Mykonos is well-known as a top international tourist destination. The famous windmills, beaches, and dramatic landscapes make it a must visit for many travelers from around the world. The natural beauty plus the vibrant nightlife draw crowds each year and recently visitors have been able to enjoy the world-class food and drinks at Ling Ling, one of the hottest restaurants in Mykonos. Head bartender Michael Alexandrakis shared two of the brand-new cocktails inspired by the bright flavors of Mykonos with island-inspired ingredients.
The open-air restaurant and bar, set in the stunning old town, began its third summer season on the island this year and continues to be a top destination for late-night dining with a revamped menu and new cocktails. Ling Ling’s menu is inspired by Hakkasan cuisine featuring classics such as Crispy duck salad along with new dishes highlighting Mykonos’ local ingredients such as Octopus skewers in a supreme barbecue sauce and the Stamnagathi (a type of local greens) truffle roll. All dishes are designed to be shared and delivered in a continuous flow from the kitchen.
Ling Ling is also famous for its eclectic cocktail menu and bold new flavors. The bar team have created a host of new drinks for this year’s Mykonos menu including the Golden Mare, a cocktail using the Greek spirit Ouzo, Gin Mare with white vermouth, lemon and pineapple, and the Rose Rock made of Belvedere vodka, red vermouth, limoncello, cinnamon, lime and passion fruit. The Mediterranean herbs, rosemary and basil in Golden Mare echo the spices and flavors of the Greek isles, as its citrusy flavors enliven the palate and take guests from day to night. Inspired by the sun-drenched rocky terrain of Mykonos, Rose Rock combines fresh citrus flavors with rich spices to create an intense flavor profile.
Head bartender Alexandrakis spoke with The National Herald about the inspiration for the cocktails. He said, “My inspiration for Rose Rock came from the island of Mykonos itself. There is a stunning contrast in the Mykonos landscape with the rocky terrain, sparkling blue waters, and white-washed walls. I wanted to make a drink with the same type of contrast with fresh citrus notes of lime and limoncello against the richness of cinnamon and rosemary to create intense but complementary flavor profiles.”
He continued, “I wanted to create a drink that reminded me of the Mediterranean Sea for the summer season, which was the inspiration behind Golden Mare. I incorporated hints of lemon and pineapple to evoke feelings of a tropical summer with Mediterranean influences, and I thought it all matched perfectly with the sweetness of Ouzo, a uniquely Greek spirit, to create a cocktail representative of a summer night on Mykonos.”
When asked about working on such a famous island, Alexandrakis told TNH, “I think Mykonos is an amazing place and I love bartending at Ling Ling in the summer season. Since Mykonos is great for relaxing in the day and partying at night, the restaurant is always packed, and I have the wonderful privilege of befriending different locals and tourists every year at work.”
Ling Ling Mykonos is situated on Malamatenias Street, Matogiannia and first opened in the summer of 2015 in Mykonos and Marrakech in August 2016, with Ling Ling Oslo recently opened in April 2017. Ling Ling creates a unique restaurant and bar experience designed to evolve throughout the night, taking you from dining, to drinking, to dancing. It draws inspiration from the Izakaya concept made popular in the East, where food accompanies the drinks and not the other way around. More information is available at www.lingling.hakkasan.com. Founded in 2001, Hakkasan is one of the world’s most recognized restaurants known for its modern approach to traditional Cantonese cuisine. Since the original London offerings at Hanway Place and Mayfair, Hakkasan has expanded internationally and now includes 11 restaurants across North America, Europe, United Arab Emirates, and Asia. Hakkasan offers a distinctive dining experience where modern Cantonese cuisine, world-class mixology, and dramatic design converge.
The cocktail recipes that follow give a taste of the island for those who unfortunately can’t make it to Mykonos this year.
- 2 teaspoons sugar syrup
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 oz. pineapple juice
- 2 teaspoons Ouzo
- ½ oz. Cocchi Americano Vermouth
- 1 oz. Gin Mare
Shake the ingredients together and serve immediately.
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon syrup
- ½ oz. lime juice
- 2 teaspoons limoncello
- 1 oz. Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
- ¾ oz. Belvedere Vodka
- ¾ oz. passionfruit juice
Shake the ingredients together and serve over ice with a sprig of rosemary to garnish.