Mixologist Of The Month - Ben Reed

Ben's Bio

Date of Birth: 17.04.72

Birth place: Stockholm, Sweden

Height: 5'11''

Eye colour: Green

Nationality: Londoner

Career to date has spanned two decades, 12 bars and four continents. Bars of note include Woody's, Met bar, Mezzo. Wrote a weekly column for the Times for two years entitled 'Barfly'.
Have also written for Class magazine, Theme, Harpers, Waitrose Food Illustrated, The Guardian and too many more to mention or remember.
Currently have 9 books published including bestseller 'Cool Cocktails' and 'The Bartenders Guide'.
Presented 13 episode cocktail show 'Shaker Maker' for the BBC. Appeared on many morning daytime food and drink shows including GMTV, This Morning, The Lorraine Kelly show, Richard and Judy, some old tat with Anthea Turner and many others that are now, happily, no longer broadcasting.. Currently the blue rinse brigade's mixologist totty of choice.
Director of IPBartenders, the UK's first drinks and spirits consultancy.

Other titles include Appleton rum global brand ambassador, co-owner of The Rum Experience, Europe's first dedicated rum festival, and creative head of West Eleven cocktails (they're real cocktails in a bottle, don't you know).

West Eleven, Blueberry Bramble Video
Awards & Accolades

1997 Absolut bartender of the year.

Olive magazine 50 most decadent foodies (voted 49th).

My friends think I'm funny and I have a trophy girlfriend.
Q&A

What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you?
I like beer if there's no rum about and even more with a glass of rum.. anything continental.

If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be?
Don't try to run before you can walk.

Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share?
They look so young these days.

As a mixologist/consultant, you work directly with many restaurants on their drink menus -- describe the parts of this process.
Look at the location, clientele, business plan, brand offering and adjust accordingly.

How did you get started?
I fell into it while at university but unlike many I graduated.

How were you trained in bartending?
I wasn't.

Did you take any courses?
No.

What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
In my local market (Portobello) tight jeans are out and the baggy look's coming back.

What's your process for creating a new cocktail?
Read the brief.

What is your favourite cocktail to drink? To make?
Daiquiri on both fronts.

What are some of your favorite tools?
Are you serious?

What is your favourite mixology resource?
At IPB we have a library of over 600 books on spirits, brands and cocktails.

What does success mean for you?
Having a weekly column in the Times for 2 years and being the best selling author for my publishers. It proved to me that the consumer was beginning to take cocktails and the mixed drink more seriously.

What is your favourite drink to make?
Any W11 cocktail - just open a cold bottle and pour it into a glass with ice. Low output - high return.

If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
I'd use my degree in journalism, though not necessarily as a journalist.

Your hangover cure?
Don't stop.

First drink you ever tried?
Sweet sherry at a wedding in the 70's.. still enjoy the odd glass.

We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid?
Too many to mention.. anything with cream.

What are some current trends you've seen in the cocktail market?
Bartenders wearing hats.. stop it.

£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
Stop writing this piece of self-promotion and go for a beer.

Bar or cellar at home?
Both.

Favourite beer?
Anything continental.

Wine?
New world.

Spirit?
Rum rum rum.

Cocktail?
Anything with rum.. apart from those that contain cream.

Fav Bar?
Portobello star (Jakes place).

Restaurant?
Portobello star (great peanuts).

World location?
Top of the peak in Hong Kong.

Fav film?
'Naked' Mike Leigh.

Book?
'The Thought Gang' Tibor Fischer.

Album?
My girlfriends IPod.

Singer/band?
I let her decide.

Our Mixologists
June '14
Paolo Tonellotto
May '14
Stelios Papadopoulos
April '14
Frank McGivern
March '14
Tom Vernon
February '14
Carl Anthony Brown
January '14
Ali Reynolds
December '13
Jamie McDonald
November '13
Phil Huckle
September '13
Tom Higham
August '13
Dan Bovey
July '13
Rob Wood
June '13
Meimi Sanchez
May '13
Carlos Londono
April '13
Joe Stokoe
March '13
JJ Goodman
February '13
miguel Arbe
January '13
Imants Zusmanis
December '12
Esther Medina
November '12
Yoann Lazareth
October '12
Alex Proudfoot
September '12
Nick Wykes
August '12
Mike Aikman
July '12
Amit Sood
June '12
John Collingwood
May '12
Jake Burger
April '12
Andy Mil
March '12
Anthony Peart
February '12
Colin Asare-Appiah
January '12
Jody Monteith
December '11
Mario Neziri
November '11
Julien Lafond
October '11
John Ennis
September '11
Luis Simoes
August '11
George Matzaridis
July '11
Ago Perrone
June '11
Gavin McGowan Madoo
May '11
Tim Homewood
April '11
Sam Kershaw
March '11
Jill Saunders
February '11
Andreas Tsanos
January '11
Marian Beke
December '10
Dimi Lezinska
November '10
James Wynn-Williams
October '10
Jack Rackham
September '10
Ron Frith
August '10
Erik Lorincz
June '10
Giuseppe Gallo
May '10
Sam Carter
April '10
Adam Elmegirab
March '10
Matthew Dakers
February '10
Emily Williamson
January '10
Mirko Falconi
December 09
Stefano Cossio
November 09
Patsy Christie
October 09
Alex Kratena
September 09
Paul Martin
August 09
Sean Ware
July 09
Leanne Davidson
June 09
Duane Shepherd
May 09
Stefanie Holt
April 09
Jim Wrigley
March 09
Papa Jules
February 09
Zoran Peric
January 09
Dale DeGroff
December 08
Ben Reed
November 08
Jamie Stephenson
October 08
Alex Kammerling
September 08
Ian Burrell
August 08
Tony Conigliaro
July 08
Alex Turner
June 08
Richie Fawcett
May 08
Greg Akoka
April 08
Simon Difford
March 08
Mickael Perron
February 08
Andy Pearson