A drink can make you renewed. It’s something that we do on a break from other things, a pause in the day, a short meditation, or a moment for a chat. Even just a glass of water, I can honestly say i have always been allured by drinks since before the word meant something alcoholic to me. How I became Alchemist Chris Kramer is a long vagabond winding road of over 20 years experience working in Bars, Restaurants and even nightclubs…
Sam Malone became one of my heroes and I wanted to bartend ever since. I found I had a knack for bartending, pouring fast in high-volume clubs. For decades I traveled the world as a fashion model (maybe that was Sam too)… During my life on the road bartending became a companion for me in Hong Kong. My hands on education behind the bar eventually led me to an interest in knowledge about the age old traditions and secrets involving spirits. My curiosity led me to pursue an education in mixology and spirits.
Drink & Enjoy
Your next party like never before…
Practice and patience lead the way
My travels allowed me to test drinker’s palates from around the world while picking up tips from experienced bartenders. I literally trained for bartending as though it were kung fu, I found precision and refined protocol for all stations I had encountered. Through years of experience in and around mixology, I constantly reformed as I found new discoveries with both my guests and fellow mixologists. By the time I left Japan in 2011, I was at the black belt level as a bartender, that is, the actual process of bartending relaxed me and I found zen. I headed for Los Angeles where i played a small role in a bartending academy and worked on Bar Catering events for UCS and Petersen Automotive Museum. Having been immersed into SoCal culture I developed ways to do things without using artificial ingredients, cut out refined sugars, sourced organic local produce and created infusions with nature. With Larchmont Village patrons palates to work with, my craft had developed into a craft of its own. It was at The Larchmont, a place where everybody always knows your name, where the nickname Alchemist Chris was a name given to me by a couple regulars, it stuck and the meaning makes sense to me. The friendship built with co-workers and with guests truly is one of the greatest perks to working in a bar restaurant.
You should limit your alcohol therefore only drink the best
Much like the path of my mixologist career, many of us are introduced to an alcoholic libation in the club. Which is unfortunate since the bar industry has shortcut everything of essence out of most libations. The 90’s really did a number on what we have become accustomed to and calling a “drink” these days. In general, things have become way too cheap and fast but there is a rapidly growing awareness of the lost art of cocktails. There is a savvy crowd of drinkers out there in search of the true experience made famous since the golden Roaring 20’s. Craft, mixology, house-batched, these are the names of the game today.
Fruit, vegetables and herbs are laid out into seasonal “courses” by Mother Nature, and a craft menu should reflect the season at hand as well as the menu of the establishment. I like to use the seasonal elements and restaurant style to create inspiring new libations that appear at the top of the menu new just about every time the regular guest visits. A drink should make a crucial statement about a restaurant or bar. They whisper to the customer that nuances of perfection and quality are at hand. Immediately after the first sip, their tongue swims in a balanced trail of excitement, and natural ingredients meld into the mouth and enjoyment proceeds onto a new level. The quick and syrupy gimmick concoctions of the past can’t compare to true elemental mixology. The time has come to care as much about your drink as you do your food, libation has found its roots and consumers are becoming more educated about their food and the ingredients that go into them.
The first thing served to your guest is their beverage, that first sip is but one chance
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The vantage point of a guest is wondrous; a luxurious tasting drink appealing to the eye and a conversation piece for a moment. From the house perspective; impressive style and class for guests with higher profit margins and drawing a better crowd. I am constantly on the search for new ingredients to keep that relationship new and exciting, fruits change with the seasons and so do my preference of drinks for the time of year, time of day and of corse occasion. Weekly visits to the farmers market are filled with inspiration, but nothing inspires me more than a good mad lab session with the palate of involved savvy guests. Chefs are also a great inspiration to me, I have been lucky enough to work with some great chefs including Michael Bryant, first place winner of TV Chef series “Chopped” also “Knife Fight” and “Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell”. Having a craft mixology bar inside a fine dining restaurant has its perks, there are always new ingredients in stock, and chefs are obsessed with the seasonal changes in food.
Cheers to Celebrated Spirits!
So of corse you can’t be just all Mixology… I love seeking out small vintage California vineyards, which should be paid attention to, but you can’t dispute the domaine of a perfectly aged Grand Cru Classe Bordeaux. When pairing drinks with food, obviously there is plenty that demands to be paired with wine, and really thats the point of it all, the right drink for the right moment. A beverage is something to slow down and enjoy peace of mind or amp up the moment with excitement and friends. Anyhow you play, it’s a Celebration of life and Spirit.
Let’s work together on your project
There’s nothing more exciting to me that the stages of creation for a restaurant bar. Get in touch, lets talk about your vision and how we can sculpt a bar program to enhance your establishment. I know the way to higher margins while creating more customer appeal and I have a talent for linking restaurant concepts with beverage options.