Twelve - elegant cocktails in the clouds
Old-fashioned or modern? Very good or excellent? What do you think it is? Twelve - the rooftop cocktail bar is another project in the Młyńska 12 complex, after the Wino na kieliszki wine bar and The Time restaurant. Twelve is the peak of a huge wave coming to Poznań and Poland - cocktail bars. We are taking you into Twelve and uncovering the secrets of the rooftop bar in one of Poznań’s most beautiful town houses.
There is already a number of interesting bars specialising in cocktails in Poznań. We decided to pop by and ask Poznań’s best bartenders about how to best discover their offer, what to be on the lookout for and what to appreciate. Karol Rybicki of Twelve, the rooftop cocktail bar in the Młyńska 12 complex, agreed to be our guide through the ins and outs of good barmanship.
Poznań.travel: Who is the cocktail bar offer aimed at?
Karol Rybicki: Absolutely everyone. Poznań’s cocktail bars are now popular among foreigners as they seem to know their way around the subject, have more precise expectations and it makes me very happy to see them appreciate our offer. The Polish - I think most of my fellow barmen will agree - are only now starting to discover cocktail bars, and they do so with a lot of curiosity, asking many questions about the secrets of the barman trade. It is an immense pleasure to serve as their guide. It is not only that the idea of a cocktail bar is not very well known to our patrons, but more about the fact that the cocktail offer available on the market is much more than a few ingredients mixed together in a glass. We are gaining on the mainstream patterns, introducing them and familiarising our patrons with them. It is a good thing that in Poznań, we are not alone in our efforts.
What is the offer like in a cocktail bar?
– Cocktails of course take center stage but there is much more to it. Cocktail bars also serve mocktails (non alcoholic cocktails) as well as tea, coffee and sometimes even wine and beer, classic and ginger, and juices and other beverages which are often ingredients in many of the cocktail compositions. Some of them can be quite rare beverages based on top quality ingredients. If someone is not a big fan of cocktails, cannot or is not willing to drink alcohol, they have many equally interesting mocktails to choose from and keep their choices completely confidential. A real bartender will ask the patron what they would like and follow their tastes and needs. In short - those popping in for a coffee or a juice are also more than welcome.
We know nothing about cocktails - is that a reason for embarrassment?
– Of course not. Our patrons’ embarrassment would only mean we are not doing our job well. A visit at a cocktail bar is supposed to be a time of laid back conversations and an escape from the everyday world, so to speak, and it is up to the bartender to create this atmosphere. What we are serving is only the backdrop and the complement to a conversation the patron is always the center of. The difference between someone who already knows a little bit about the cocktail world and one who is only just beginning to get to know it translates into the barman’s pro-activeness. With newbies, the bartender has more freedom and a lot of the initiative falls on him. The patrons who know a bit more about the matter eagerly take over the reins and often are a window to the world for the bartenders themselves - sometimes it is as though we could literally trade places and let out regulars behind the bar. Many would do an excellent job at it for sure.
What are some of the qualities of a good bartender? What should we expect?
– A visit at a cocktail bar is meant to be an experience - much like a visit at a good restaurant. We go out to enjoy ourselves and satisfy all of our senses. A good bartender should create an atmosphere where the patron will feel at ease - that is the first and utmost important thing, a sense of comfort and ease should accompany the patron until the very minute he steps out of the cocktail bar door. And if it stays with him after that - this means the barman has really done an excellent job.
The other element is the barman’s knowledge, his experience and his dexterity. Preparing a cocktail is a story of what the bartender wants to make and the way he chooses to do it. It is also the visual and sensory impressions, accompanied by the right kind of music which builds the atmosphere of the bar itself. The whole creates a small, private, almost magical show, where each movement matters, from its start to finish. It is those things that showcase the barman’s real experience and charisma.
An ideal bartender is an open, considerate and discreet person. The patrons often open up to the barman, sharing their success, their joys or doubts. What is said during such an exchange does not leave the bar - such is the bartenders’ most sacred rule.
And what is so remarkable about the cocktail itself?
– A cocktail is a lot like perfume - distant, seemingly incompatible compositions create individual, unique pieces, tailored to the patron and their taste. As a bartender, my job is to stimulate all the senses, and I can only do that with a composition ideally suited for the customer. There are of course the crowd-pleasers, the “oldies but goldies” which can be useful when meeting the patron for the first time, but in time, regulars tend to look for the custom made experience. And here is where the real creative work begins.
What should we know and how should we prepare before our first ever cocktail bar visit?
– Nothing at all. The bartender’s suggestions can be assessed in a very simple way: “like it or lump it” (for the undecided, “I don’t know” is also always an option). Based on these choices, the bartender can “read” the patron. There are no musts, no restraints, no sacrum, no stupid questions and no banned combinations - the patron is king.
Long story short - all you have to do is show up and let us do the rest and take good care of you. We will do our best so that you leave our establishment fully content. We now have a new cocktail menu. We can also brag a little if that’s OK - our menu’s luxury cocktail section was recently awarded by Diagio, the top producer of spirits and liquors in the world! With all the things we have to offer at Twelve on the 5th floor of Młyńska 12, we also hope to share some interesting facts with you via www.poznan.travel. We are always at your service.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. See you at Twelve Cocktail Bar!