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Axia Spirit arrives at Line

This Athens bar was named Best New International Cocktail Bar at the 2023 Spirited Awards. Co-founder Vasilis Kyritsis explains how the mastiha spirit found its place on the menu.

L-R: Co-founders Dimitris Dafopoulos, Vasilis Kyritsis and Nikos Bakoulis, who serve Axia
L-R: Co-founders Dimitris Dafopoulos, Vasilis Kyritsis and Nikos Bakoulis

How did you begin your career in the industry, and what was your vision for Line?

My career began in 2007. I was studying nursing in Patras, Greece, and I was working in clubs and bars to make money. I was meeting new people and having a great time. As time went by, somehow my bar work developed a more professional nature and, one day, I decided that it was what I was going to do for the rest of my life.

The vision for Line – which Dimitris Dafopoulos, Nikos Bakoulis, and I shared – was to develop a space where different creatives from a range of industries could express themselves, and to create new trends based on sustainability.

Why did you choose to bring Axia to Line?

Mastiha is a traditional Greek product that is exported all over the world; it is a large part of our culture and heritage. To us, Axia is a spirit that showcases the core values found within the mastiha industry – that’s why we brought it to Line.

A cocktail that we have on the menu is a variation of a Cobbler, created with Axia dry mastiha, Symposium vermouth, Line’s house-made grenadine and Classic Pomegranate Why-In (a grapeless wine alternative, made in house).

Have you seen a rise in the popularity of Greek spirits in Europe?

Absolutely, Greek spirits have stepped up all over Europe. The Greek brand owners and distillers we know travel a lot, and always have their eyes on new and upcoming trends in the drinks industry. I think it’s essential that brands understand the demands of other European markets, offer accessible recipes and adapt their marketing to appeal to a wider audience beyond the Greek public.

What can we expect from Line in 2024?

This year, you can expect to see the same focus on innovation, events with unique concepts, and inviting our friends to participate. We will also be developing new Why-Ins. Our work with Axia will also continue this year, with more collaborations, and hopefully a new addition to the menu. We want to create as much as possible.

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