Mixologist of the Month - Gabriela Moncada
- Date of Birth: 2nd March
- Birth place: Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
- Height: 1m 66cm
- Eye colour: Brown
- Nationality: Mexican
"My bartender curiosity begun in 2003 when I started work cocktail bar/restaurant in the heart of Covent garden called Salvador & Amanda. I met some incredible people who made me to want to be a bartender. I then went on to work for a few different bars that were very different in style. When I had my 10 year bartender anniversary, I decided to stay in the bar industry which was now like family.
Today, I am proudly working for a 100% Mexican Tequila brand Jose Cuervo. I get to talk to people about this popular spirit and I hope I am changing peoples ideas on how they perceive it as a category and as a brand. I am still learning lots and lots and yes it's been a challenge, but that's why I like it!"
Gabriela's Signature Cocktails
Awards, Accolades and Trophies
I have several diplomas from different brands and WSET as I love to learn about history in particular. My most recent award is expert taster of tequila.
Claim to Fame
I recently got a few of the tequila ambassadors of UK reunited and we went to visit bars. Even tough we all work for competitor brands, we all work for the same purpose which is to give Tequila a good position in bars and in the mind of the consumers - as well as have a fun night out!
Q & A
What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you?
I think it tastes delicious after work, with friend, in a michelada by the beach and is the perfect chaser for a tequila in a hot day.
If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be?
Be part of a team, do not forget you always need your team.
Have a fun, if you don't enjoy what you do then you're in the wrong industry.
Make the drinks properly.
Don't free pour until you really now how.
Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share?
Arrogance and bartenders that think they are rockstars.
As a bartender/consultant, you work directly with many restaurants on their drink menus -- describe the parts of this process.
I usually start with some q&a like: what type of bar or restaurant, what clientele, but you also have to check budgets to find out what kind of spirits, fruits, ice etc that they can afford. You have to adapt a cocktails accordingly.
How did you get started?
I worked in Salvador and Amanda, where I was trained by some now incredibly important people in the industry. I then moved to apartment 195 where I learnt lots, I worket too in a night club called Aura in Mayfair where being slow wasn't an option. I then moved to Rules bar where everything was a classic style of cocktail and then on to the Beaufort bar at the Savoy where I put together everything I had learnt in previous years.
How were you trained in bartending?
I know 11 years doesn't sound a long time ago but back then there was hardly any social media: I watched my friends work, I sat at bars and talked to bartenders, I read books and magazines, attended all the seminars and talks that I could and I kept doing it. Every day gives you an opportunity to learn new things.
Did you take any courses?
Yes WSET. I worked at several bar shows in Europe where I listened to some very informative seminars.
What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
Quality products, I think the economic crisis is helping clear up the spirit world.
What's your process for creating a new cocktail? And what inspired you in the first place?
Sometimes I work around a particular type of spirit or by season or by a particular brand. I imagine the flavours will taste and if they will be balanced. I then try it in real life and make adjustments if needed.
What is your favourite cocktail To make?
I love to make gin martinis, margaritas, negronis, bloody marys and Palomas.
What are some of your favourite tools?
Shaker tin, bar spoon, tongs for ganish, a good knife, squeezer, hand blender, I honestly love everything!
What is your favourite mixology resource?
Cooking always gives me inspiration.Travelling and trying the local food.
What does success mean for you?
Be happy with who I am and what I do, knowing that every day I have tried my best. To be close to my family and friends.
What are some current trends you've seen in the cocktail market?
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I don't usually plan out my life too much, I know I should but I have a naturally free spirit.
If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
Not sure what exactly but I'm almost sure I would be in hospitality.
Your biggest career influencer?
My adorable husband Ago is my inspiration and mentor.
First drink you ever tried?
Fresh cow's milk with tequila.
We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid?
I really like everything, I have favourites instead.
Your hangover cure?
Fruit with chilli, lime and salt.
£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
Firstly I would buy 3 houses 1 in London, 1 in Como Italy and another in Guadalajara, Mexico. I would spread it with family and would also love to take a few years out of work to help people in need somewhere in Mexico.
Bar or cellar at home?
I have lots of bottles yes, but my kitchen has been converted to a bar may times... I always have limes, I keep my vermouths in the fridge and my martini glasses and gin in the freezer and I always have ice.
None in particular.
Depending on what am I eating or where I am, I even like sherry.
Tequila of course and gin.
Margarita, Paloma, gin martini and negroni I can't choose!
I prefer to go to bar for the people not for the bar. But my favs are:
La capilla (Don Javier), The Connaught bar (Ago and the lovely team), The Artesian (the team), Night Jar (the team behind the bar), The Dukes (Alessandro and the team), I honestly can't mention them all.
I haven't been out too much lately, but I love Helen Darroze at the Connaught, Chavot at the Westbury, Locanda locatelli, Peyote, Mestizo, El Noivel - the last 3 do really good Mexican food.
My Mexico, always.
I can't remember names but I can say my favourite actors are those in 1940's movies films (a golden era in Mexican cinema) Pedro Infante, Jorge Negrete, Cantinflas. I also like comedy and romantic movies but never horror!
I like to read philosophy of life but nothing in particular really.
I like music with meaning.
None, I like to hear different styles all the time.