Mixologist of the Month - Frank McGivern
- Date of Birth: 5th December July 1984
- Birth place: Dublin
- Height: 6'3"
- Eye colour: Green
- Nationality: Irish
"I am Dublin born and first found myself behind the stick in my parents bar in Ireland. I started bartending properly in Edinburgh where I paid my way by working in Tigerlily. I was fortunate to work with some incredible talent in Edinburgh who fuelled my passion for the industry. After finishing up in Edinburgh working at The Raconteur, I travelled to Australia and worked/managed a few great bars over there. Last year I arrived in London and was a part of the set-up team at Bounce in Holborn then moved on to work for Soho House as head bartender at Dean St Townhouse.
I am currently proud to serve as the UK brand ambassador for Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur owned by Brown-Forman."
Frank's Signature Cocktails
Awards, Accolades and Trophies
I won first prize for making a Captain Hook hand puppet at school when I was little.
A fair few awards both national and international drinks competitions and bar tending competitions.
Claim to Fame
Q & A
What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you?
Beer has always been my go to drink and I think it's a hugely important part of this industry. There is a great revival in beer happening in London and around the UK and it's great to see the average guy interested in small batch beers as opposed to mass produced cheap lager.
If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be?
Listen to those around you, learn from their experiences.
Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share?
Bartenders that look like they lived in the 1890's, arrogance too.
As a mixologist/consultant, you work directly with many restaurants on their drink menus -- describe the parts of this process.
Obviously the theme and style of the bar is a huge factor. Costings play a big role, availability of products and seasonal fruit/ingredients. Also taking note of clientele there's no point having a page full of stirred whisky drinks if your average customer is not interested.
How did you get started?
Serious bartending began for me in monkey corner in Tigerlily, basically the dodgy station round the back where you sent the new guys and rubbish bartenders...took me a while to get out of there.
How were you trained in bartending?
Chucked in at the deep end. It was always three deep in Tigerlily and you either learned or you didn't have any shifts after a few weeks.
Did you take any courses?
Montpeliers had a fantastic training program and made every effort to train new staff. That, a few distillery trips and a lot of reading.
What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
A return to fun drinks and perhaps not taking ourselves too seriously.
What's your process for creating a new cocktail? And what inspired you in the first place?
I am often inspired by a particular dish or presentation I see at restaurants. I try to keep things simple and use complementary flavours, be they usual or unusual.
What is your favourite cocktail To make?
I love making a good Daiquiri, be that classic or raspberry.
What are some of your favourite tools?
Recently, mid-event, I stole a lovely parisienne shaker off May from Bacardi. A joy to use,and she got it back...
What is your favourite mixology resource?
Big fan of The Savoy Cocktail book and the friends around me.
What does success mean for you?
Just to wake up with a smile in the morning and to have a passion for what you do.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully continuing to establish myself in the UK and also to be the proud owner of an Australian Shepherd pup.
If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
Chef -- cooking food calms me.
Your biggest career influencer?
Jamie MacDonald (Jamie Mc) has steered me well since he was my first manager years ago. Since then my girlfriend Sasha has been a huge influence on my life and career.
First drink you ever tried?
I have vague memories of a peach schnapps and orange and I remember loving it.
We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid?
Cheap white wine.
Your hangover cure?
Any sort of Aussie-style breakfast with avocado on everything, and sleep.
£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
I'd sort the family out and buy that Olympic ping pong table I always wanted.
Bar or cellar at home?
Bar for sure.
Bannockburn Pinot Noir.
Chambord of course, and whisky of any origin.
This week I will say a Bramble.
The Anchor in Sydney, Australia. Fantastic tequila and rum bar overlooking Bondi Beach, with some of the best and most affordable seafood in town. Plus the killer rockabilly/post-punk soundtrack.
Cal Pep in Barcelona.
Was in St Martin recently and experienced paradise for a brief time.
Oh Brother Where Art Thou.
The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
The Stone Roses.