Igor Zukowiec is the founder/CEO of ALCHEMIQ Catering NYC in New York. One of the most recommended catering companies in the city, ALCHEMIQ has worked with brands such as Cosmopolitan, Google and Patron Tequila, in addition to this year’s Spring Taste NYC event – a showcase of some of the city’s top restaurants, chefs and beverage providers.
Photographer Credit: Filip Wolak
When/how did you become involved in the cocktail world?
I grew up with a passion to flavor pairing and cooking. My mom thought me the basics and then I was just experimenting. I’ve almost never cooked the same thing twice. Until this day when I see an ingredient I don’t know I buy it. I’ve opened myself to the cocktail world over 10 years ago when I moved to NYC. I found it cool and wanted to see how I can apply my cooking skills to it. It’s been an awesome journey ever since.
What was the concept behind ALCHEMIQ Catering NYC?
I’ve been hearing from people about the difficulty of finding a mixologist service in NYC. Many catering companies offer some really great food, but none of them offer a high-end cocktail catering. Since I’m experienced in both cooking and cocktail making I’ve decided to open the first food catering company with a bar program. ALCHEMIQ Catering NYC brings the new cocktail era to the world of caterers in NYC.
How would you describe the current mood/taste for cocktails in NYC?
It’s a little different with bars and with the event business. Bar customers are interested more than ever to go for buzzy stirred drinks. Probably the popularity of Negronis and Old Fashioned cocktails created that trend. Refreshing options are still popular. Moscow Mule became the new Mojito. The event business is mostly about creating a crowd-pleasing experience.
Do you think that bespoke cocktail catering services are changing the scene?
I don’t think the bespoke cocktail catering is changing the scene. It’s just adding a new and exciting element. We have our seasonal cocktail list at ALCHEMIQ Catering NYC, but we also create a bespoke cocktail catering – bespoke adds a nice personal touch.
What do you think is one of the most underrated spirit base, garnish or ingredient?
Rums are very underrated by general consumers. Nobody ever comes and says, “make me something with rum”. It’s like people forgot how delicious was the rum in their mojito or daiquiri.
Person from history you’d most like to sit down and have a drink with?
I would love to have some absinthe with Salvador Dali to talk some inspiration.