Meet The King Of Mixology... Thor Bergquist

Jock Ferguson
Meet The King Of Mixology... Thor Bergquist

Thor is our very own director of bubbles.

With an amazing background in hospitality, he's managed three of the world's best bars (according to the Drinks International Top 50 Bars) across Singapore, London & New York before opening PS40 in Sydney which went on to win a series of accolades (both home-grown and internationally) and from which he launched PS Soda.

Thor focuses on flavour innovation and getting Yes You Can into all the best bars and restaurants across Australia. He is also interested in all things non-alcoholic. After 5 years in Bondi he has finally reached 'local' status and can be seen riding around on his Vespa.

We had a few questions for the man, the myth, and the mixology king that is Thor Bergquist...


1) You've worked in some of the best bars in the world, what was your favourite and why?

My favourite was one of the first cocktail bars I worked in, Der Raum in Melbourne.

The owner Matt Bax really wanted to push the boundaries on what was a cocktail and what we could do, we had a monthly tasting dego which was often revolved around a theme where customers would come in, pay a set amount and try 6-8 courses of drinks/concepts that we were working on. This structure worked really well so that we could put more time into the preparation of the drinks and do some really crazy stuff.

The team was also awesome and still some of my closest friends today now 13 years later and a lot of them have gone on to do some really impressive things in hospitality.

2) What is the craziest order request you've received?

I like drinks that have stories, that's always been how I've written my recipes inspired by moments in time or places I've been and trying to recreate those experiences. This one guy came up to the bar & I don't know if he was a thespian or just dramatic but never met him before in my life and he asked me (more like declared) that I make him a drink that reminds him of coming home to dry off by a wood fire after a hard days salmon fishing in Alaska.

I think I nailed it...
Salmon Old Pal
25ml Rye Whiskey
25ml Lagavulin
20ml Antica Formula Sweet vermouth
20ml Campari

Dash of Angostura bitters

3) You no longer work in bars, and are strictly non-alcoholic in your work. What moved you away from alcohol?

From the ages of 16-30 my life seemed to revolve around alcohol with work, friends, social media etc. but towards the end it started having a negative impact on me & I had to make some personal & professional changes. I still loved working with drinks and fresh ingredients and wanted to create for others, the same quality of drinking experiences but without the negative effects alcohol may have on some people.

Have you ever felt not-included because you didn't have a real drink in front of you? I want to flip that around so you're the life of the party. There are so many myths about not being able to have a good time with booze and they are simply not true. After 14 years of working in bars and getting people drunk I want to spend the rest of my time offering people a choice, what they do with that choice is up to them.


4) You receive countless requests for contractual work and we at Yes You Can somehow jagged your services! Why us?

A couple of things, I met up with Tyler the founder before knowing much about YYC or trying them and his personality and drive was a bit infectious! It's really important for me who I work with, that isn't necessarily focused on just making a quick buck but wants to offer a service and put some good into the world.

After meeting up I took some of the first cans home and tried them the next day and was pleasantly surprised, there was something unique about YYC in a market that is already over-saturated, Tyler's concepts stand out amongst the rest.


5) What is your favourite part of your work? 

When bar managers reluctantly put a non-alc drink on the list to "give it a go" and it takes off.

6) What is your favourite of the Yes You Can Range and why?

The Spritz, it's the perfect combination of bitter-sweet for me and I can pass it off for a Negroni.

7) Where do you see the future in the nonalcoholic category?

The non-alc category has only just begun after what I like to call "The Dark Ages of Mocktails", and I can only see things improving from here, we started with a non-alc spirit and now have amazing entries into the beer category, wine category, everything. Already functionals and nootropics are coming into non-alc I expect to see more controlled fermentation, more vinegars & more distillation across the board.

I absolutely love it when people ask "Is there alcohol in that?" and the Yes You Can non-alcoholic cocktail range gets more of that than any other brand I have seen!