Ian McIntyre - Mixologist of the Month
- Date of Birth: 25th March
- Birth place: The Shire
- Height: 6' 2"
- Eye colour: Green
- Nationality: Dorset!
"I was 15 when I had my first taste of the industry back in 1996 when I took my first job as a glass collector/bar back at a holiday resort in Weymouth. This job essentially made me accustomed to working the nightlife and made realise how rewarding it was to work in this industry.
Afterwards I bounced around a few jobs and bars but it wasn't until 2010 I realised my passion for making cocktails and moved to London to further my career. I started working in Islington at a bar called Wax Jambu, the owners and bar team there were awesome and really pushed me to become the best.
In 2011 I was given an opportunity to bartend at my favourite bar Callooh Callay where I resided until 2013. Again they were extremely supportive and allowed me to take a 3-month sabbatical to go bartender and learn some skills in Japan. I joined the team at NOLA as bar manager mid 2013 and currently still reside but under the position of GM. From 2015 I also work part time as the London brand ambassador for Distilleries et Domaines de Provence for their awesome range of vermouths, liqueurs and absinthes."
Awards, Accolades and Trophies
I have a few I could mention, but the clay pigeon tournament is still at the top for me.
Claim to Fame
I once won 1st place in a clay pigeon tournament with a broken arm, I was also 14 at the time.
Q & A
What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you?
I happen to love beer it's definitely my go to beverage after a long shift. I would have to say Partizan pale ale is one of my current favourites but generally I just like a nice refreshing pilsner with a Rye on the side.
If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be?
Don't take yourself too seriously, have fun and always listen to your guests and judge your crowd well.
Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share?
I could talk about this for days but my top peeve would have to be bartenders who don't listen to their guests. I really dislike it when a guest asks for a drink and the bartender spends 5 minutes trying to convince the guest that they should try a different drink just because they think it's better... No one likes a stage 2 bartender.
As a mixologist/consultant, you work directly with many restaurants on their drink menus -- describe the parts of this process.
You have to take a lot into consideration as there are many factors that can influence a menu from the clientele of the venue, Costs of ingredients, prep times and also the skill set of the bartenders who will be making the drinks.
How were you trained in bartending?
I was trained entirely on the job with great mentors and friends but books and brand master classes also helped.
Did you take any courses?
The WSET level 2 in wines and spirits, also Andrea Montague's school of how to sling drinks and not to be a D#*k.
What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
Gin is still gaining popularity. Vodka is slowly on the rise. Bourbon is still tasty.
What's your process for creating a new cocktail? And what inspired you in the first place?
I start by studying the flavours and aromas of the ingredient I want use and then think about what products would work best, what would be the worst and what's the weirdest and most interesting. Ultimately it's about knowing your back bar.
What is your favourite cocktail to make?
Would it shock you if I said a Ramos? There is something satisfying when you see the head of a Ramos fizz rise out of a glass like Kid's haircut from Kid n' Play. If you don't know what I mean you definitely haven't been to NOLA or seen House Party.
What are some of your favourite tools?
What is your favourite mixology resource?
What does success mean for you?
Enjoying the things I love.
What are some current trends you've seen in the cocktail market?
The Shim has been around for a while in bars but the market for low ABV drinks is definitely gaining more momentum.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Retiring to a cabin in the Alps next to a lake, but more likely taking a day job.
If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
I would probably be a broke photographer.
Your biggest career influencer?
Victor Nordelof, he taught me that you can still be a great bartender when swearing your head off whilst dancing to Mariah Carey with your top off... It's a level of bartending I will never reach.
First drink you ever tried?
It was either my dad's whisky or my grandmother's sherry; apparently they use to dip my dummy when I was a baby... Explains why I have great taste in whisky now. But in reality it was Hooch alcoholic lemonade.
We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid?
Your hangover cure?
Coconut water and Ramen.
£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
I would buy a family home on the coast somewhere, a house in the Alps to take friends snowboarding then invest the rest in a restaurant and bar.
Bar or cellar at home?
Both, I just acquired 10 million.
Currently Perla Miodowa.
Albarino or Riesling.
I don't have a favourite child.
A Vieux Carre with Absenteroux as the vermouth.
Old Boy, Korean version.
Lovage - Music to make love to your old lady by. Amon Tobin - Isam. Moderat - II.