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World Bartender Day

Rachel Marchesan

How long have you been working as a bartender?

Only a couple of months. I love how it has no limits; there could be one ingredient that has the potential to completely change a drink. Whether that being an accident turned into a wonder, or just because you can!

What’s your favourite Double Dutch cocktail or mocktail to make?

Probably when I made my drink at the end of the scholarship programme - I used their Double Lemon tonic.

One top tip for people making cocktails at home?

Have loads of glasses on standby!

What's a common mistake people make when making cocktails?

Measurments are key and can sometimes be done wrong very easily.

What advice would you give someone who would like to pursue a career as a bartender?

I’d definitely say, apply for the Double Dutch bartender scholarship programme! I was the only one on my course that wasn’t a bartender… from having no knowledge I gained top advice from experts as well as my fellow apprentice’s on flavours, experiences, serving methods and more.

It’s the last day on Earth, what cocktail would you make and drink?

Either a strawberry Day or I know it’s not really a cocktail but white wine sangria.

What’s the weirdest ingredient you have made a cocktail out of?

I’d say a cucumber. That was weird muddling it.

One ingredient you can’t live without?

Love a strawberry in any cocktail.

What should every good bartender have in their pocket?

Either a bottle opener or scissors/ a knife… preferably a really small one otherwise it might hurt.

Round ice cube or square ice cube?

Square

What mocktail would you make for Joyce and Raissa?

I would make them a virgin Pina Colada or a Soho House special - eastern standard

Lili Johnston

Floor Manager - Harts Group/Bar Daskai

How long have you been working as a bartender?

2 years. I started in hospitality 6 years ago but was working predominantly on the floor in restaurants that were very much not focused on bars. As soon as I started working in and around bars I realised that was where by passion really was and started to pursue that and eventually moved over to working full-time in a bar.

What do you love about being a bartender?

I love having guests that are choosing to spend time in your venue and helping to make sure they have the best time possible. I also love introducing people to new things which they maybe didn’t realise they liked or helping them to find ’their’ drink.

What advice would you give to someone who would like to pursue a career as a bartender?

It can be quite daunting at first stepping into an industry where people store a million classic cocktails all in their head and there is an immediate expectation on you to be able to replicate specs. Ask all the questions you can think of and find out peoples methods to their madness. Why they make a round of drinks in the order they do, why the shaker is SO full of ice. Take the reasoning that everyone teaches you and adapt it into your own method. I’m quite a nerd about bars and will read every book under the sun and everyone has differing techniques but if you find out why people do the things they do it can be a lot easier to find your own rhythm.

What’s the weirdest ingredient you have made a cocktail out of?

Still in the process of trying to fine tune it’s use in a cocktail but I recently tried a tomato liqueur which was weird and delicious but also exactly what you’d expect

It’s the last day on Earth, what cocktail would you make and drink?

I think it would have to be a nuclear daiquiri. It’s not something I order on the regular but I’d like to go out drinking both Chartreuse and rum!

Buky

Founder & Mixologist - Sipgeek

How long have you been working as a bartender?

6 years

What do you love about being a bartender?

I simply love serving people. However, as much as I love the creative aspect of crafting drinks, the social aspect of meeting new people, and the buzz that comes from creating memorable experiences is the icing on the cake! Growing up in a pretty large family where we would often host people for one thing or another, hosting and serving others soon became something I enjoyed and looked forward to. Fast forward to relocating to the UK, my interest in serving people soon found expression through my church's hospitality team where the vision to start a non-alcoholic mobile cocktail brand was birthed.

What’s your favourite Double Dutch cocktail or mocktail to make?

Cucumber Collins - Its a simple alcohol-free twist on the classic Tom Collins Cocktail, topped with Double Dutch's Cucumber and Watermelon mixer.

One top tip for people making cocktails at home?

Start with what you have. You don't always need a fancy tool or ingredient, neither do you need to break the bank to make good drink ...lol Experiment with readily available ingredients and flavour profiles you already love and build from there. As your skills evolve, don't be afraid to try new combinations and adjust sweetness or acidity to suit your taste.

What advice would you give someone who would like to pursue a career as a bartender?

Never stop learning! As with most things in life completing a course to learn the fundamentals is a good start, but a certificate only takes you so far. Perfect practice they say makes perfect - so focus on building hands-on experience, learning continually and developing your communication skills to enhance the overall client experience. No matter how great you are at making a particular recipe, the true test comes when you have a room full of guests with various demands, learning to maintain your professionalism, poise and calm and still deliver a fantastic service in the face of what might sometimes feel like 'chaos' goes a long way.

One ingredient you can’t live without?

Lemon - not just for its use as a cocktail ingredient, but its versatility from lemon water, to cooking, baking, to use in smoothies/juices/salads to slow oxidation of certain fruits/vegs or even cleaning, lemons are the real MVP in any home kitchen.

What should every good bartender have in their pocket?

A bottle opener, small note pad and pen are the all time must haves for most bartenders! But I currently replace the pen/note pad with a phone (this doubles up as my note for jotting requests or ideas on the go and also for capturing my creative flair and any memorable moment - time and disclosure terms permitting)

What mocktail would you make for Joyce and Raissa?

Thats a tough one, my first option would be an alcohol-free Gin & Tonic - pairing Gin (a Dutch invention) with a Double Dutch tonic water would make a perfect pair giving credence to Joyce and Raissa's roots.

