This brilliant, bearded bartender is now a Funkin Ambassador for the West of England and Wales. Why does he love our Beetroot Shrub so much? What is a Hemmingway Daiquiri? Read on to find out…
What was your background before taking this role at Funkin?
I’ve worked at Be at One for the past 3 years – as an in-store trainer and in their learning and development office. Before that I was a bartender at Jamie's Italian, which was fun. At University I studied fine art, so not directly connected to this job – but very useful for the creative and artistic side of presenting cocktails.
Where are you based?
I’m now based in Bristol, which is a cool city with a growing cocktail scene. I was born and bred in Somerset so know my new patch well!
What’s most exciting about being a Funkin Ambassador?
Innovation, definitely. Funkin are so good at pushing forward with new products and development. Using products in different ways. Why can't a puree be experimented with?!
Did you use Funkin before taking this role?
Absolutely. I’ve never worked in a bar that didn't use Funkin. It’s always at the core of experimentation – as there’s so many different Funkin flavours and products. It’s such high quality stuff and closer to consistency and taste of real fruit than competitors. But so so much easier than fresh fruit when making cocktails!
What are your favourite Funkin products?
There’s a few…
Beetroot Shrub – it’s great to have a quality shrub that you don't have to make yourself as that is SO time consuming. It’s bringing shrubs back into 21th century – an accessible way to use the tradition of shrubs at last.
Raspberry Purée – it has a nice tartness that brings a cocktail to life.
Mango Purée – because it has a slight peppery taste to it – this pairs well with lots of spirits especially mezcal and tequila.
Jalapeno Syrup – because it’s so similar to real jalapeño.
What’s your favourite cocktail?
You’ll normally find me drinking a Manhattan (bitters, sweet vermouth, bourbon), or an Old Fashioned. I do love a Hemmingway Daiquiri too – this recipe replaces sugar with grapefruit juice and maraschino liquor. I’m seeing it more and more often.
What’s the key to a great cocktail?
I love making anything for a person who is enthusiastic about it. I just want to make people happy!
And finally, please list some of your top bars?
In London I’ll now go to Swift – the concept is great with clean décor, perfect lighting and a small but special menu. The downstairs speakeasy section is cool too...
In the West Country I love The Dark Horse in Bath - cocktail bar
What are your top tips for cocktail making at home?
Buy twice as much ice as you need!!
Experiment and try new things.
Mix lemon/lime plus sugar and you’ve got a great base for a huge range of cocktails.
Are there any new trends that you’re enjoying at the moment?
Rhubarb is popular and will be great for summer. It’s perfect with gin – but also try it with tequila.
50ml Funkin Pink Guava Purée
20ml Funkin Pure Pour Lime
20ml Funkin Grenadine
4 mint leaves
Use a blender to whizz all ingredients together with crushed ice and serve with a sprig of mint.