Originally from a farm near Birmingham, came to London via 5 years living in the South West and a couple of summers in Pembrokeshire. 6 years and counting in London now and no plans to leave soon…
I've just launched the Manhattans Project, which is a 'bar in a bar' downstairs at Bar Off Broadway. With a couple of pop-ups around the city lined up, we've plans to launch an events bar service in the new year.
I'm a massive fan of Happiness Forgets at the moment; great menu, staff and decor and it's always really relaxed, which for me is a pretty important part of being classy. I love bars for drinkers; expensive places that are still great value because the bartender listens to you, the spirits are great and you can order an obscure classic without feeling like a douche. That said, you'll most often find me at Dukes Brew'n'Que with a pint of something uber hoppy and a stack of ribs.
At the moment I'm pretty obsessed with the Red Hook, and before that the Boulevardier. It's a bit cliche, but I love the combination of rye, something sweet and something bitter. In summer I've been known to go a bit crazy for a well made Pina colada.
I wooed my girlfriend with a string of the best Negronis I've ever made; inspiration struck, basically! Might be more soppy than bad ass, but I'm OK with that. She's now the Manhattans Project hostess, so definitely one of the better moves I've made.
A gentleman never tells.
I really want to grow the Manhattans Project, to create a brand that helps bar tending become better known as a respectable career, and a place to showcase the best of UK bartenders. The whole scene has become so much more respected since I started 10 years ago, but I do think there's a danger of it becoming about flash mixology and flair, rather than solid attention to classics and great customer service, product knowledge and inspiring drink innovation. During the week I'm working with a really exciting start-up, and pushing the community there to share cocktail recipes and pictures.
The best was definitely something about a shit-hot Negroni. And the worst? The guy I heard telling a girl he could answer any maths problem; I can see why the conversation had run dry by that point.
I'm a qualified theatrical make up artist. Check the Halloween shot!
I've recently gone from bone-dry with a twist to something a bit wetter, to be honest. So right now, a Plymouth Navy Strength martini made wet with Lillet Blanc and 3 juicy olives. One of my favourite authors, Sherwood Anderson, got peritonitis from the cocktail toothpick after knocking back his martini, so I never use them.
Mainly not to be bullied so much by my older sisters!