team but more importantly each player need to have the right mindset so they work on their specific task as hand - you cannot have a team of only strikers or defenders. It just doesn’t work!
At the same time it makes absolutely no sense to put someone into the wrong position - can you image a football team where the goalkeeper is Lionel Messi? The key here is trying to understand people correctly as well as understand their character just the hiring process, sometimes people will say many things just to get the job. He breaks down the positions as follows:
Goalkeeper - The person who can “catch” all mistakes & potential issues - this is usually the bar manager.
Defender - Great bartender especially with drinks, fast & focused.
Midfielder - Great universal, perfect on the floor & good behind the bar.
Striker - Hungry for knowledge & happy to participate in all cocktail competitions around the world!
The longer a team sticks together the better the team plays. In the end though you cannot forget about your “fans” (customers) as they’re the most important player on the pitch. Take care of them!
The Slovak Bar show is in its infancy but through the support of the tightly knit cocktail community as well as its genuine approach to hosting a bar event in probably one of the most beautiful countries in the world is going to definitely attract more & more speakers as well as visitors to this event. We’ll be watching from the sidelines as we see it growing into something particularly unique in the global bar event calendar!
At Cocktails For You we’d like to give a special thanks to Martin Hudak as one of the co-organisers of the show. We understand he isn’t the sole person working behind the scenes, we understand it took the combined efforts of his entire team to put something like this together & yet it his hard work & perseverance that attracted us to this event in the first place. We bow are head to you Martin & thank you for all the work you do!