One of the fascinating things about bars is how unassuming they often are during the day. You walk past and don't even realize that there was an entrance there - the door was still locked anyway. When dusk falls, the whole thing quickly turns around and a cozy light shines outside and invites you to come in. A few people in front of the door often give you a first impression of the audience inside. Once you have dared to step past them and inside, you usually quickly realize whether you will feel comfortable here for an evening or whether you would rather move on again.
Many people have probably felt the same way at the Trisoux Bar. Despite its prominent location on Müllerstrasse in Munich, you can sometimes miss the door in daylight. At night you can see through the large window an extraordinary ceiling, which - warmly lit - spreads out in waves over the bar. You immediately feel at home and a wall made of green moss with a glowing logo quickly makes it clear that a clear concept has been implemented here. Philipp Fröhlich, who opened the Trisoux with a friend about two years ago, takes care of your personal well-being. As soon as you watch the friendly bartender mixing drink after drink with seemingly effortless precision, you know that you are in good hands and that you don't need to worry about your culinary well-being.
For our bartender portrait, Philipp has developed two excellent cocktails with our LION's Vodka and THE DUKE Gin, whose recipes we will tell you - as always - below. But first we want to know how you can open a bar with a master's degree in history.
THE DUKE Destillerie: Dear Philipp, please tell us what brought you into Munich gastronomy and how Trisoux came about.
Philipp Fröhlich: I originally come from near Ravensburg and moved to Munich to study history with a minor in Indology. My goal was to go into the foreign policy sector. I also finished my master's degree, but alongside my studies I started working in the catering industry to earn a little extra money. My first stop was Barer 47 in 2009. That's where I made drinks commercially for the first time.
When I finished my studies, two friends of mine opened a bar and, as I was still in the middle of the application phase, I started supporting the boys in their bar as a “bridging measure”. But after one of the two left, I got involved even further and took over the management and thus also the administrative part. I gradually taught myself everything through reading books, trying things out and taking workshops. I was at the Fox for a total of two years and then went to Home as bar manager. My current partner, Ben Bauer, co-operates the Home. We already knew each other before, but of course we got to know each other a lot better through working together. I was at Home for a year before I moved to Herzog. At some point Ben asked me Wouldn't I like to open a small bar with him in the Glockenbachviertel? Yes… here we sit now.
That's quite a few bars. What was your dream career as a child?
I wanted to be a stuntman. At that time there was the series “A Colt for All Occasions” and Colt Sievers really impressed me so much that my career choice became clear relatively quickly.
That would certainly have been exciting too. What kept you in the catering industry or what do you enjoy so much about your work?
Firstly, that it is so varied – no two evenings are the same. And then of course that you always have a very direct result and get feedback for your work from your guests. That's actually one of the most satisfying things for me. The work is also very creative, you get to know a lot of different people and therefore always have to adapt to new situations.
I just really enjoy the industry itself: the networking of the bars, the exchange with each other, the fact that we meet every now and then at trade fairs or bar shows. It has a very nice, family character. You often don't have to know each other for too long; Because we all have the same calling, we also have a common connection that binds us together.
What is your greatest success so far?
Our Trisoux. When I consciously decided that I wanted to stay in the restaurant industry, I always joked that I would open my own shop before my 30th. And that actually worked out quite well. On the one hand, for me it's a success that we opened the bar, but the much bigger success is actually that the door opens every evening and guests come in. And that they accept our concept the way we came up with it back then.
What couldn't you do without in your life?
I need my family and friends to balance out the bar world. Conversations about things far away from the bar circuit. For me, one can only work with the other.
Why is THE DUKE Gin in your back bar?
My story with Duke Gin is a little more personal than most other bartenders. I worked as a brand ambassador for some time, organized one or two workshops with Moritz Billina (editor's note: Moritz was the brand ambassador of THE DUKE distillery for several years), visited bartenders, represented THE DUKE at the BCB and was Of course, there was also a lively exchange with the founders. Accordingly, I was often in the distillery on Barer Straße, saw all the steps from production to bottling, and as a result you develop a very emotional connection to a brand. That's why the Duke belongs in my bar and why the guys were simply the first to bring out a Munich gin. That alone is reason enough to have it in the back bar.
What is your perfect drink?
A freshly tapped pilsner.
And what do you get up very early in the morning for?
To spend time with my loved ones and family. And another reason is when an industry partner calls for a “class trip”, i.e. we bartenders are invited to visit a production facility and take a look behind the scenes of a spirit.
What does a day off look like for you?
I try to stay away from the Trisoux as much as possible and I'm managing it quite well now. And for me that also means that I consciously try to exclude the bar world on my day off so that I don't end up at another bar in town at the end of the day. I started boxing a year ago with a few other guys from the bar scene. Here we train our “weak areas” (the trunk and shoulder muscles, which are put under extreme strain by mixing) twice a week in order to be able to do our job for as long as possible to be able to.
If you had one wish for the bar scene, what would it be?
Actually it's pretty cool the way it is. If I could wish for something, it would perhaps be that there would be less emphasis on winning competitions and more emphasis on the quality of the work. Winning competitions and awards is certainly great and can draw focus especially to the smaller, underrated cities. It's often a great catalyst for small bars, but everything is within reason. If it's all about winning competitions and you measure your success solely by that, it doesn't really have much to do with the actual work on the guest.
You've been working in a variety of bars for years - please tell us your craziest gastro story!
It feels like some crazy story happens every evening, so we often just raise an eyebrow and carry on working. What really impressed me afterwards was that in my business partner's bar at the end of the evening the entire toilet seat was missing, i.e. the toilet seat and lid. You might have to add that the thing was really older and already had a certain “patina”. (laughs) Head cinema please now.
Finally, do you have a request for your guests?
Have respect for things. We restaurateurs have really decorated our bars with a lot of love and thought carefully about all the details. Especially with our moss wall, it often happens that guests pickle it or sink their stirrers into the wall. Which of course means that entire parts have to be replaced every now and then.
During the very pleasant conversation we had an excellent cocktail accompaniment, which Philipp had previously prepared with a lot of love and skill. You just have to look at the perfect jet in the picture above, in which the Martini variation from the mixing glass hits the middle of the cocktail bowl from a height of half a meter.
We highly recommend a visit to Philipp's second living room, but if you would like to mix his two signature drinks yourself, you can read the recipes here.
Some people probably still know the gay bar “Bau”, which was located in front of the Trisoux at Müllerstrasse 41 and served many night owls with their last beer of the evening/morning. Even though we miss the rainbow flags in the window a little, we are very happy with what Philipp and Ben have achieved here. Because the Trisoux enriches Munich's nightlife in a special way, both through its individual interior and its lovely staff.