My most recent hobby has since the end of 2021 been making cocktails in my home bar. I’m an autodidact mixologist. I’ve tasted and publicly reviewed 3266 chocolates on the late website of Finnish Chocolate Society (of which I was founder and President), so one might say that tasting and reviewing things has been a way of life for me for some time now.

I’m an ordinary bus driver from Oulu, Finland who has a significant history in the IT/tech world as well as some experience in entrepreneurship. I enjoy my married life and I have a huge appreciation of the better tasting things in life and cocktails are one part of that. I’ve never had a job related to cocktails or alcohol.

I’ve never enjoyed whisk(e)ys, brandies, rums or other strong spirits on their own, but I’ve found that almost any booze can make an enjoyable cocktail once you find the right companions for it. The amount of ingredients in a good cocktail doesn’t have to be huge.

Until starting this hobby my go-to drink in bars was Bacardi & Coke. On hot summer days I’ve been known to sip on one or several refreshing Long Island Iced Teas and as a young man (around the turn of 1980’s and 90’s) there was a time when Tom Collins was the one when I wanted a break from the traditional vodka & orange juice (which I would now call a Screwdriver). Nowadays you see me in bars so rarely that I really have no go-to drink anymore.

In the autumn of 2021 I got interested in watching foreign professionals and amateurs on YouTube making cocktails. Pretty soon after this (when I was about to turn 50) I got myself basic tools to make cocktails, a selection of alcohols and started mixing. Since then the amount of tools and alcohol has multiplied. Several times…

I’ve not spent much time on figuring out original cocktails. I make cocktails others have come up with (classics and tiki) and go by what I have in my booze cabinet. If I don’t happen to have the required rye for a cocktail, I’ll use bourbon or scotch instead. The end result is usually just as good. I might revisit a recipe later with the correct ingredients. Mixology (“Miksologia” in Finnish) is not an exact science to me, although it has similarities to baking as far as following the recipe is conserned.

I will never be a professional bartender despite this interesting hobby. I get to stay up nights and tolerate drunk people enough in my current job.

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