Although this is only his first season behind the bar, German born Björn Birke feels right at home at the luxurious Hotel Klosterbräu in Seefeld, Austria.

Bjorn Bilke,Hotel Klösterbräu, Seefeld, AustriaHaving just taken over for Ewald Gurber, who had been at the hotel for 25 years, Björn is über-enthusiatic and raring to go, ready to take on the challenge of filling such illustrious boots. Working side by side with Ewald through the winter season, Björn befriended the locals and wowed the commanding crowd.

This summer season is his first as sole bartender and he is already making his mark. He scrapped the old cocktail menu and created a brand new one for the hotel’s 500th birthday. He even changed up all the barware, some of which he found in the hotel’s basement.

Determined to keep it local, the cocktails were conceived by using local ingredients and modern technique, including the hotel’s award-winning beer, Tyrolean raspberry schnapps, Austrian wines, and the Kloster’s own barrel-aged Negroni.

Here he is mixing up three new creations:

For a closer look!

Weizen Tai, Hotel Klösterbräu, Seefeld, Austria

 

Seefeld Sour, Hotel Klösterbräu, Seefeld, Austria

 

Seefeld Sour, Hotel Klösterbräu, Seefeld, Austria

True to form, he is already preparing the winter season cocktails with hints of blood orange & cinnamon. Time to return!

 

Best Bits: Travel Cheat Sheet

NB: I was the guest of Hotel & Spa Klosterbräu and Seefeld Tourism. It was absolutely perfect and I can’t thank them enough for inviting me.