Cheers June 2015

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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Page 29 of 51 30 • June 2015 " 30 " 30 " • " • June 2015 " June 2015 By Kyle Swartz Global leaders in mixology converged on Sydney this past April for the annual Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition. The city became a melting pot of bartending styles and pref- erences, trends and ideas, advice and philosophies. I interviewed a number of these infl uencers about cocktail culture in Australia and abroad. Here are some their profes- sional tips and observations on bartending today. STEVE SCHNEIDER One of the subjects of the 2013 documentary Hey Bartender, Steve Schneider's journey took him from a near-death experience while in the U.S. Marines to becoming a renowned mixologist as a prin- cipal bartender at New York cocktail bar Employees Only. What advice do you have for aspiring bartenders? You have to fi nd someone you can believe in, trust and want to learn from. Before I joined Employees Only, I had loads of skills, but I had no leadership. There's a lot of talent out there, but leadership can be lacking. Many people watch and practice techniques on YouTube, but they don't have leadership. And you've got to keep your head up and make eye contact. Douglas Tirola, director of Hey Bartender, found me because he came into my bar and I made eye contact with him. That led to us talking. Body language is so important. You have to carry yourself like you want it. I don't mean carry yourself with arrogance—I mean with confi dence. What are the biggest trends now in cocktail culture? I never act based on the trends of others. If I like something, then I'll use it, and adapt it into my own style. I appreciate all aspects of bartending. I want to learn as much as I can, so that I can adapt to the fi ght, and then decide whether I want to use something new or not, and whether or not it fi ts me. AGO PERRONE Ago Perrone began his bartending career in Italy before moving to London. His work there garnered him global rec- ognition and a bevy of prestigious bartending awards. What are the global trends in cocktail culture? Cocktail culture is expanding, massively. Wherever you go, you can fi nd a bar where they're trying to make a good cocktail. Before, there were some places where it was impossible to fi nd good drinks. Nowadays, thanks to all the avenues of communications, and thanks to the fact that people travel much more than before, people are always looking for a place where they can enjoy a good drink. As a trend, there is a strong link to the classic cocktails, overall. And then there is very much the will of each bar- tender, and of each bar, to pull out their own identity. So they really try to give something unique to the clients. There is no more fi nding the same cocktail everywhere as before. There are some classics—the Martinis, the Margarita—but there is not as much of people drinking only a certain drink, like the Apple Martini or Cosmopolitan. Instead, they are drinking for quality ingredients, quality products. What are the differences between the U.S. and U.K. cocktail culture? I see the difference between the types of bars. In the U.S. the needs of the business—because in the end you run a bar to make money—weigh a lot differently compared with the U.K. For instance, in London, you work for wages, and then tips can be a good addition on top of that. But in the U.S., you work for tips. That is not so good for bars. Because of this reason, in the U.S. there are fewer lounge bars; perhaps because of the history as well, the U.S. being a younger country than those in Europe. The hotel bars in the U.S. are not yet so established and classic as they are in Europe. However, everyone's trying nowadays to recreate this type of guest experience into independent bars. What are your favorite cocktails these days? When I go out, I tend to drink Martinis and Margaritas. I Chats with International Cocktail Infl uencers BACARDI LEGACY COMPETITION 2015

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