Mixologist of the Month - Sean Ware

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Author: TheDrinkShop
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Sean's Bio

  • Date of Birth: 9th March 1984
  • Birth place: Redhill Surrey, UK
  • Height: 6'2"
  • Eye colour: Brown
  • Nationality: British

I started out in the industry in a pub in Soho with no experience at all. I worked here part-time while I photographed for an advertising agency. I then got an offer to be the bar manager at this pub, so I had to decide which road to take, the pub won!

Six months went past and I discovered Daiquiris at the legendary bar, Floridita. I got the cocktail bug. I was reading and researching all about this wonderful new world I had just discovered, when, in pops a familiar face from one of those bar magazines, Jon Kirby of Socio Rehab in Manchester. He was consulting for a bar in Wimbledon, and offered me my first cocktail bar job.

A year or so went past before I moved to Townhouse in Beauchamp Place, where I made more Porn Star Martinis than most people have had had hot meals.

Next it was off to Townhouse's bigger brother, LAB. After passing the 52 page cocktail spec-test, and various other bits and bobs, it was to learn of the thousands of industry types that came in on a daily bases. This is where I started doing some comps here and there.

After the 42 Below win in New Zealand, I was approached by Richard Wynne to become his bar manager at Callooh Callay. This was the first opening I had done. Luckily we put together a wicked little team, some of whom have been short listed for a few awards from Theme Magazine, and also voted The Independent's bar of the year.

I have also written a short column for the Times and did a radio show for LBC!

Sean's Signature Cocktails

Awards, Accolades and Trophies

1st South East UK 42 Below Comp.
1st place, 42 Below Comp, (New Zealand).
3rd place Tanqueray world class Comp.
3rd place Whisky World Class Comp.
2nd place Right.

Q & A

What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you?
I'm not a huge drinker of beer, but if an Abbey style beer were on offer I wouldn't say no. It's a strong fruity ale traditionally brewed in Belgium.

Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share?
GOD syndrome.

How did you get started?
I studied graphic design at uni, and worked in glamour photography. When I moved to London the creative side was not as I expected so I fell into a hobby of mine, drinks. The creativity, glamour and the history of bartending got me hooked.

How were you trained in bartending?
At first I read heaps of books and watched others in their style and delivery, then I got my first bartending gig in a hotel bar in Wimbledon, where I got the much needed basics, free pouring, shaking and so on, something that many have over looked in training. Everyday for me is a training day, I absorb and get inspiration just about everywhere I go.

Did you take any courses?
Nope, but there are some great training schools out there.

What's your process for creating a new cocktail?
Have the final idea of the drink, and then work backwards. That can be flavours that I want to introduce, textures or a theme.

What is your favourite cocktail to drink? To make?
Favourite cocktail to drink is a hard one, to name a few would have to be anything dark and mysterious with heaps of bitters.

What are some of your favorite tools?
Books, new and old. Actual tools it would have to be jiggers.

What does success mean for you?
1shot or a smile from the customer I have just served.

What are some current trends you've seen in the cocktail market?
Gin is the new rum.

What is your favorite drink to make?
A Daiquiri, the true balancing act game.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Behind a bar, or swinging from a hammock drinking rum from a shell.

If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
Wildlife photography

Your hangover cure?
In this order, Corpse Reviver number 2, a red snapper in a short glass then a boilermaker.

Your biggest career influencer?
My peers.

First drink you ever tried?
Red wine, I was 8 or so and my mate Dwayne claimed it was Ribena. First cocktail was proberly a Long Island Iced Tea (don't hold it against me).

We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid?
Snake bite from a shoe, got the scars to prove it.

Bar or cellar at home?

Favourite beer?
La Trappe, Coopers Sparkling Ale.

Love a good Chianti.

Plymouth Navy, Goslings, Wray, and Appleton's 12.

Fav Bar?
LAB, Crow Bar, Casita, Trailer H, Floridita.

A little French number half way down Upper Street.

World location?
Lake Siavonga, Zambia.

Fav film?
Blues Brothers, Transformers, Anchor Man.

Hotel Babylon.

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