Mixologist of the Month - Carl Anthony Brown
- Date of Birth: 5th August 1986
- Birth place: Birmingham
- Height: 5'11"
- Eye colour: Blue
- Nationality: British
"I have held various head bartender/ bar manager positions during my career, notably training with world-renowned mixologists at The Old School Yard in London, and spending two years with Hilton Worldwide, initially at Hilton Docklands, and also at the Waldorf Astoria.
During the summer of 2011, I headed up the hugely successful pop-up bar Dishoom Chowpatty Beach at London's Southbank. I developed innovative concepts including versions of traditional Indian iced lollies in flavours such as alcoholic Bubblegum, Ginger & Orange and Kala Khatta (an Indian favourite!)
I currently oversee the bars at both Dishoom Covent Garden and Dishoom Shoreditch, which has involved developing the drinks and bar concepts, and recruiting, training and managing the skilled teams."
Carl's Signature Cocktails
Awards, Accolades and Trophies
My creations for Dishoom have been incredibly well received, and mentioned in various publications ranging from the Cocktail Lovers Magazine to the Evening Standard and The Sunday Times. I was also runner up in the Young British Foodies Alcohol category in 2013.
Claim to Fame
Q & A
What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you?
Brewing beer is very similar to mixology, both involve the blending of different flavours and a real understanding of your ingredients. One of my favourite beers is an IPA I created with Beavertown for Dishoom.
If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be?
1) recipe, method, banter (in that order!).
2) Always know your history.
3) Be passionate about the job.
4) Be Confident & Charming, not arrogant.
Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share?
Putting tins & Glassware on the stainless, not on your mats & not using 2 hands at all times.
As a mixologist/consultant, you work directly with many restaurants on their drink menus -- describe the parts of this process.
Every drink begins with a story - it shouldn't just taste good, there ought to be a reason behind it too. After that, it's a matter of working out what sort of drink you want to make, short or long, straight up or on the rocks, then always make sure enough people taste it for a good all round opinion.
How did you get started?
A bloke called Tim Blake in Bury St. Edmunds gave me a job in his bar when I turned 18. Tim had a real passion for bartending and mixology and he really inspired me, that's where it all began.
How were you trained in bartending?
Militantly by Sipheng You when I was working at The Old School Yard in London Bridge.
Did you take any courses?
No, I just put in the hours practising in my own time.
What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
I think a definite trend is more innovation and more interesting/diverse ingredients. For example we use jaggery as a sweetener and paan spice mix in the Paan Sour which works really well with the Indian food.
Another trend is seeing people be more creative with their ingredients, I'm currently making my own bitters, reductions, syrups and shrubs.
What is your favourite cocktail to make?
For myself - an old fashioned, for a guest - any kind of fizz, Jerry Thomas style; Spirit, sugar citrus & carbonated water (or preferably champagne / Prosecco).
What is your favourite mixology resource?
Depends on what you're after, for history I always resort to The Spirituous Journey, for basics it's always Jerry Thomas & Harry Johnson, and I'd be lost without my copy of David Wondrich's Imbibe & Punch.
What does success mean for you?
A happy team, a great drink & hopefully someone will remember something I've created, rather than just made.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
One of my favourite parts of my job is that I get to develop all the drinks with Dishoom, hopefully in 5 years time the cocktail list will have continued to evolve and offer genuinely interested and loved drinks. For now though I am constantly training new staff and hopefully I will be as inspirational to them as Tim was to me.
If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
Well a friend of mine recently asked me to go and play semi-professional rugby in Portugal, so probably that!
Your biggest career influencer?
That's a pretty tough question, I'd probably go with Brian Trollip and Michelle Daniel for encouraging me in my time at Dishoom & Hilton, Sipheng You for his passion for the business & Tim Blake for kicking it all off.
First drink you ever tried?
Whisky, I think it was a Lagavullin?
We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid?
I don't, if I have a bad experience with something I persevere until I like it again!
Your hangover cure?
Bloody Mary and a bacon naan roll.
£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
Take a bloody big holiday!
Bar or cellar at home?
8 Ball by Beavertown so far.
Berkeley Square Gin.
Old fashioned or a Negroni - I still can't choose!
Milk & Honey (when I can...!).
A tiny island off Fiji I got trapped on once...
Anything by Miles Davis or Otis Redding.
See the above.