Ariel Sanecki, our Head Mixologist, joined the team at Adare Manor in August 2017. Assigned the difficult task of developing innovative cocktails for the reopening of Adare Manor, Ariel has continued to surprise and delight guests each coming season with exciting new menus and has continued to achieve remarkable success. The creativity and attention-to-detail Ariel brings to each drink has not gone unnoticed, and has built a sparkling list of prestigious awards, including International Bartender Association (IBA) World Cocktail Champion 2016 (Japan) & 2018 (Estonia), Relais & Chateau Cocktail Trophy winner, National Cocktail Champion 2012, 2016 & 2018 and National Vice Champion 2015, National Gold Shaker Champion 2016, to name just a few. Ariel has studied the art and science of mixology in depth, including at the International Bartender and Sommelier school in Krakow, through to the IBA International Bartenders School.
We were fortunate to get some time with Ariel to discuss his experience in Adare Manor; from working with a highly-skilled and growing team, to concepts of his cocktails, and what are some of his favourite drinks available in The Tack Room.
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your experience in your own words? How did you start your career in mixology?
“I started my career in 2010 when cocktails started to become popular. I asked my bar manager if I could work behind the bar for free for experience. All the money I earned and tips I made I spent towards training in different parts of the world. At the same time, I took part in cocktail competitions and I did well in them. From national cocktail competitions I have won 3 gold medals, 1 silver, 1 bronze and 1 golden shaker. From international competitions I have 1 gold, 1 silver and a Relais & Château cocktail trophy.”
You have been working in Adare Manor since it’s reopening in 2017. Can you describe to me the experience you have had in the last year with a new team? Are there any memories which stand out to you?
“It was difficult at the start of the reopening, but we have an amazing team. Everyone has the knowledge and experience, so the job is easier. But it was a big pressure as well because everyone wanted to make this the best hotel in the world, but now one year later I can say we did it.”
Where do you get your concepts for your cocktails? Are there any ingredients that have sparked inspiration?
“I follow the trends, then I get an idea for a good cocktail. I have a good palate and I always use fresh and good quality ingredients. Sometimes when I’m in a different country I try to look for unusual ingredients to add to my cocktails.”
How often are you creating new cocktails?
“I make new cocktails every day and I write the recipe down in my small notebook.”
You recently won the World Cocktail Championships in Estonia representing Ireland. What was the winning cocktail and how did you craft it?
“My cocktail for the world championship is dedicated to International Bartenders Association legend, Mr Alex Beaumont, who passed away earlier this year. The name of the cocktail is ‘Cocktail King’ and it was inspired by his character. For the ingredients I used sparkling wine because he was full of life and I used vodka because his dad was from Poland.”
Whiskey is experiencing a revival in Ireland with more companies coming out with new products. If you could choose, what would you suggest are the top 3 whiskeys available in The Tack Room and why?
“One of the top whiskeys in The Tack Room is the Midleton Pearl: a very rare 30th anniversary which is €15,000 per bottle. This is an incredible Midelton whiskey that was released to celebrate 30 years – the pearl anniversary – of the very rare range of blends. This was a collaboration between retired master distiller Barry Crockett and new master distiller Brian Nation.
“The Knappogue Castle 1951 has a legendary status amongst the Irish whiskeys. The old Tullamore distillery closed permanently in 1954 yet some casks were liberated by various entrepreneurs for maturation.
“The 32-year-old Redbreast 1985 Dream Cask 3 is a fantastic single pot still whiskey. There are only a few bottles left in the world. It was matured in an American oak, ex-bourbon barrel for 26 years, and then finished in an Oloroso sherry-seasoned butt.”
Do you have a favourite cocktail right now?
“I have one favourite cocktail from the new cocktail menu called Woodland Willow. This cocktail includes Slane Irish whiskey, Cocchi Riserva La Venaria Reale, Benedictine and wild sloe berry bitters. It is the perfect cocktail.”
Anything else you’d like to mention?
“To never give up and always believe.”
About The Tack Room
A sophisticated retreat for lovers of fine spirits and companionable conversation, The Tack Room is a haven of welcome and warmth. Delicious food, great company and a legendary collection of the world’s finest libations come together to create an extraordinary atmosphere. A drink by the fireside or at the timeless green marble bar is the perfect end to an evening at Adare Manor, although when the drinks and conversations are flowing, a visit to The Tack Room can easily stretch into the wee small hours. The Tack Room is open to residents only. To make an enquiry, please visit our website.