Tommy Cummins

Where are you currently working?

At the moment I am working in The Sun Tavern. It’s a cocktail and Irish whiskey bar on a fun little corner in Bethnal Green. If you know the area you know why it’s a fun little corner. 

Tell us something about the industry we might not know...

The industry is a very social and friendly place but sometimes it can be one of the most lonely places in the world. You have to be so upbeat and chatty with everyone, that it can take its toll on you. Some days I will go the whole day without talking to anyone. No social media, no talking. No emails no text. Just me, relaxing by myself.

What is your favourite cocktail?

I have worked for a few years now in heavy cocktail bars, drank most of them and have had some twist or two on a classic. And now I ‘ve come full circle. A nice straight whiskey and I am grand. But if I had to pick one, I am a wee devil for a Golden Cadillac. I am a real sucker for cream drinks.

What's your most rock'n'roll/bad-ass bartending moment? 

No real bad-ass moment but one that I think was really funny was when I tried to be “cool“ and open a bottle of tonic water off the speed rail. The cap didn’t come off…. half the neck did and it flew straight up towards my head just missing my eye. This was with 1 minute until the bar closed and off I went to the hospital for the next 10 hours. Last time I did that but not the last time I had a stupid idea. 

Where would we find you on your night off?

My nights off are split between sinking whiskey and chatting nonsense at whatever bar will let me, or hanging out with girlfriend. She wears the pants in the relationship, so without her I would just be a classic bar fly.

If you weren’t tending bar, what would you be doing with your life?

I have been in the industry for well over 13 years so it is very hard to answer that question. When I was younger, I attended College to study Biology and Chemistry, before the fun of working in service industry took its hold. So I’m guessing I would have gone down that road.

What is your desert island bottle? 

That is a hard choice. Desert island makes it sound like it might be warm, so I would go for a bottle of Smith and Cross, a high abv. pot still Jamaican rum. But then again I could get caught on a really cold wet island (like Ireland) and then it would be a Powers John Lane. 

What is your hangover cure?

I know everyone says they don’t get hangovers but 97% of the time I don’t. I’m fairly sure there is always a bit of alcohol in my blood. But when that 3% comes calling, she is a “Beast”. I will go to the pain pill press, swallow all the colours of the rainbow, remind myself that I am not 21 anymore and to take the foot off the pedal.