The All in One Ultimate Restaurant List Interview: Oskar Kinberg

Co-owner and bar manager Oskar Kinberg shares the recipe for their most popular cocktail

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39 Whitfield Street W1T 2SF
Within days of opening, Ollie Dabbous’ first restaurant became the hottest ticket in town and impossible to get into unless you were prepared to book almost a year in advance. In fact there was so much buzz about it that diners who couldn’t get a reservation flocked to the bar instead, a destination in its own right presided over by Oskar Kinberg, offering a fantastic selection of cocktails and bar food. The duo have since gone on to open Barnyard just round the corner.

What’s the most popular cocktail at Dabbous?
The most popular cocktail is the Basil Fawlty. Gin, basil, apple, meadowsweet, lemon and elderflower. A long refreshing drink. A real crowd pleaser!

How do the drinks at your new restaurant Barnyard compare to those at Dabbous?
The drinks offering at Barnyard is considerably smaller and with drinks created to go with the food based around bar staples like beer and cider. Easy going drinks in an easy going place. In Oskar's Bar at Dabbous the drinks are a bit more refined and adventurous. There should be something on the menu for everybody. Drinks with lesser known or more intimidating ingredients are designed to go down easily.

How did you get into the industry?
Like everybody else I watched Cocktail and since then it was written in the stars.

What’s the toughest job you’ve had in your career?
Tough question. The most mundane and boring was probably as a strawberry plucker in my youth. It did not speak to me. I lasted two weeks before I had enough. I bought a moped with my earnings. It broke after a week.

Who or what have you learnt the most from in your career?
In terms of working in a bar I've picked up things from all the people I have worked with. It's the beauty of this industry. You can learn certain things from people with little experience and other things from people with more. Everywhere does things differently and after a while you decide for yourself what works best for you.

What qualities does someone need to be a good mixologist?
Listening to what the guest wants rather than telling them.

Have any new restaurants or bars excited you recently?
There's a really nice little restaurant on Charlotte Street with a red neon cockerel outside that does very tasty home cooked food and great shandies. ‎Atmosphere is top! I might be being biased.

Do you have a signature cocktail recipe you can share with us?
Basil Fawlty:
50ml gin
20ml lemon juice
15ml elderflower cordial
10ml‎ meadowsweet syrup (1:1 sugar syrup heated up and infused with meadowsweet, if you can't find meadowsweet use camomile)
35ml fresh apple juice

Build in a highball and fill with crushed ice and whisk. Top with more crushed ice and garnish with cucumber bunny ears.
Added on July 7, 2014


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