Interview With a Bartender – Oscar

In researching my new book Cocktails and Dreams, I focused on what bartenders go through every night. I worked in a pub, where I was only ever taught to make one (disgusting) cocktail, so I don’t have much experience in this area. What I do have experience in is sitting in cocktail bars, watching people.

Cocktail bartenders have to hold a wealth of information, dozens of recipes in their heads whilst serving multiple people, answering questions and making the drink with flare! The balance of flavours and presentation of the drink are key.

For the next couple of weeks Interview With a Bartender is a Friday feature on my blog. I would love to hear what your favourite cocktails are, and if you agree with the bartender!

Welcome to Oscar, a bartender in London.

What’s your favourite drink to make?

My favourite drinks to make are any kind of sours, I find the wet and dry shake and additional complexity adds to the theatre and suspense of the drink the customers waiting for.

What’s your least favourite?

My least favourite has to be Cuba Libre…. how it’s classed as a cocktail I do not know!

What’s the best thing about your job?

The best thing about my job is seeing the intrigue in customers’ faces while they watch their drink being prepared, answering questions and giving tips that help people find and hopefully replicate their perfect drink.

What’s the most surprising thing about your job?

I was surprised at how unsociable the job can feel at times. Although on the clock I’m constantly talking with new people, I am still in work mode. Working 99% of the times when the public (including your friends) go out can be tricky!

If you were a cocktail, which one would you be?

I would be a Mai Tai.. Punchy, sweet, crisp and exotic !

So what do you guys think – should a Cuba Libre be classed as a cocktail? What cocktail would you be?

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