My second option would be "Dark & Spicy" a simple recipe combining Caleno's Dark & Spicy alcohol-free spirit with Double Dutch's Ginger Ale. I'll be a little biased as this option is my personal preference thanks to my love for ginger in any way, shape or form plus both products are from female founded brands that I personally love and continue to use.

Megan Jensen

Bartender - NWCT

How long have you been working as a bartender?

3 years

What do you love about being a bartender?

The best thing about bartending is teaching your guests something new. Helping somebody find their favourite spirit, showing them a flavour combination they’re yet to experience, bringing people on a journey through your drinks.

Top tip:

It’s all about balance. Home bartending allows you to get creative, and experiment to find out what you enjoy. Take the time to do some research, but ultimately you’ll find the best drinks through getting stuck in.

What’s your favourite Double Dutch cocktail or mocktail to make?

Favourite DD cocktail, is easily a paloma, using the DD grapefruit soda. Light, refreshing, and works all year round.

One ingredient you can’t live without?

Pumpkin! Around Halloween, countless pumpkins make their way to landfills, but I think it’s such an underrated ingredient. Using leftover pumpkins to make a Pumpkin spiced milk punch, it worked so well!

It’s the last day on Earth, what cocktail would you make and drink?

Last day on Earth, I am drinking a classic Daiquiri. It’s the perfect trinity of rum, lime and sugar, so simple but so good. For me, using an aged Cuban rum is key.

Madison

Assistant Bar Manager - Rockwater Hove

How long have you been working as a bartender?

3 years

What do you love about being a bartender?

The creativity behind it all, creating different drinks for new menus is so exciting. Both seeing and hearing that your drinks have gone down a treat is always lovely!

What’s your favourite Double Dutch cocktail or mocktail to make?

A Mezcal Paloma with their Pink Grapefruit soda

What's a common mistake people make when making cocktails?

Not using enough ice, especially when shaking!

What’s the weirdest ingredient you have made a cocktail out of?

Brie!! I fat washed and infused vodka to make a mini martini with vermouth and pisco

What should every good bartender have in their pocket?

A Double Dutch bar-blade

Clea

Bartender - Salmon Guru

How long have you been working as a bartender?

5 years

What do you Love about being a Bartender?

Mixing, creating new drinks, working on concepts. I love to give people great experiences. Bars are where people choose to spend their time, their money and company. Ultimately giving people a great experience is the most important thing for me, and if a meal or a cocktail can highlight and enhance that moment. That’s all that’s important.

On the other hand, I’m a dancer and that moment when the bar is crazy, tickets are flying and your adrenaline is high. It’s a form of dance and movement. It’s addictive, playful and so much fun.

How long have you been working as a bartender?

It’s been 5 years since I first started in the industry. At the beginning I was working full time. However, covid offered a break for me and I was working as a carer, looking after the elderly. Coming out of covid I was working part time whilst teaching dance and then I eventually went travelling. For the last 2 years however I have been full time bartending and it has become my main focus.

What’s some advice you would give to someone who is thinking of starting a career as a bartender?

Really think about it. I think for the majority of us bartenders, this is a profession we’ve just fallen into.

On the outside it looks so fun, you think ‘I get to party and get paid’.

But bartending and working in hospitality can be really hard. You work antisocial hours, it’s not as easy to see friends or family, your sleep schedule is very different. Same with your eating schedule too. It can become very easy to become isolated. You’ll witness a lot of substance abuse aswell, be it either from your guests or colleagues.

My advice to anyone starting, is to really think about whether or not this is something you want to commit yourself to. And to be sacred in looking after yourself. Hospitality is another form of care. And we cannot give what we don’t have. When you’re tired, haven’t eaten and feeling bad about yourself - it can feel torturous to have to put on a smile and make sure that everyone else is having a good time. But when you feel well in yourself, you’ll find yourself over joyed, you’ll meet people and make new connections. You’ll laugh with your colleagues and it won’t feel like you’ve been working at all.

Bartending can also mean, great friends, beautiful memories and good laughs. It will show you an appreciation for every single person that you interact with.

So choose wisely.

What’s one common mistake people make while making cocktails?

Over complicating their drinks. Using too many ingredients and therefore loosing flavour in your cocktail. The best piece of advice I was given by my mentor ‘Tidge Aydin’ continue to use is the rule of 5.

5 ingredients maximum, including your citrus and your sugar. The rule of five helps you edit your drink. And ironically allows your drink to be more complex. Every single ingredient that is present in your drink, you must be able to taste, otherwise why is it there.

One Ingredient you can’t live without?

Tabasco or any kind of spicy bitters.

It’s your last day on earth, what cocktail would you make or drink?

A Negroni. Easily a negroni. Something simple and classy. Plus they don’t take long to make and I wouldn’t want to waste precious time shaking a ramos. It’s my last day after all!

What’s your favourite double Dutch cocktail to make?

Double Dutch’s Pomegranate and Basil soda lives in my heart. It’s easily my favourite mixer out there. So, I’m not sure if this counts, but a simple gin with pomegranate & basil soda. Garnish with some basil and I’m over the moon.

What should every good bartender have in their pocket?

Patience. And. A sense of humour. Most importantly, the sense of humour.