Jorge Enrique Quintana
Bar Manager at Hotel Diplomat in Stockholm
Hi Jorge, so happy that you wanted to do this interview! Please start by telling us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Jorge Enrique Quintana and I’m the bar manager at Hotel Diplomat. I’ve worked as a bartender for 13 years and this summer I graduated from a two-year Hotel Management education at Frantz Schartau.
Before I started studying, I got the honor of being a part of starting a bar concept which is still thriving today. Odengruppen handed me the reins and I got to handpick the staff to take the project to a new level within the Latin American bar scene in Sweden. We wanted to offer our guests a unique experience that Stockholm hadn't done before. Yuc! Mexican and Yuc! Latasian are still dear to my heart. During my time with Odengruppen we won the Gulddraken award for Bar of the Year 2017. The bars at Yuc! also got nominations at Restauranggalan and Bartenders Choice Awards.
Today I’m the bar manager of Hotel Diplomat and run it with an incredible team: Curt Eriksson, Wilhelm Schlyter, Tim Yden and Pedro Polanco.
How do guests find you and your co-workers at Diplomat?
You stroll down Strandvägen, to number 7C to be precise – on sunny days you just look for the red marquis.
What are the ideas behind your cocktail menu?
We’ve been inspired by the surrounding area as well as the history of the neighborhood Klippan and Hotel Diplomat, whilst wanting to keep pushing the bar in an Art Nouveau spirit. We focus on Swedish ingredients and well selected products to follow the general theme of the restaurant. It’s very important for us not to get stuck in the past, but to have a modern and accessible menu.
What are your best sellers on the cocktail menu, and what are the ingredients?
Right now, there are two favourites:
A Love Story – Stockholms Bränneri Pink Gin, Mancino Sakura Vermouth, a cordial with Swedish wild berries and spruce shoots, lemon and Art Noueveau mist. Served in a Levitas DOF from Libbey.
The second is Ostindia Lychee – Erque Bajiu marcerated with lychee, Stockholms Bränneri Dry Gin, green and red Sichuan pepper cordial and lemon. Served in a Ostindia Floris cup from Rörstrand.
How did you end up behind the bar?
At 23, I applied to the cocktail school in Gothenburg for fun. They had a summer offer, and that’s the way it went!
What is your favourite bar in the world?
I’d like to say McLaurens on Nortullsgatan but they closed. I love an ordinary, simple pub where the beer is cheap.
Cocktail-wise I was very inspired by Oriole Bar in London when I was there a few years ago. Rustic, live jazz, a hidden gem with a well-thought-out menu, carefully crafted cocktails, and an impressive order (and supply) of garnishes. In Stockholm Coquetel Social is a given pick!
What is your favourite product from Barkonsult?
Mancino Sakura Vermouth from Barkonsult is my favourite right now. A floral Vermouth with a sweetness that the guests really appreciate. We use it in “A Love Story” and I think it really elevates the cocktail!
Lastly, would you mind sharing the music the guests get to listen to when they visit Diplomat and enjoy your cocktails?
We have the honour of having Steven Simmons as our mood manager at Diplomat Hotel and Villa Dagmar. He delivers the music, vibe, and selects DJ’s according to the evening. Steven is one of the first who lifted the Swedish Soul & RnB scene. At Hotel Diplomat you get everything from Swedish classics, soul, house and jazz – all depending on the mood and DJ.
Thank you so much for doing this interview, Jorge – it’s been a blast getting to know you a bit better!
It’s been my pleasure, thank you so much! And to all of you who took the time to read – we’re happy to welcome you to Hotel Diplomat!