MEET THE AMBASSADOR SERIES – PART 1
We caught up recently with Alex our Global Brand Ambassador to talk all things alcohol. Alex has a great background in the bar industry having worked in some of the most prestigious bars in Scotland, London and Canada. This is the first part of a two part series where Alex talks about his experience in the industry.
How did you get involved in the drinks industry?
I started my placement year at University, working at the Gleneagles hotel and since then I have worked in bars and hotels all over the world.
What’s it like working in the drinks industry?
Fun and at the same time hardwork but overall its a very rewarding industry to be in.
What’s your favourite bar?
The Library bar at the Lanesborough hotel. This is where the Breakfast Martini was invented by Salvatore Calabrese.
What makes a great cocktail?
A well balanced cocktail using the best ingredients and products. Also I think it is important to put your personal twist on a cocktail to give it originality and character.
What are the emerging trends in the industry?
Retro cocktails are making a come back in the bars and restaurants. More and more choice of spirits and liquors are becoming widely available.
What’s the best part of being a brand ambassador?
For me I really enjoy the events side of the business. Creating new cocktails for the brand and seeing the consumers reaction is really rewarding for me . It is also great to work for a brand which I believe in and who have a great team behind them.
There is a growing desire from consumers to know what they are drinking and what ingredients are going into their spirits. What do you think about this?
I think it is great that consumers are beginning to appreciate the importance of using good quality ingredients in the production of spirits. Everyone knows about how important it is to use the best ingredients when cooking, so think it should be the same rule when drinking.
What one piece of advice would you give to any new bartender out there?
Be creative and set your goals high of where you would like to gain your experience as a bartender. Travel if you can to give you world wide experience and knowledge. It is also a lot of fun.
What was the worst cocktail you ever made?
Schoolboy error on my behalf, I made a salty caipirinha, someone misplaced the salt instead of sugar.
Any advice for bartenders looking to make a move to being a brand ambassador?
Find a brand that suits your personality and that you believe in.
Who has been the most influential person in your career so far?
My old head bartender at the Gleneagles Hotel, Simone from France, gave me all the skills and knowledge I needed at an extremely high level.
Which mixologist do you admire the most?
Simone Carporale, the Artesian bar, all about the experience and the story behind the cocktail.
What advice would you give to people wanting to make great cocktails at home?
Have fun and be as experimental as you want. Play around with herbs, spices, flavoured sugars, fresh fruit and interesting liquors, there are no rules.
What makes a good brand ambassador?
Hard working, able to think outside the box, come up with new and exciting ways to showcase the brand and build good relationships with consumers.
What makes Scotland such a good place to make premium spirits?
We have all the history and tradition of Scotch Whisky distilling on our doorstep and the amazing water source to go with it.
If you weren’t in the drinks industry what would you be doing?
Living and working in Toronto, one of my favourite cities in the world.