Food & Drinks

Seasoned mixologists who are shaking up the cocktail scene

Viktoria Gubanova and Roman Bakhtiyarov shake up some cocktails. The two run Bar Factory, a mixology and bar-solution consultancy company from Russia. PHOTO | Courtesy
Viktoria Gubanova and Roman Bakhtiyarov shake up some cocktails. The two run Bar Factory, a mixology and bar-solution consultancy company from Russia. PHOTO | Courtesy 

A mixologist is like a chef, the only difference is that we mostly use liquids,” says Viktoria Gubanova, co-owner of Bar Factory, a mixology and bar solution consultancy company from Russia.

Events such as parties, a get together or a celebration to mark a holiday need experts who have learned the ins and outs of crafting exquisite drinks that leave a positive lasting impression.

According to Viktoria, drinks are an integral part of any occasion.

“Your beverage selection and serving method can make or break your event.”

Whether you prefer your martini shaken or stirred, or your Old Fashioned with bourbon, there is a thirst for quality cocktails and locally-made spirits. And you do not have to go to the bar. You can enjoy expert service in the comfort of your own home.

Passionate business

Viktoria, who co-owns Bar Factory with Roman Bakhtiyarov, says after more than 10 years in the bartending industry in Russia, they decided to start the business in Kenya in 2016.

Their passion informed their entrepreneurial vision. “When we began a career in the bartending industry, we felt we had found our niche. It has not only been a job, but has become more of a lifestyle for us,” Viktoria says of their company which is based in Mombasa.

With their creativity balanced by their enthusiasm, their mission is to provide unique mixtures to cater for each individual tastes. They are helping set the standards for classic cocktails.

Viktoria Gubanova and Roman Bakhtiyarov The Bar Factory is a Mixology and Bar-solution Consultancy Company based in Kenya. PHOTO | Courtesy

Viktoria Gubanova and Roman Bakhtiyarov: They run The Bar Factory. PHOTO | Courtesy

When they arrived in Kenya their aim was to use their international experience in bartending to incorporate both global and local flavours and tastes.

“Bar Factory was born one year ago. Before that we had different projects in Russia and Kenya. It is a new product which brings another level of service especially for Kenya and provides consultancy, all bar solutions and mixology services,” says Roman.

He adds: “Our mission is to boost cocktail culture. Based on our locally and internationally acquired skills built over the years, we provide our clients with priceless insight into the art of running bars and providing services that meet global standards.”

Well travelled customers

Kenya, they say, is one of the fastest growing countries in Africa and with many well-travelled people who have had the chance to experience international hospitality standards, including bartending and cocktail, they saw a gap that needed to be filled.

Since conception they have worked with numerous hotels and restaurants in training their bartenders.

“We have seen a very big potential in the Kenyan market.

We have seen that the most important thing is not only for the people in service to be knowledgeable but also those in management to have special skills,” she says.

“Bar Factory also hosts private parties and can train service people at individual events if requested. Hosting an event is not an easy task that is why it is important to come up with different fun ideas and themes that will keep guests entertained throughout.

“It is also very important to use fresh and natural ingredients for the drinks. Apart from making your drink taste better it also good for health,” says Viktoria.

One of their best products is the “mobile bar” that comes with different themes that they say one can use to pep up things at a party. This also applies to private parties with cocktail minibars.

Other products are: Classic cocktail bar – Good old world classics that will certainly satisfy most guests.

Mojito Bar – Mojito is one of the most popular cocktails in the world. Bar Factory however adds a twist with a fruit or a berry.

Extreme booze party – They create unique, direct injection cocktails to satisfy customer requests.

Mixology fun times – Is about having fun while gaining knowledge. They teach people how to mix their favourite cocktails and other mixology tricks.

Fresh Bar (healthy virgin drinks) –promotes healthy lifestyle with alcohol-free cocktails from fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and dairy products, among other ingredients.

Tiki Bar –Is for those seeking a Caribbean party mood with drinks that include tropical- rum based fruit cocktail.

Kinder Bar – children are also not left out. This provides healthy high vitamin fresh juice cocktails, lemonades and shakes. Smoky Bar –Offers smoke-infused cocktails.

“The possibilities are endless when coming up with themes, it is a matter of knowing your guests and what you feel will keep them entertained.

“Any mixologist will tell you that the process of making a cocktail is magical and that is exactly the feeling one should get after tasting your creation. That is why there are a lot of cocktails around the world boasting creativity that will literally blow your mind away. For example, one of our favourites which is our own creation is the “1st of July. It is a fantastic combination of sweet pepper, strawberry and gin,” says Viktoria.

Another favourite is “Surprise” that uses products such as honey, chilly, coriander and pineapple that are mixed with tequila in a cocktail.

“Surprise” leaves a sweet and sour taste in your mouth followed by hot chilly aftertaste.