Before moving to London Alena ran her own bars in Italy, but the bar scene here, “One of the most important in the world”, was too much to resist. “London has a very theatrical and dramatic way of creating cocktails”, she says, “the attention to detail is particular and the guest approach is one of the most attentive.”
Her story is very much one of passion, as she left university in her final year before graduating, the call of a career creating and running high-end bars tempting her to cut academic life short early, and she hasn’t looked back: “I had every opportunity, I chose this one and never regretted it,” she says, “my family supported me [leaving my studies] as they understood how passionate and happy I was, my Dad told me ‘you are lucky you have found what you love…follow your dream.’”
The immersive and theatrical experience of socialising is something she, and we all, have sorely missed this past year. And while at home kits have kept us going, Alena is very keen to welcome you back to Bassoon from 21 June, when UK restrictions are lifted, “After being put on a shelf for a year, creativity needs to be stimulated”, she says, “I am sure every bartender can’t wait to be back behind the bar, surprising guests with incredible cocktails.”
"My favourite thing about Bassoon is the atmosphere, everything just comes together, the stunning décor falls into the notes played by the musicians, the lights find their shape when meeting the ice carving."
And sometimes, those cocktails can prove more significant than you ever thought. For Alena, her moment of ‘spirit’-ual revelation came courtesy of her head bartender at Bulgari, who gave her a dram of Glenmorangie finished in a Sauterne cask. Having never been a whisky-lover before, Alena’s approach “changed forever”, and she’s her happiest drinking a peated whisky with a sherry finish. So if there’s a spirit you’ve not yet tried, you could do worse than ask a bartender to whip you up something special.
Created in celebration of Mother’s Day, this sparkling cocktail is available in our Mother’s Day box, and is the perfect addition to however, wherever you are celebrating. Made with Beluga noble vodka, Chambord raspberry liqueur, homemade hibiscus and rose cordial, verjus and Champagne, it’s the decadent sip that will transport you to your favourite bar.
“I designed this drink thinking about my mum, she is clear, as clear as vodka, she loves red berries and more than once I caught her in the garden eating raspberries straight from the bush. Every night before going to sleep she drinks a herbal infusion made with rosehips, her love for flowers is a true mania and in her Mediterranean garden, a beautiful dark pink hibiscus blooms every summer. Verjus adjusts the sweetness and balances the flavours while Champagne gives the sparkle she radiates every time she laughs.”
Tempted? Order yours here