Alex Kratena, head bartender, Artesian bar, Langham

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 8th October 2015
Alex Kratena is the head bartender at the Artesian bar. Located in the Langham, it’s been awarded number one in the World’s 50 Best Bars since 2012. Originally from the Czech Republic, Alex began bartending when he was kicked out of home and he needed a job. Since then he has been all over the world including Japan and then he came to London eight years ago. The Staff Canteen caught up with Alex to talk about the inspiration behind his experimental drinks, the change in the cocktail scene in London and his favourite place to drink. Alex-Kratena-460x250You got into the industry because you needed a job, but what is it about creating cocktails which has kept you behind the bar ever since? It’s not a very romantic story, I was trying to study during the day and work through the night; working in a bar is a logical step for most young people. But from an early age I’ve always been curious, I like to experience new things and I was interested in flavours. Those are some of the factors behind me continuing in the industry but the main reason was travel. I’ve always been interested in travelling so bartending became an easy way to visit many different places. My love of cocktails comes from curiosity, everything in food and drink is never ending – the moment you learn one thing you realise another ten things! I’ve developed a passion for it and it’s a very social job and I love to be surrounded by people. If you think about the cocktails you started out making to the ones you create now, is your style very different? Yes but I think it’s the same as it would be if you think about the first time you cooked. The more experienced you get, the more techniques you learn, the bigger you flavour library gets; so the more things you have tried, your understanding on how to combine them improves.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 8th October 2015

Alex Kratena, head bartender, Artesian bar, Langham