Nōema Stories
Local Bar None
Nōema Stories shed light on the landscapes, people, ideas and traditions that inspire the Nōema philosophy. Mixologist and bar manager Nikos Triantafyllou keeps it close to home as he talks ingredients, foraging, farming, and more.
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Talk us through the drinks at Nōema.

Well, when my team and I started to conceptualize the drinks menu, we really wanted to represent the nature of Greece. We decided upon a lot of Greek spirits — with a few internationals as well, of course — and some of them we even make ourselves, like the dry Greek Vermouth that we make using Assyrtiko Wine from Santorini. Most of the botanicals and fruits come from the Cycladic region, like rock samphire, dill, figs, rosemary, thyme, beetroot and beetroot leaves, and so on. With every drink on the menu, there’s something quintessentially Cycladic. 

Is there a specific ingredient that you find inspiring to work with? 

I like honey. I have a lot of friends who have bees. It also goes well infused with fresh thyme and cinnamon.

Do you have a favourite time of the year?
In spring, nature is blowing up. You can feel the flavours when you’re walking around. And when I smell something, I immediately want to learn about it.

I like honey.
I have a lot of friends who have bees.

You’ve worked in a number of big cities around the world. How does Mykonos compare?  
Working in Mykonos is a big challenge. It’s in the international spotlight and there are lots of people coming here with very high expectations. Mykonos gives me a certain opportunity to show people my potential as a mixologist and to test my mettle as a bridge between nature and those people. In general, the Cycladic islands are rife with beautiful products from local producers, all of whom frame nature in a different way. I think no matter how many good connections I have here with farmers and foragers and producers, I’ll always be building my network as I believe the Cyclades are a never-ending trove of exciting ingredients, with local producers always finding new ways to combine ingredients. I also do a lot of foraging on and around Mykonos. For example, I find lots of Apple Geranium Leaves around here. Some of my friends have it growing in their gardens, and I also know the spots to find them. I couldn’t really forage in London or Berlin, for example. My day-to-day life is much more attuned to the whims of nature on Mykonos. I’ve got my hands in the dirt a lot.

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Do you think tradition is important?
I believe tradition is our origin but traditions can also evolve. Traditions have given us a lot of things, but you can also adjust traditions to a new generation and run with new ideas into the future.

What’s your thought process when conceptualizing a new drink?
Well, I have to be alone, because I don’t want to have any distractions. But the conceptualisation process happens without me even realising it. Like when I’m travelling, I might taste something and not give it a second thought, but then I might taste something else a week later and my mind might put the two tastes together. Then when I’m at home, I cook a lot, experiment with flavours, infusions, et cetera, and ideas slowly morph into more solid recipes.

Sounds like you’re much more connected to nature since moving to Mykonos… does this go beyond the ingredients?
Yes, we’re trying to be as sustainable as possible. It’s tricky to do but we’re certainly doing more than those tokenist bars that just use paper straws and call themselves “environmentally conscious”. The word “sustainability” also gets thrown around a lot without people really knowing what it means — concerning the depletion of resources and ecological balance. In general, it’s baffling how much of a difference one can make by following the simple “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra, considering it along every step of every decision-making process. Anyway, the taste of your drink is directly, although tenuously, linked to farming practices, industrial practices, and so on. Nature is everything to me.
model with long hair wearing a black dress by fashion brand caravana in greece mykonos