Industry Legends: Meet gaz regan

BarChick bumps into all sorts of people on her adventures, our most recent discovery is the really rather wonderful gaz regan who we were lucky to meet at the one and only Global Final of Diageo Reserve World Class 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, naturally. Anyway he rocks, he's unlike anyone else on this planet, which is perhaps why every barman out there loves him.  He took the time to answer some questions for us…enjoy…he's an inspiration to us all.

Where have/do you work?

I’m between bar gigs right now, but I’m supposed to be getting shifts at The Dead Rabbit, Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry’s new joint in downtown Manhattan.  It opens in September.  I’ve been offered six shifts.  Every year.

Where do you live?

Hudson Valley, New York

3 Favourite London bars and why:

Norman’s Coach and Horses: It’s a real pub with a landlord who cares.

Ago’s Bar at the Connaught:  Cos Ago knows what it’s all about.

The American Bar at the Savoy: Erik Lorincz and a star-studded bar team, plus, if you hang in that bar long enough, you’ll see everyone you ever met in your life. Even if they croaked years ago...

3 Favourite international bars and why:

Death & Company, New York:  It feels like home.

High Five, Tokyo: My brother, Ueno-San, works there.

The Bay Horse, Thornton, Lancashire: My parents used to run this pub, and the present landlord and landlady are FABULOUS.  It’s my favorite watering hole in the whole wide world.

Favourite drink: 

Manhattan.  No, wait a minute, The Negroni.  That’s it, the Negroni.  Or is it the Manhattan...?

Introduce us to a great bartender:

Norman Bukofzer, Ritz Carlton, Central Park South, New York.  He relies on his intuition to make drinks, has a memory like a steel trap, the best sense of humour in the world, and he once played a practical joke on me that took him 3 months to pull off.  Norman is a bartender’s bartender.

Best part of your job:

Interacting with the world’s best bartenders.

What's next for you?

More and more publishing.  And that bar gig at the Dead Rabbit, of course

What did you want to be as a kid?

I can’t remember ever wanting to do anything outside of the hospitality industry, but I knew I was going to move to New York since I was about 8 years old.  That was in the late 1950s, and the USA looked so damned glamorous.  I still love it here, and I love England, too.  And France, for that matter.

If you were going to make a BarChick cocktail what would you call it and what would you put in it?

I’d make you a shot of Jägermeister, I think.  I’d have one, too.

Who would play you in a movie?

Tom Waits.

If you weren't a bartender what would you like to be?

I’ve never thought about that.  A monk, perhaps?

If you could make a drink for one person dead or alive who would it be?

Jesus, The Buddha, Mohammed, the Dalai Lama.  Pick one.

Top chefs have their guilty pleasure food, what's your guilty pleasure drink?

Piña Coladas.

Drink trend that you're excited about?

Rum finally came into its own.  I’d been pushing for this since the early 90s, and I’m not really a big rum drinker, but it’s such a versatile spirit.

It's the end of the world in 24 hours what would you do?

Eat, Drink, Pray.

Favourite place in the world?

The Urubamba Valley, Peru.

Desert island bottle?

Abel Cognac by Pierre Ferrand.

Have you ever  done it on a bar?

Yes, with about 20 onlookers cheering me on.  Oh, wait a minute, that’s in my next life.  No, I haven’t.