Wintergarden Bar at Hotel St. George: Tuomas Serves Up Finland's Most Minimalist Cocktails

You'll find one of Finland's most exciting cocktail bars right here at one of the city's top hotels. Don't be fooled by a mojito that looks like a glass of water at first glance..!

The bar manager at Wintergarden in Helsinki.
  • Helsinki is not short of traditional hotels. One of them is the venerable Hotel St. George in the heart of the Finnish capital.

  • If you stay here, you'll be close to all kinds of restaurants, shops, and attractions.

  • But most importantly, you'll find one of the country's most innovative and interesting bars.

  • "As far as I know, there's nobody in Helsinki, or the whole country, doing what we're doing," says its proud bar manager, Tuomas Hämäläinen.

A Modern Twist on Classic Cocktails

The experienced bartender does indeed have a unique approach to mixology. At Tuomas and his team's bar, you won't find ordinary and traditional drinks. All the cocktails are meant to be clear and with minimal garnish. It's a modern twist on classic drinks.

"We aim to be at the opposite end of the spectrum compared to a classic cocktail bar. Minimalist and modern are the key words for Wintergarden Bar," explains Tuomas.

One new cocktail on the menu is "Pearls of the Garden". Here, you're served a gin-based cocktail with flavours of berries and herbs. The method used is called reverse spherification - known from molecular gastronomy and developed by the world-famous restaurant El Bulli.

The cocktail comes in sphere form, with the actual drink as a liquid inside the sphere. The sphere bursts in your mouth with an explosion of fresh flavours. The whole thing is washed down with a glass of good champagne. Absolutely unique.

  • Handpicked Ingredients

    Wintergarden Bar is the first in Finland to not use lime or lemon juice directly in its drinks.

  • Many of the ingredients in the drinks are handpicked by Tuomas and his team.

  • They've used mushrooms and roots found in the Finnish forests in the drinks on the menu. The ingredients are dried before being mixed with the bar's own developed cocktail mix.

  • "All our cocktails are made so that the ingredients are converted to liquid form, for example, a syrup or sugar water. This is what we put in the drinks. And this makes the drink a completely clear liquid."

  • "For example, our house mojito looks like it's just a glass of water but tastes like a classic mojito. There are no mint leaves or ice," he says proudly.

A Bar Worth Visiting

The bar manager believes that Wintergarden Bar at Hotel St. George is a spot you might need to know about to experience, but it's well worth the journey for those who make it here.

"You always need a reason to drop by, and that's what we try to give our guests with the unique menu. There's also a very special atmosphere here - from the drinks to the interior. If you have an open mind and are willing to try something new and exciting, I think you'll have a fun evening with us."

Stay at Hotel St. George

  • Bespoke Glasses

    In addition to extraordinary drinks, presentation is key.

  • Several of the cocktails on the menu come in specially designed glasses, the most unique of which is probably the cocktail "Learning to Fly" which comes in a glass shaped like a bird.

  • The drink is named after one of Pekka Jylhä's artworks, which hangs from the ceiling.

  • "It's very popular. It doesn't seem like people mind drinking from the bird's rear end," chuckles Tuomas.

Pink cocktail in a glass formed as a bird at bar Wintergarden in Helsinki.Colorful dessert at the restaurant of Hotel St. George in Helsinki.Bartender holding up a cocktail glass at bar Wintergarden in Helsinki.


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