So you would think after 7 years as a brewer, 3 years as a distiller and many many more years frequenting bars and consuming beverages that nothing in a bar would intimidate me?
Wrong. Cocktails. Making them, creating them, talking about them - I am very intimidated. I don't mean a gin and tonic - I can talk about and serve them until the cows come home.
It is a whole new experience to me having a bar - albeit we only managed to open for 5 weeks before the lockdown - but still new. Craft beers - check, Craft Gins - check, Cocktails - useless! If you have been served by me at the bar on the rare occasion I'm serving then you may have felt my eyes saying 'don't order a cocktail, don't order a cocktail...' as you approach.
I thought I just can't be the only person out there who is a bit intimidated by the array of cocktails on offer. How they're made, the reasoning behind them, the history, how they are meant to taste - the notes to look for. Whats a good one what's a bad one? All of that. It's also a big knowledge gap for me. I can talk about the gins we make for hours - and have done! I can talk about beer because I used to make beer for a living. But I haven't had much of a chance to get my hands on learning about cocktails - on the bar person side of the bar that is... I'm fairly fluent on the drinkers side... though fluent might not be the word bartenders around Liverpool would use to describe me after a few cocktails.
Anyway! During lockdown I have to check in on our new bar every week as part of the tenancy agreement. So I thought I could use this as an opportunity to learn about our cocktail menu in a practical way. The Turncoat Bar launched on 7th February and I delegated the cocktail menu to Alasdair and Paul - the managers of the bar. I couldn't contribute much other than in a conceptual way or to say yes or no.
So we're all using lockdown to learn something new - mine is our cocktail menu - and I'd like to share this with you!
Our first video is a bit thrown together but we'll get it tighter as we go - promise. We're going to go through the cocktail menu showing you the methods, ingredients and most of all my inadequacy. So Alasdair has to visit the bar with me most weeks and he's going to show me what to do. We are respecting social distancing as much as possible when you work together.
You never know...after we reopen you may see me slinging some cocktails behind the bar. If you do I recommend ordering with someone else on the team. They're really talented and are probably just entertaining me because I'm supposed to be in charge... they're very polite.
Check out our first video - one of my favourite drinks - The Negroni. Made by us with Cascade Gin - Oh yes...