Mixologist Of The Month - Meimi Sanchez

Meimi's Bio.

Date of birth: 22nd April 1982.

Birth place: Havana, Cuba.

Height: 5' 5" on a good day.

Eye colour: Dark Brown.

Nationality: Scuban (Scottish/Cuban).

"I started working behind the bar at Rick's in Edinburgh, whilst trying hard to figure out exactly what it was that I wanted to do with my life. After trying many things, none of which really worked out I realised the thing I was truly passionate about was what was starting me right in the face........I loved working behind the bar and loved making good drinks that made people happy, naff but true!!

From Rick's I then went on to work in a few bars in Edinburgh, but my career truly took a new turn when I got a job at Bramble. The boys taught me a lot and really motivated me and inspired me to achieve where I am now.

From Edinburgh I was lured by the bright city lights of London, where I began working as the Havana Club brand ambassador at PRUK. It's been an incredible journey so far in which I have met and worked with some great people, drank cocktails at some amazing bars and seen parts of the world that I may not have had a chance to see otherwise."
Awards, accolades, trophies.

As much as I got a kick out of entering cocktail comps they scared the living hell out of me. The two that I am proudest of are Rum Ambassador of the year and Theme Scottish bartender of the year.

I much prefer judging competitions now a day, not quite so stressful.
Claim to Fame

Hard to say... however I am about to begin working on a project with Alejandro Bolivar, head bartender at Floridita bar in Havana which will be a great honour. I am sure he will no doubt teach me a lot about it truly takes to be a Cuban Cantinero. We will hopefully do this over a few Daiquiris in some of my favourite drinking spots in London.

What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you?
I have tried and tried to like it, but it just doesn't work for me. Cold beer on a hot day... give me a frozen Daiquiri instead.

If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be?
Work hard, play hard but keep your feet grounded. And please no more rum cocktails with cigar infusions... it's been 4 and 1/2 years now :(

How did you get started?
I may have blagged a job at Rick's claiming to have loads of bar experience. Sorry... but come on I had just turned 18.

Did you take any courses?
I might have done a one week long flair course with Nicolas Saint-Jean, only to realise that I had zero hand to eye co-ordination.

What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
Bottle ageing, home-made vermouth and of course the wonderful world of home-made bitters. I did witness one bartender recently desperately trying to bring back the Blue Margarita?!

What is your favourite cocktail to make?
Many bartenders won't believe me when I say this but I have made SOOOO many recently that I find it really satisfying to make a good Mojito...

What are some of your favourite tools?
A Mexican elbow for sure!!

What does success mean for you?
Being happy with what you're doing, sorry Mike I may have copied you but it's so true.

What's your process for creating a new cocktail?
Inspiration can come from anywhere. Good base spirit and simplicity is key for me.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
I would love my own bar in Havana.

Your hangover cure?
4 cans of Irn-Bru, 1 can of Rubicon Mango and 1 can of Cherry Coke. Yes I do still have my own teeth.

Your biggest career influencer?
I have a few, hard to pick just one.

First drink you ever tried?
Too embarrassed to say... but it rhymes with Pooch.

What drink do you most avoid?
Sambuca... not a good night!!!

£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
Travel the world and then open a bar in Havana.

Bar or cellar at home?

Can I say a nice cold glass of PJ champagne?

Rum of course, closely followed by Rye.

Fav Bar?
Wow how do I even begin to answer this??!! I will always have a massive soft spot for Bramble.

Pollen Street Social and Hawksmoor.

Wonderland Avenue.

It depends on so many things...

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