Elixir Andersonville, the neighborhood’s new cocktail lounge and restaurant, offers premium craft cocktails ranging from classic to eclectic, ensuring there’s always a little something on the menu for everyone.
Elixir lounge in Andersonville opened their doors a few months ago offering not only premium innovative cocktails, but a welcoming and exciting experience for their guests. Head mixologist, Vlad Novikov, uses his background in chemistry to concoct the perfect balance of flavors in every drink. Vlad states, “We wanted to get up into this neighborhood for a very long time… We really thought that this is something that the neighborhood needed, and something that they didn’t necessarily have quite what we do.” So we sat with Vlad to learn more about what they do at Elixir that makes them stand out from the rest.
1. You’ve mentioned that with the new Elixir location in Andersonville, it brings something to the neighborhood that it didn’t have already. What is it that Elixir offers that is new and different to the area?
We wanted to provide the neighborhood with an upscale cocktail lounge.
2. How does it differ from the Lakeview location?
The biggest differences between this new location and the Lakeview location is that, first of all we’re quite a bit larger and we also have access to a kitchen.
3. How has the access to a full kitchen been beneficial?
It’s allowed us to do a lot of fun stuff we can’t do at the Lakeview location… Allows us to expand our repertoire… We’re working in conjunction with the kitchen to blur the line between food and cocktails. It could be something as simple as [how] our gingerbread cocktail has a gingerbread cookie that the kitchen made. Or something a little more in depth where we are using the kitchen supplies to make our own syrups and fusions.
4. Other than the ability to offer exceptional drinks with the benefit of a full kitchen, what else does Elixir pride itself on?
One of the biggest things that we pride ourselves in is being approachable and accessible, and really in our hospitality. So although we do focus a lot on innovative cocktails and doing a lot of really cool exciting things, using new spirits, fundamentally we just want people to have a good time.
5. You’ve only recently opened your doors last year, what has been the response thus far?
It’s been really great so far… The one thing that I’ve been really happy with is that all the different parts of our menu have been really well received. We have a large selection of classic cocktails. But then also our signature cocktails and some of our favorites from the Lakeview location, everyone seems to be engaging on basically all the levels that we are offering.
6. Let’s talk about you for a second, how did you get your start in mixology?
Looking back I could tell I was interested in it for a very long time. I think I got into it through a little bit of home brewing and the craft beer movement when I was in college… I studied chemistry also in college, so that really helps a lot. I pick up stuff quickly… and it allows me to give a unique perspective on what we do.
7. You’re attention to detail, not only when making a drink but also in choosing which drinks make it on the menu, is outstanding. Tell me what goes into selecting the cocktail menu?
We do everything as a team here. So even if I have an idea for a cocktail, I’m still making it for someone [and] they’re tasting it and giving me feedback… As far as the cocktails in our menu, everything that we do has either one unique spirit that we’re focusing on, or two flavors come together, or an emotion or feeling.
8. You are very charming, gregarious and funny, is this something we can expect from all the bartenders at Elixir?
Yes, one thing that we really focus on is being welcoming and trying to extend our best hospitality to everyone… We’re all here to have a good time!
9. You have talked about making quality drinks accessible to everyone, how is Elixir doing that?
We have started to offer some classes… The whole point again is going to be to kind of demystify this, because it’s all simple, straightforward stuff. We [show] people some spirits do some tastings and show them how they can make cocktails at home.
10. Do you have to have a sophisticated palate to enjoying these cocktails, how does one expand their palate to enjoy a quality cocktail?
A lot of people actually ask me a lot, ‘how do I get into nice beer, or nice wine, or nice whiskey’ and the best thing I could tell someone is get a nice beer, get a nice cocktail and pay attention to it and talk about it. That’s how you get into it because really being curious about these kinds of things is how you develop it.