Mixologist of the Month - Samuel Boulton
- Date of Birth: 25th May
- Birth place: Birmingham
- Height: 5'9"
- Eye colour: Green
- Nationality: British
"I've been very fortunate with my career to start with some great training from the likes of TGI Fridays and Mahiki. This gave me the tools I needed to grow. I wasn't lucky enough to have a mentor for years that could teach me anything, but being inquisitive, I've always found a way of learning what I wanted/needed. I quickly realised that if I wanted to know about something I'd have to find the information out myself, and this is something I've carried with me all my career. If I wanted to learn how to make foams, I'd buy a Foam Canister, and learn. I didn't wait around for a bar/manager to teach me."
Awards, Accolades and Trophies
My degree is my proudest achievement. BA Honours in Performing Arts. UK Winner of the Gabriel Boudier Liqueur Wizard Competition- Soon to have a Kaffir Lime Leaf Liqueur on the market I helped design! UK finalist 2015 Monkey Shoulder UBC. WSET Level 2.
Claim to Fame
I once performed on stage with the Chuckle Brothers (I was 17 at this point).
Q & A
What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you? I love beer. Most often I'll go for a beer or ale in a bar, especially if it's from a hand pull. My favourite at moment is Lawless from Purity Brewery in the Midlands. Unfiltered lager, crisp and refreshing.
If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be? You'll never know everything; ask every question you have, even if it's stupid. There was a time I didn't know the difference between vodka and gin, I wouldn't know now if I didn't ask. That being said, try everything! I went years before I ever tried Drambuie, I knew it was honey whisky but I has the flavour profile all wrong. Tasting is just as important as researching a product.
Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share? When there is a lack of camaraderie. We are all in this together, I will always help out a fellow bartender if needed.
As a mixologist/consultant, you work directly with many restaurants on their drink menus -- describe the parts of this process. I approach all drinks menus differently. It's always a juggling act between keeping the client happy and the consumers. Take everything into consideration from the type of venue to the quality of the staff.
How did you get started? I used to glass collect at TGI Fridays in Birmingham when I was 16.
How were you trained in bartending? I was trained at TGI Fridays in Newcastle by a fantastic bartender called Ben-Joseph Hagarty. What Ben taught me I still use today.
Did you take any courses? During my training years no, however, since I have completed my WSET Level 2 earlier this year.
What are some trends you're seeing in the market? Trends are tricky to spot, there are rumours around low ABV cocktails and room temperature cocktails being the next big thing. I'm not sure if this is what consumers want or what bartenders want...
What's your process for creating a new cocktail? And what inspired you in the first place? I gain inspiration from loads of sources, it could be a book, a new spirit or fruit I've tried, or just an idea from a friend. When I write menus I like to theme them as it narrows your research and you find ideas you'd have never looked for before.
What is your favourite cocktail To make? Currently a thrown White Negroni - In fact anything thrown.
What are some of your favourite tools? My throwing tools- Earless hawthorn strainer is my pride to play with. However, my classic banged up tin on tin Boston shakers are my 'go to' every time.
What is your favourite mixology resource? I have too many to list, but chatting with my bartender peers is almost always my favourite.
What does success mean for you? Personally when you open the eyes of a customer/bartender, teaching has always been a passion. Seeing a menu go live and succeedong is always a great moment.
What are some current trends you've seen in the cocktail market? The biggest trend I've seen is the move towards a funnier bartender, disco drinks being revived and recreated into mind blowing creations, corpse revived - number blue anyone?
Where do you see yourself in five years?
On a beach drinking pina coladas. If that doesn't work out, just drinking pina coladas will suffice.
If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now? I'd be working in a comic book shop for sure. If there is something I love as much as alcohol it's geek culture.
Your biggest career influencer? I've been very unlucky to not have a hanging influence over my head. I've had many fantastic mentors over the years, but my passion to learn more has always been my biggest driving force.
First drink you ever tried? I sipped my mother's baileys at Christmas. It was nice.... I think it had milk added to, she doesn't like to get too loose.
We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid? Cider. Let's not discuss this one....
Your hangover cure? Fizzy drinks and a burger! Or if I'm working, Angostura bitters, lemon juice and appletizer....
£10m comes to you. What do you do next? Open a local pub, buy lots of woolly jumpers and sit next to an open fire with whisky, tequila and the woman of my dreams.
Bar or cellar at home? A bit of both, my current bottle count is around 120 at home, there are a few bottles being saved or special occasions but the rest is there for fun.
Favourite beer? Lawless - Purity Brewing.
Wine? Red any day, a nice Pinot Noir please.
Spirit? Blanco Tequila.
Cocktail? Tommies Margarita.
Fav Bar? Callooh Callay - London.
Restaurant? Chicken Coop - Newcastle.
World location? I've never been, but I'm willing to bet it's Brazil...
Fav film? In pursuit of Happiness.
Book? I couldn't begin to tell you.
Album? Newton Faulker - Hand Built By Robots.
Singer/band? Earth, Wind and Fire.