Max Chater




Born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.


I’m at BUMP Caves, the new dive bar and distillery under Draft House Towerbridge. Most of my time there is spent being a bit of a liquid geek - distilling our own spirits using the rotary evaporator, which also creates syrups, liquors, vermouths and infusions. Before that I’ve worked with Whistling Shop, Brewdog, Pubs Of Distinction and a stint in Leeds cocktail bars.


In London, probably Peg & Patriot, Mission E2, Happiness Forgets, The Cock Tavern Hackney. I just got back from Chicago and Grant Achatz’s The Aviary is now pretty high up in my rankings.


Christ hard to say, for home I love Vermouth on the rocks with a dash of Campari. At the pub an IPA or sour beer. For Cocktails, it all depends on where but I do love a Negroni in classics sort of place. The other day I had a Night At The Windmill at Peg & Patriot, that was banging. Cheers James!

Bad ass barman/rock n roll moment?

Dancing on a bar topless, wearing a pink cowboy hat pouring Jager into peoples mouths. I’ve grown up now... Ha.

Ever done it on a bar?

Bartended? Yeah all the time its my job. ;-)

What's next for you?

Next up is the re-opening of the old Birdcage site in November. It’ll be called Draft House Birdcage - we’re doing pies, mash, an old fashion knees-up on Saturday nights, and I’ve come up with some BUMP cocktails for the new place, which will be served out of tradition pub optics bottles. Back at BUMP Caves I’m working on some new drinks and hosting masterclasses on how to distil a bottle of your own gin to take home - I’ll even let you have a go on the rotary evaporator!

Best/worst chat up lines you've heard at a bar?

Answer to both. ‘Can I buy you a drink, or do you just want the cash?’

Tell us a secret or something we don't know?

I once buried a box of treasure in London Fields park…

If you were to make a barchick cocktail, what would you put in it?

Well considering our shared passion for Vermouth I reckon a ‘Classic Vermouth’ cocktail with a touch of Maraschino and a dash of my Mandarin and Rosemary bitters. Yes please. As for brands of Vermouth I think we’d go Cocchi Di Torino as the base and accent that with the amazing Vergano Chinato, a tiny producer from Asti. I’d let you name it, I’m nice like that.

How do you like your Martini?

Wet! I’m a Vermouth lover. I’m loving our (BUMP) ‘Drenched Martini’ at the moment. Its leek infused Dolin Dry Vermouth with Bobby’s Schiedam Dry Gin from Amsterdam. The gin is incredible with a big hit of lemongrass. We serve it with a Starburst sweet!

What did you want to be as a kid?

I changed my mind quite a lot as a kid. I started out wanting to be an actor, then a dancer and then a designer. I still do graphic design freelance sometimes. I find it a passion that I don’t want to be a job.