Andrey Matseyev has been in the food industry since the 90s, but his mixology career recently started in 2016.
It all started when he was hired as a bartender at Daniel Restaurant in New York City alongside head bartender Marcie Andersen and chef Daniel Boulud. A few years later, at the start of the pandemic, Andrey moved to the Berkshires to run the bar program at Café Boulud at the Blantyre Hotel in Lenox. Since then, he has been involved in several projects, including developing a full bar program for Winbrooke, an event mansion located in Tyringham, Massachusetts.
For Matseyev, the term “mixologist” fails to encapsulate all aspects of what is required of a great bartender. He adds: “A well-made cocktail is nothing without adequate timing and well-mannered, smiling service. I’d like to think that I specialize in making beautifully balanced cocktails and providing the perfect atmosphere in which to enjoy it.
At the establishment where he showcases his mixing mastery, Bimi’s Canteen, a curated menu of classic cocktails is offered to guests craving a classic. But the establishment’s reputation lies in its homemade creations, which rely on shrub vinegars, mousses, fruit compotes, flambéed citrus oils, aging in barrels, etc.
When creating new libations, Andrey relates the process to composing a song because inspiration can come from anywhere and at any time. “It could be a beautiful vintage glass that would dictate the style of a cocktail, a lovely herb that would spawn an accompanying spirit, an exciting new product added to the bar’s lineup, or it could be a cocktail that I I had elsewhere, there was potential but everything was not there.
Keeping up with the latest trends brought about by health-conscious drinkers, Matseyev took the initiative to refine his knowledge of low-alcohol drinks. He gave Chilled an insight into what to consider when making a low-alcohol drink. “It’s all about the best ingredients and attention to detail. A low-alcohol cocktail that lacks punch needs to be amped up with something that’s going to be tangy; spices, herbs, smokes, homemade shrubs, compotes, egg whites, bitters and above all, fresh citrus juices, fruits and syrups. And the garnish is key: moss, local herbs, flowers and fruits, sprays, floats. They all create that “wow!” postman.
Andrey creates exciting Low abv menus using tried and tested classics like Adonis or Americano as a base, then expanding into amaros/bitters. Seasonality is another essential factor, which is why he turns to tropical drinks during the warm months. In summer, he keeps it refreshing and fizzy, and in winter, he incorporates clove and smoke to add a complex feeling of warmth.
In conclusion, he offers additional advice to those interested in the new wave of drinks. “I like to use heavy spirits as a finishing spritz on my low-alcohol cocktails. It’s a clever way to bring the complexity of this spirit without the weight of alcohol.