When Gothenburger and bartender pro Dosa Ivanov competed in the World Cocktail Championships 2015 he won no less than two gold medals. First in the category Longdrink and then also the prestigious Bartender of the Year. We visited the world champion at Clarion Hotel Post, where he has worked as Bar Supervisor since the start in 2012.
What was it like winning the World Championships?
My first thought was: "This is not happening! It's not true." I had a hard time processing it straight away, but I was extremely happy! It was an amazing feeling.
What's your bar philosophy at Clarion Hotel Post?
We make artisanal cocktails, preferably with fresh fruits and freshly squeezed juices, and strive towards the perfect balance in every glass.
Do you have favourite primary product?
I'm particularly fond of orange. It's a very useful fruit.
What's the secret behind a perfect cocktail?
I wish there was a trick, but it's a lot of trial and error. The first thought, or idea about basic flavour, is often what you should stick to. You can then work around that and try different combinations. The best thing is to be experimental and try unexpected combinations.
Did it take a lot of time to come up with the cocktail Grand Horizon?
Yes, I kept trying different things all summer. I got feedback from my wife Anette and did, perhaps ten versions before I was starting to get close. I wanted a majestic flavour, that would be like a small explosion. Nothing lame.
I wanted a majestic flavour that would be like a small explosion.
Where do you go for a drink in Gothenburg?
I like hotels, so I could go for a nice cocktail at Dorsia or Gothia Towers.
How did you get onto this career path?
It was already when I was 16-17 and worked extra shifts at a neighbourhood restaurant on Sundays, while studying, and my brother worked in the bar there. I really think I have the best job in the world and have been doing this for more than 30 years now. Before this, I used to work at Stenungsbaden (a restaurant and hotel in Stenungsund, north of Gothenburg).
What's your favourite among classic cocktails?
I don't usually stick to one cocktail, but if I should pick one it has to be a Dry Martini. I have a special liking for it since I won SM (Swedish Championships) in Dry Martini twice, 2004 and 2006. It only has two ingredients, but small details can make all the difference. And no, it's not supposed to be shaken. "Shaken, not stirred," is only for James Bond.
What do you do when you don't work?
I run a lot and has been competing in the half marathon Göteborgsvarvet. I live in Sävedalen, partille, so I run or bike to work. We also do a lot of gardening and have a small greenhouse that we like to potter with.
How would you spend a Saturday in Gothenburg?
My wife Anette and I use to say that we are bad at being tourists in our own city. So I would love to do something spontaneous, like a visit to the museums. Last time we went to the Gothenburg Museum of Art.
What are your plans for the near future?
I'm doing a special appearance in Stockholm at Clarion Sign (one of Clarion Hotel Post's sister hotels) with our pastrycook Patrik Fredriksson, who won Årets Konditor ("pastrycook of the year") 2010. We have a project called Cocktails & Desserts. He is making an interpretation of my World Championship drink in dessert form, and I will create a drink inspired by his winning cake. Because I won, I will also be going to Tokyo where the World Championships are held next an honorary guest and judge. It will be terrific!
Dosa makes the winning cocktail Grand Horizon
Grand Horizon is based on dark rum and cognac, combined with flavours like peach, apple and lime with a spicy syrup. The decoration is made from orange, radish, vanilla and texas grass. It got it name from the satelite New Horizons, that recently photographed the dwarf planet Pluto.