Mixologist Of The Month - Sophia Urwin
- Date of Birth: 7th June
- Birth place: London
- Height: 5'4"
- Eye colour: Hazel
- Nationality: British
"I love bartending and I came into my element whilst working in Paris. I became confident and was fortunate to work within a community of people who were extremely passionate for everyone to succeed. I work with flavour and my palate, I also try and learn history on the side."
Sophia's Signature Cocktails
Awards, Accolades and Trophies
I've entered numerous competitions and the furthest I reached was whilst I was in France. I was competing in the French top ten finals and it was all in French, so pretty damn hard!
Claim to Fame
I don't want to claim fame. I love what I do, making friends with other people around the world who either do what I do or enjoy drinking the finished project.
Q & A
What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you?
Funny you should ask, totally allergic to hops! However I can have a sip and I have always preferred a wheat based brew. But whilst playing with cocktails I enjoy stout reductions as they give a nice bitter note on a digestif cocktail
If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be?
You're not average, confidence is a big part of being behind a bar and looking relaxed, if you're at ease you're guests are too. Be prepared to learn something new every day.
Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share?
I do it too, but bartenders making bartender drinks. Challenging a pallet is something but not everyone is bartender.
As a mixologist/consultant, you work directly with many restaurants on their drink menus -- describe the parts of this process.
Trial and error, and not taking feedback to heart but using it as a strength.
How did you get started?
I was studying theatre hair and makeup and found a cocktail bar job on the side and realized I enjoyed the science of booze and herbs a lot more and the people rocked
How were you trained in bartending?
I got put in the deep end. Which I think is best way. I had a family around me that supported my questions and gave me a list of books to read and websites to look up
Did you take any courses?
What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
Lack of citrus and finding other ways of gaining acidity in drinks. And garnish game is strong at the moment as is really focusing on menu design, themes and choosing a small but good selection of drinks.
What's your process for creating a new cocktail? And what inspired you in the first place?
I work with my palette so I'll taste lots of things and find flavours that match, my inspiration comes from working with chefs and reading cook books.
What is your favourite cocktail To make?
There's nothing I dislike making, but a lady word is a winner purely because I have taste to see if it's balanced and when I taste it, it puts me in a happy place.
What are some of your favourite tools?
All I need is a tin set and Hawthorne, and then I'll throw every drink.
What is your favourite mixology resource?
I read a lot on Difford's guide online. I like to see the articles they put out
What does success mean for you?
Knowing people have had an awesome night in my bar.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I'm hoping to be finishing my uni, studying herbal medicine to help me further with Bartending.
If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
I can honestly say I don't really know. In an unrealistic world, pursuing my old dream of making wigs and making people up for horror films.
Your biggest career influencer?
When I moved to Paris and worked with some awesomely talented people kind of made me knew that this was a career for me and just a job.
First drink you ever tried?
El Dorado 12 year old. I hated it and the dude who gave it to me said, 'just wait and you'll learn to appreciate it'.
We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid?
Your hangover cure?
Absinthe & tonic, fernet & coffee and daiquiris, I try to get triple parked; soft drink, hot drink and a boshable drink.
£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
Laugh and ask my mum to save it for me. I'm awful with money.
Bar or cellar at home?
No, I end up drinking all the nice things way too quickly.
I like Mead.
Mescal or gin.
Depends on my mood. But a Suze Saveur D'Autrefois & Tonic with a zest of lemon always works.
Hiding in plain sight, Amsterdam or little red door, Paris.
I don't really eat out a lot. Mary Celeste, Paris, do the best oysters though.
Candy, Luke Davies.
Either the Dusk Till Dawn soundtrack or Songs For The Deaf by Queens Of The Stone Age.
No one in particular.