Booze hounds

Tim Homewood


Booze hounds

Where do you live?

Depending on who I’m trying to impress, Tooting or Wandsworth Common


Venn Street Records – this is one of my local SW London haunts and I absolutely love it. Really fun, unpretentious bar with great music. I never fail to have a great time here and they sometimes let me pretend to bartend. Connaught Bar – I’m somewhat partial to a martini and this is one of my favourite spots to have one. It’s understated but cool, the service is always on point no matter how busy it is and it’s a great place to impress a date. Cecil’s – it’s a bit of a hidden gem this one but is always bang on! Great drinks and service and a really varied line up of events or entertainment ranging from stand up comedy to amazing gigs.

3 favourite international bars and why

Dry Martini, Barcelona – It’s an institution that places the most iconic cocktail literally on stage. They ritual and respect that they put into their drinks is  exceptional. Panda & Sons, Edinburgh – Just a fantastic bar in a great setting. Hands down my favourite bar in Edinburgh everything they do is really well thought out and done to the very highest standard. Hennu Stall, Zermatt, Switzerland – Pretty much the best Apres Ski bar that I’ve ever been to. I used to visit Zermatt with my family every year and did a couple of seasons out there and this place is just the best pit stop on the way down the mountain. Live bands, cold beers, skis of shots! What more could you want – so many happy memories from this place!

Introduce us to a great bartender

Hmmm… there are so many it’s tough to know where to start. But I’m going to go with Michele Mariotti from the American Bar at The Savoy. By no means an up-and-comer and all those who have been looked after by him will agree with me that he is just faultless. His chat is great, he is always smiling and genuinely loves what he does and that is so infectious to his guests. I always have a great drink and have a great time when I’m the other side of the bar to him.

Best part of your job?

For me it’s being part of the World Class competition. I genuinely believe that World Class is the biggest and best competition out there which really focuses in on being the very best bartender, it’s not just all about the drink. I think that we’ve done some pretty cool things with it in the UK over the last 18 months and I think it’s really exciting. I know if I was still bartending it would be the first comp in my diary each year.

If you were going to make a Barchick cocktail what would you call it and what you be in it?

I’d make a Grape & Grain. It’s one of my favourite drinks and it’s equal parts of Tanqueray No. TEN,  sauvvy b, pale ale and elderflower cordial. It sounds weird on paper but it’s so, so good!

Who would play you in a movie?

Ryan Reynolds, although he’s much taller and better looking than me.

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

I always wanted to play rugby professionally but injuries and lack of talent kinda got in the way of that. I quite fancied being a lawyer as well… but one like out of the movies.

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

Dave Grohl… that dude is epic!

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

OMG… I am so embarrassed about this but anyone who has worked with me knows I’ve got a serious soft spot for Midori. I could smash that stuff all night long!

Drink trend that you're excited about

I’m excited about changing the way that people choose their drinks… at the Ritz Carlton in Berlin they have this great menu where guests choose their drink based on which perfume aroma they prefer. I think there’s a cool way to break people out of their habits by augmenting how they make their decisions.

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

AAAAAAAAAARRRRRGGGGH! What!? Seriously? Erm… so much pressure to come up with something to sound cool. Honestly I think I’d just get my nearest and dearest around and do an epic final meal and stuff I think. Like Christmas but on a serious sugar rush.

Favourite place in the world?

Zermatt, biased due to the time I spent there but it’s so beautiful. It’s like the Monaco of ski resorts.

Desert island bottle?

Tanqueray No. TEN is a bit obvious isn’t it and I prefer it chilled in a martini glass. I’m guessing that’s not available on the island? So I’ll go Del Maguay Tobala Mezcal.