King of Mixology with Fredrik Olsson

17 Oct 2016
2 min read
Following the success of the inaugural Artist Series in 2015, Ballantine’s, the world’s No 2 Scotch whisky, has partnered with Fredrik Olsson, brand ambassador and mixologist for Ballantine’s and owner of Bar Kosmopol in Chelsea, London. FOUR finds out more…

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Ludvika, a small town in Sweden. It is a beautiful place and I find there’s alot of similarities between this part of Sweden and the beautiful landscape of Scotland, the home of Ballantine’s.

What did you aspire to be when you grew up?

When I was little, I always dreamt of being a professional ice hockey player.

How did you find your way to into the world of mixology?

When I moved to London, I trained at Bas Bartending School where I fell in love with bartending as a profession and this amazing city. I’ve been here ever since, founding my Chelsea bar Kosmopol in 2002.

What does it entail to be a brand ambassador and mixologist for Ballantine’s?

It’s a great privilege to be a brand ambassador for Ballantine’s. Over the years, I’ve traveled the world to represent the brand at trade events and work shops, teaching people about the Ballantine’s brand, the whisky itself and creating unique cocktails using the different blends.

For the Ballantine’s Artist Series, I specially designed four signature serves, Ballantine’s Ben Nevis Punch, Ballantine’s River Ma, Ballantine’s Truffle Blazer and the Ballantine’s Festive Sour, inspired by the three artworks Dave Ma created for the campaign.

Can you suggest FOUR delicious cocktails that contain Ballantine’s?

Ballantine’s Whisky Sour – a classic that works perfect with Ballantine’s;Ballantine’s Boulevardier – the perfect pre-dinner drink made with Ballantine’s, vermouth and campari;Ballantine’s with lemonade and a squeeze of lime – a refreshing long drink that’s simple to make at home;Ballantine’s Festive Sour – my seasonal take on this classic cocktail, inspired by the Ballantine’s Artist Series, that combines spicy gingerbread and chocolate bitters with Ballantine’s Finest

What interesting trends/themes are going on in the world of mixology?

We’re moving back towards classic cocktails but giving each a modern twist. Two ingredients I’m seeing a lot of are bitters and vermouths – they’re definitely experiencing a come-back.

What are your FOUR indispensable cocktail making ingredients?

Beside Ballantine’s, I would go for lemon juice for freshness, classic bitters to bring another dimension to your cocktail, egg white (Don’t forget to dry shake!) and organic sugar syrup – it’s the perfect uncomplicated sweetener.

What was it like to design cocktails for the Ballantine’s Artist Series? Where did you get your inspiration from?

This the second year I’ve created signature cocktail serves based on the artwork from the Ballantine’s Artist Series. It’s always an exciting challenge to interpret each artist’s work, drawing inspiration from the artwork to create each signature serve.

For this year’s Ballantine’s Artist Series with Dave Ma, I created four serves: Ben Nevis Punch,Ballantine’s River Ma,Ballantine’s Truffle Blazer and theBallantine’s Festive Sour.

What’s next for you?

I just became the sole owner of Kosmopol, a cocktail bar in Chelsea, and that’s really exciting. I’m always having new ideas for Kosmopol which will keep me busy over the next few months; I want to create the best bar I can for my guests.

Find out more about Fredrik and Kosmopolhere…

The 2016 Ballantine’s Artist Series Limited Edition gift packs will be available globally from October 2016.For more information,


Finest Tin |

12 Year Old Tin |