Talk us through the drinks at Nōema.
The Nōema bar aims to represent the nature of Greece by embellishing drinks with botanicals and fruits from the Cycladic region, like rock samphire, dill, figs, rosemary, thyme, and beetroot. In addition to well-known international labels, one also finds a plethora of Greek spirits to choose from, some of which are made in-house, such as the dry Greek Vermouth made using Assyrtiko Wine from Santorini.
Is there a specific ingredient that you find inspiring to work with?
We are blessed to have a lot of fresh ingredients in Greece to experiment with. Some that spring to mind are honeycomb, mastic, and various fresh seasonal fruits, all which come from Greek producers around the country.
Is there a time of year that the bar benefits from in particular?
In spring, nature is blowing up. You can feel the flavours when you’re walking around. But every season has its unique offerings. We also preserve a number of ingredients, like dried herbs, which can really give us a lot to play with when it comes to conceptualizing new things for the menu.
“From prickly pear liqueur to house-made honey mead, hand-picked herbs for healing elixirs and small-batch distillates from all over the Aegean, we’re shining a spotlight on local products.”
Is tradition important?
We strongly believe that our origin is based on tradition. In former times, our grandmothers used to cook a lot of different foods and some homemade liqueurs as well. With an intimate knowledge of the ingredients available to them and without all of the high-tech stuff we have today, they managed to create such memorable flavours. We’ve tried to run with this idea and the results are well-received.
Does this connection to nature go beyond ingredients?
Yes, we’re trying to be as sustainable as possible. It’s tricky to do but we’re certainly doing more than some tokenist bars that just use paper straws and call themselves “environmentally conscious”. The word “sustainability” also gets thrown around a lot without people really knowing what it means — concerning the depletion of resources and ecological balance. In general, it’s baffling how much of a difference one can make by following the simple “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra, considering it along every step of every decision-making process. Anyway, the taste of your drink is directly, although tenuously, linked to farming practices, industrial practices, and so on. Nature is everything to us.