The growing cocktail scene in Zug – by Jonah Calciano

#bartenderoftheweek - Jonah Calciano

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce You an inspiring bartender whom I had an opportunity to share the work station with over a year ago. Jonah Calciano has moved to Zug to manage a newly opening (back then) cocktail bar in Zug. I always give a lot of respect to people who take on a challange to promote cocktail culture in places that are not familiar with it (yet). Jonah has done an amazing job at Cafe Glücklich and I can honestly recommend that place for a visit if You`re around. Meanwhile I would like to give You a short interview with Jonah so You can get to know him better before We move on to his signature cocktail and his review on Lustau Jarana.

1. bar project is quite exceptional for Zug’s bar scene. Can You describe it?

J: The Zugs` bar scene is very mixed, from young to old, many expats work in the area. They like to sit down and relax after work, have a drink or two and come down after the whole stress they’ve gone through during the day. I could honestly say that Zug`s crowd is a quite bibulous audience 😉

2. What’s your approach to educating Zug’s clientele on cocktail culture?

At the beginning it seemed very difficult to bring the cocktail culture closer to the Zugs` audience. We haven’t given up though and so far We’ve managed to rise many cocktail lovers among our customers. I like to sit down with my guests and explain the flavours and single ingredients to them or recommend cocktails according to their personal taste.

3. Where do You find inspirations for your cocktails ?

J: Difficult to say, when something is buzzing in my head I start to try it out. But otherwise I let myself be inspired by conversations with bar colleagues. Among other things there are many great books to inspire me i.e. “Dead Rabbit”, “Flavour Bible” and “Bitters”.

4. What challenges have You faced when You took over the managing position at Cafe Glücklich?

Hehe… the biggest challange was (and still is) to make cocktails “big” in Zug. But I manage to achieve this step by step by getting more contact with my guest; making a table service the best possible; training the stuff doing cocktails;  motivating them (bartenders) to make their own creations. I also always stay in good contact with my spirit seller to make sure that We always provide best new-coming spirits. 

5. How and where do You find balance between work and life?

J:I’m always testing new cocktail creations, when I’m not at the bar otherwise I`m at home or at the lake. My work-life balance solution is also to spend some spare time with my friends.

6. What are your personal, simple favorit drinks to enjoy this summer?

J: rose vermouth / Lustau sherry / Grand Marnier + tonic

or simply … prosecco 😉 

Cafe Glücklich

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