Mixologist of the Month - Dan Bovey
- Date of Birth: 5th March 1986
- Birth place: Torquay
- Height: 6'3"
- Eye colour: Blue
- Nationality: British
"My career really started about 7 years ago when I joined the guys at Sahara, they opened my eyes to what a bartender could be and from there I was hooked. I started competing in cocktail comps and going to more and more trainings and soon I was spending all my spare time researching cocktails and learning about spirits.
After a few years I became the GM at Sahara and it was then I got into writing menus and building the bar into what I wanted it to be. Since then, we have had bartenders in all the major UK comps, in the bar magazines and started to work with the rest of the Reading scene as well to get a community started.
Everything really kicked off for me when I got into the 3 most promising for Bacardi Legacy, that year was incredible and I got to meet so many bartenders and see so many places."
Dan's Signature Cocktails
Awards, Accolades and Trophies - I've competed in a lot of comps, the most notable achievements are...
Winning Chambord Rendevous
Most promising in the Bacardi Legacy
3rd Place in the Grand Bal
El Momento Perfecto listed in Gaz Regan's 101 Best Cocktails of 2012
My cocktail listed in all the Jamie's Italians across the country
Being asked to run the City Space Bar in Singapore for a Michelin Star food and cocktail week called Chefs with Altitude
Claim to Fame
Nothing that I can speak about......
Q & A
What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you?
I love interesting beers, ales and stouts but I can't stand most lager, it's just boring as hell. Give me a local brew over a lager any day. Check out Bingham's Brewery in Twyford. [www.binghams.co.uk]
If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be?
Leave your problems at the door. Treat every guest like you would want to be looked after. Keep learning.
Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share?
I hate seeing bartenders make fools of themselves at events like Imbibe by getting too wasted and then cruising stalls for free booze to take home. Go there to learn and to try new products, yes it's great to see all your friends but the after parties are for the real drinking.
How did you get started?
I started in a bar called Zulu's in Torquay, quiet most of the year but during tourist season it would get crazy! I got the bug here when I got my first taste for how working for a bar was like working in a family.
How were you trained in bartending?
I learnt from other bartenders and then furthered my learning through the internet, books and experimentation.
Did you take any courses?
I've taken the WSET intermediate wine course and I go to all the training and tasting sessions I can.
What's your process for creating a new cocktail? And what inspired you in the first place?
I look for inspiration in the brand or a specific idea and then work from there. It's much easier to come up with the cocktail after, than try and weave a story around a cocktail you've already created. I love stretching the truth in my stories...
What is your favourite cocktail To make?
Swizzles, they're just a lot of fun, get some awesome tunes on and shake that booty...
What are some of your favourite tools?
Tin on tin shakers, Japanese bar spoons and my charming smile!
What is your favourite mixology resource?
BarlifeUK, it's always up to date and lists all the upcoming comps and events. Si and Andy have it spot on. [www.barlifeuk.com]
What does success mean for you?
Success for me is going to work happy every day and gaining the respect of my peers.
What are some current trends you've seen in the cocktail market?
Shrubs, elaborate serving vessels and craft ice.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Owning my own bar with my beautiful wife somewhere by the sea, nothing too fancy, just great customer focus and a bucket load of whisky.
If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
I have no idea, I did graphics design at uni... I love this industry I couldn't really see myself doing anything else.
Your biggest career influencer?
The bartenders of Sahara when I first started, Jim, Joe, Dan, Monkeyface and Mark. They gave me the bug to push myself and further my learning.
First drink you ever tried?
WKD Blue, still one of the best! A very guilty pleasure!!
We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid?
I can't drink whisky and coke, I love Whisky and I can drink Coke but the two together makes me want to hurl.
Your hangover cure?
£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
Shut the bar, have a private party with my friends and then look after my family.
Bar or cellar at home?
Bar, I don't often make drinks at home but I do like to have the odd Rob Roy, Sazerac or Manhattan after work.
Guiness, or Talisker conditioned Doodle Stout from Binghams.
Urlar Sauvigon Blanc or a nice Pinot Noir .
Scotch - The best I've ever had was a Sherry Casked Lagavulin 18, I got to try it straight from the cask at the distillery. Amazing!
Manhattan - Sweet with Cocch vermouth and Rittenhouse 100.
Happiness Forgets - Great service and a chilled atmosphere.
Hawksmoor - The best steak I've ever had and the cocktails and service are impeccable.
A-Z of Whisky.
Horizons - Parkway Drive.