Thursday 17 March 2016

HotSeat with ThreeSixSix: Aromas, Aesthetics and Atmosphere

We sat down with Eduardo, the co-founder of ThreeSixSix alongside his brother Andres. Their bars have been going from strength to strength over the past 10 years and it’s not hard to see why! Their strong design aesthetic and attention to detail shows that bartending is a real art form.

‘Building an atmosphere is very important from music, aesthetic, drinks and customer service it’s very important to have attention to detail. I’m a perfectionist what can I say.’

Interiors from ThreeSixSix - St Johns Hill

Where did you get your experience from?
I grew up in Mexico so a lot of my early experiences within the cocktail industry started off there, I lived in a city called Santa Paulo - the city of eternal sunshine - and there was a huge bar culture there. My brother and I later decided to move to London to work which was a huge change from Mexico! Destiny took us apart and we both went down separate routes, I went into more independent local businesses and my brother went down the more corporate route working for companies like J Sheekey. After a few years we decided to take the plunge and open Bar ThreeSixSix.

What do you think are the most important qualities to have in a cocktail bar?
Atmosphere and aesthetics are a major part of any cocktail bar - they effect the way you drink, how you enjoy it and behave around it. It’s important to make sure you have the right lighting and colour palette for a comfortable and peaceful atmosphere. It’s also important to change things up so there’s something new to intrigue your customers, but with eclectic style you have to make sure that items work within the space together.

What inspires your cocktail creations? 
Everything inspires me; from people to national dishes, scents, items and objects I find in charity shops, anything can inspire a cocktail.

Head down to the Battersea or Earlsfield branch to taste Eduardo & Andres' creations

What’s the most important thing about running a cocktail bar?
Staff! Staff are the most important thing about any cocktail bar, they’re like family. Also customer service, we have to remember that we’re here for the customer not the other way round. I think it’s also important to remember that we’re making drinks for our customers not ourselves. Also music, atmosphere and attention to detail are very important qualities.

'Staff are the most important thing about any cocktail bar'

What do you think are the key trends in the cocktail industry at the moment?
Using lots of vegetables, organic liquors and products. We actually have a totally organic section on the menu which we’ve been developing over the past few years. Everything is organic down to the raw fruit and vegetables to the liquors. Also non-alcoholic cocktails are becoming increasingly popular as customers mind-sets are changing about the way they view their health.

Be sure to check out their amazing organic, guilt-free cocktails

What cocktails  have been most popular?
Our most popular cocktails are the Old Fashioned, Smokey old fashioned and Negroni’s. I think it’s important to start with the basics and develop them, for example our Negroni’s have been developed with flavours, ingredients and textures from all over the world that compliment each other, to create an exceptional taste. Also our Calahua cocktail, which is made purely from an infusion of coconut with latin and Mexican vibes, which transports you straight to the beach.

What cocktail trends do you see becoming popular in the next few months?
Vermouths are becoming increasingly popular, also going back to basics and fully exploring every flavor combination and the ingredients inside each completely. Smoked and experimental cocktails are becoming a big trend too, with multi-sensory qualities. 

'going back to basics & fully exploring every flavor combination'

What’s your favourite cocktail to make?
The Smokey Old Fashioned and not just because it’s my favourite to drink too! This cocktail is simple to make, but because it’s so simple you have to make sure that each component is perfect, and by adding the smoke into the mix it creates an aroma which transports me back to my childhood in Mexico. I think it’s important to try and transport your customers somewhere, back to childhood or different experiences. This is why a lot of the bitters we make in house are not necessarily for taste but for creating aroma.

So what’s next for ThreeSixSix?
Well we’re concentrating on our new cocktail menu for spring including some very exciting cocktails reworking chocolate. We also have more events, promotions and entertainment booked in for the Summer. And my brother has been busy developing new dishes for our in house small plates and bar snacks which we’re hoping to launch this month, using fresh local produce but putting our own unique twist on it.

Tried & tested! We definitely recommend their Charcuterie boards & sharing platters!

Special thanks to Eduardo & Andres de la Mora 
Instagram - @threesixsixldn
Twitter - @ThreeSixSixLDN

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