The craft cocktail scene is exploding and it’s no longer enough to make a fantastic martini or margarita. If you’re in Atlanta, sign up for the mixology classes taught by Andrej Pop, the assistant manager of Kyma, with some nibbles prepared from the kitchen of Kyma’s famed chef, Pano I. Karatassos, who also serves as the corporate executive chef for Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, a collection of top restaurants founded by his father Pano Karatassos. Currently Buckhead Life Restaurant Group owns seven restaurants in Atlanta as well as two in Boca Raton and one in Ft. Lauderdale. Chef Pano beat Bobby Flay with his lamb pie and Kyma has been picking up accolades nationally for its unsurpassed Greek cuisine since it opened its doors. He is also the author of Modern Greek Cooking.
It’s an interesting concept and one that is different from most mixology classes. First off, it’s interactive with guests making two of the three concoctions. Second, each cocktail is paired with a dish so that you get the complementary tastes. It’s a different way of pairing food and drink. Who doesn’t love a margarita, but let’s face it, it tastes better with a taco than say a French delicacy with a cream sauce. It just does. And, that is exactly why Chef Pano and Andrej introduce dishes that go well with creative cocktails. The first drink was the Morpheus and it was paired with a delicious ceviche. The second was the Elmera, a smoky and slightly spicy mezcal paired with a sautéed scallop over yellow split pea puree. The third — and our favorite — was the Thirsty Philosopher served with grilled octopus.
The half-hour classes are held every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 5 p.m.; 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.. Andrej says that often people enjoy the session and then stay for dinner. Cost is $48.
During the class, Chef Pano said that Kyma will open a ghost kitchen that will serve — for delivery one — a limited menu such as lamb gyros and salads. Chef Pano marinates his lamb for a long time and it makes all the difference. Kyma’s ghost kitchen should be up and running in the next several weeks.
1.25oz Effen cucumber vodka
0.75oz New Amsterdam Gin
1.25oz sour mix
Fresh cucumber and fresh dill mix
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
All of the ingredients added to a shaker and then shaken vigorously with ice. Strain into a martini glass, splash of soda and garnish with a slice of a cucumber