“Being part of someone’s great night out – sometimes without them even realising, is what Monic Berg loves about bartending.
“I enjoy working with and being around people. I really love the social aspect of my job,” said the acclaimed mixologist, who started her career in Oslo.
It was here she gained experience at various venues – from dive bars to nightclubs – before she took over the H.Butlers Bartending School, in Oslo, in her early twenties.
Throughout her illustrious career, Monica has also launched her own liqueur, Muyu, alongside Alex Kratena and Simone Caporale, and founded P(OUR), an educational bartending symposium held annually in Europe, which always tries to reflect the needs and wants of the industry. It was founded by Monica and celebrated bar tenders, Alex Kratena, Ryan Chetiyawardana (AKA Mr Lyan), Jim Meehan, Simone Caporale, Joerg Meyer and Xavier Padovani.
Monica also helped set up the bar in the Ice Hotel, Sweden, and was head bartender at Pollen Street Social in Mayfair – owned by chef Jason Atherton.
She left in 2019 to follow her own pursuits, setting up Tayer + Elementary, in East London’s Old Street, with Alex Kratena.
The venue features two bars: all day bar Elementary and the more progressive Tayer, plus a creative workspace called Outthink. The more casual Elementary is a coffee and cocktails concept, serving snacks and cocktails at a communal bar throughout the day and well into the night, with a focus on seasonal produce.
Tayer (taken from the Spanish word for workshop) is a produce-forward yet progressive bar using modern and classic techniques to create cocktails and food which “express purity, freshness and simplicity of ingredients”
Where it comes to getting inspiration for making drinks, Monica said: “It can be anything from a shape, to a scent or a colour or a person – but my general style is minimalistic, and I like to work with seasonality.”
Although her favourite flavours to work with vary, Monica says “my top three flavours are
(in no particular order) neroli, celeriac and sea buckthorn.”
And what makes her so passionate about the industry she works in? “A lot, but in a day to day capacity I would say it’s the dynamic atmosphere and the community.”
Tastiest Drink As in cocktail? I am a sucker for a Dry Martini – and drink I would probably have to say Champagne is my absolute favourite.
Tastiest Snack I understand this is a very Scandi thing, but Estrella Dill Crisps is life. I love it
Tastiest restaurant Credo Restaurant in Trondheim, Norway is my favourite place in the world, but closer to home I would say I also love Brawn, Two Lights – both in Shoreditch – and Leroy, in Hackney.
Tastiest experience Mexico and Peru – two of my favourite countries to visit.
Taste of Happiness The freedom to say no.