Here’s Why Thanos Cocktail Bar in Greece is a MedSailors Favourite
Down a hidden stone stairwell that descends toward the bright blue sea crashing onto the rocks below, one of the best cocktail bars in the Saronic islands sits perched on stilts above the water overlooking distant islands. Past the blue and white traditional Greek decor and through the open-air patio lined with high tables blessed with panoramic views — there is a mad scientist at work.
Well, better put: A cocktail mastermind.
Behind the long wooden bar that spans the whole length of the patio, with a backdrop of any type of spirits you can imagine stands Thanos, and he’s laser-focused at the work at hand concocting some type of cocktail voodoo.
Before me is a cup molded like a tiki statue stands one of his latest colourful creations. Made up of a healthy dose of mystery spirits, a few drops from one of the different corked vials nearby, then quickly swirled, topped with lime and cherry, and crowned with a mint leaf. He puts a paper straw in it and pushes it towards me.
“Drink” he says, with a smirk.
“What is it?” I ask, and he replies “Something new, now drink.” When Thanos commands, you obey right?
Don’t worry, it’s not that Thanos serving up drinks in this cocktail bar. This Thanos will never snap at you and is one of the most smiley people I’ve ever met. And he’s always game to shake up the standards of traditional cocktails.
For four summers now, that cocktail bar has graced one day of each week during my time on MedSailors Saronic. And every year something is new and fresh and exciting. This year, it’s Thanos’s brand-spankin’ new drinks and the cocktail bar being named after him.
The family who run the restaurant Kavos upstairs, that dishes out the phenomenal Greek mezze feast we’ll be devouring later, named the cocktail bar after Thanos for his 18th birthday. Deservedly so, after all, it is his bar. He’s been behind the bar whipping up mix drinks for our guests before he could see above it.
4 years back, Thanos told me it was exactly what he wanted to do — to be the best at making cocktails. A master mixologist. Now he towers over me and makes phenomenal ones. And I like to remind him though that I used to be taller than him.
I take the first sip and my cheeks do that thing when they’re tantalized by a flavour — they tighten up to the sour bit and ease to the sweet, then the perfectly balanced tastes draw a smile onto my face.
“Wow” is all I could say. He smiles back in satisfaction.
“I spent all winter making new recipes, inventing new cocktails.” He says, and the work definitely paid off. He shows me the new collection — a small menu with something specific to please anyone’s tastes, sprinkled with exciting adjectives describing them and their exotic ingredients.
“Everything is homemade. I made all of the mixes, from Greek ingredients. That is Thanos Tropical.”
Ever since I arrived he had been stirring this, mixing that, muddling here, and blending there. He was preparing all of the magic homemade syrups for each drink on the menu before our guests arrive at the sunset punch party. I left him to his domain and walked to the balcony.
Down the stairs came Marina and her mother, Mama as I call her, and both walk over and hug me. Both wear their big warm smiles as they always do when greeting family, friends, or soon to be friends.
Everyone feels welcome here, and I always feel at home here. Most people feel at home here who get to know the family while having their drinks, and they are always eager to get to know you when they can.
The family opened the cocktail bar 5 years back and the sisters, their mother, and Thanos handle the bar. Upstairs, you’ll often see Papa Adonis running around non-stop serving up their scrumptious dishes and flashing a smile while checking on you any moment he can. Edison, who endearingly calls me Paparazzi, will be buzzing about making sure everyone is topped up on wine or beer and good conversation.
After a brief catch up, they set to work prepping for the night, while I enjoyed the last delicious drops of my cocktail while watching the sea begin to turn dark and the sky begins to bruise with the setting sun.
By now the guest should be strolling up the pine-tree lined hill from the boats, passing the blue and white houses Jenga stacked up the ridge, with the banter flowing and tropical drinks on the mind.
I slurp down the last of my drink and admire the paper straw, happy to see that taking hold around the Med. The family said it was an important change this year. Marina, an environmental engineer, was excited to show them off to me and share that big change to the cocktails. And I was excited to see the change.
Down the stairs pour our guests led by their Skippers, each one grabbing a punch and claiming their table with a view. As is the case every time we come here, the family rush over to welcome them in with smiles and open arms. Welcome them into the place where everyone can enjoy a spectacular view, a good chat with friends, a taste of some of Greece’s best homemade cocktails. Welcome them into a place where everyone can feel right at home.
Want to get to know the family (and the drinks) at Thanos’s Cocktail Bar for yourself? Book your MedSailors Saronic sailing holiday today!