Meet Mikko Karjunen from Finland, The Journey's finalist
1- Tell us about yourselves and where you work
My name is Mikko Karjunen, I’m 27 years old and have been working 9 years within hospitality industry. I’m from Jyväskylä (a town in Central Finland, famous for its University for students, approx.100 000 habitants)
I’ve been working at "Grotesk" in Helsinki the past 2 years. A place famous for its steak & wine restaurant and a cocktail bar. The bar is focused on making savory (salty) type of drinks.
2- Who do you look up to in the drink industry?
Basically all the guys who dare to think differently, thinking of why would not something work and what would it take to make it work. The guys at Tiki Trash and (P)our are doing amazing stuff. Also chefs are something we should really learn from.
3- What are you doing when you are not behind the bar?
At times I tend to hang out with the guys and have a good time. Chill and trying to forget the hectic environment. Also doing my best to travel every time possible.
4- Tell us briefly about the idea behind your Linie cocktail
It's about finding America, focusing on the journey of Christopher Columbus and his crew. The flavours are basically the ingredients they traded a lot back in the days. So the theme is USA obviously.
5- When was your first meeting with Linie aquavit? Tell us about it.
It was a few years ago in Helsinki, at the time I moved there. Aquavit is not a famous beverage in Finland and it takes a bit more "special" bar to find it. First thoughts were: “why such a Nordic style of a spirit is not consumed in our country, while all the "local" stuff are getting really famous?” Still weird.
6- What do you like about mixing cocktails with Linie aquavit?
While being complex and distinctive product, it is still easy to mix with. Probably overall focusing on shorter and a bit sweeter type of the drinks in order to boost the aromas of the spirit.
7- Why did you join Linie – The Journey competition?
I like creating a cocktail based on a story and eventually creating a whole world around the drink. Of course, getting a chance to create my own aquavit recipe is quite awesome.
8- What is your next project after the competition?
Find out where to travel to enjoy the upcoming holidays.
9- Without giving anything away, what is going to impress to judges during the final?
The story. I think I'm focusing on story telling and creating a drink based on that. Also bad jokes are there, always. You gotta make people smile or at least feel a bit awkward. Also I think my drink is pretty delicious.
Thanks for answering our questions, and good luck !