Mixologist of the Month - Paul Martin
- Date of Birth: 15th October 1964
- Birth place: London
- Height: 6'
- Eye colour: Brown
- Nationality: UK
It all started at the age of 18 when I walked into a job as a kitchen porter in local pub. An accident in the kitchen, a trip to the local A&E and some consequent stitches in my right hand cut my burgeoning dishwashing career short and due to it coinciding with the resignation of the head bartender, resulted in my move from kitchen to bar.... serendipity?
What followed was 8 years of working in and managing many of the best cocktail bars that London had to offer until eventually, in 1992 I opened my own cocktail bar KUDOS in SW London.
I sold the bar in 1994 and made the unusual move of setting myself up as one of the UK's earliest 'cocktail consultants'. It's hard to believe now, but back then, when you approached the drinks brands, that didn't understand what relevance the whole cocktail phenomena had to the development of their products!
Over the last 15 years, I have promoted and advised the vast majority of the world's top spirit brands, have been a columnist for Drinks International Magazine and contributor for many other industry and consumer publications. In addition I have had four books published including, 'The World Encyclopaedia of Cocktails', and I'm also the presenter of the cocktail mixing DVD, 'Cocktail Mixing Made Simple'.
I have appeared on TV as a cocktail mixing 'expert' on more than 50 occasions. As a trainer, against a background of creating and presenting national courses for brands like TGI Fridays, Pitcher & Piano, Coca Cola, Diageo, Coors, and many others, I have developed a new and exciting approach to bartender training with my new Bartender Evolution courses. I have also presented a variety of training DVD's for these and other clients.
On the award front, I have twice held the world speed-cocktail-mixing record and have won a handful of national and international Mixology titles too.
Right now, I am most excited about my new online series, The Mixxa vs...... which is now being shown here on TheDrinkShop.com (see above) and the forthcoming release of my Mixxa Cocktail Kit and my range of Mixxa Pro bartending equipment.
Awards, Accolades and Trophies
Guinness World Record for one-hour cocktail speed mix (196 cocktails) Moscow, November 2007.
Former Guinness World Record holder for mixing the most cocktails inside one hour (179) London, November 2004.
Gold medal winner Drinks International aperitif cocktail competition 2005.
Noblesse Vodka, World Mixology Champion 2004.
Gold medal Drinks International long drink competition 2003.
Gold medal Drinks International short drink competition 2002.
Grand Champion at the 1997 Vinexpo cocktail challenge.
World speed record holder for mixing the seven classic cocktails, (1.24 min). 1992.
Claim To Fame
I gave my wife a huge snog on live Russian TV, in front of an estimated 36 million viewers!! I had just set a new world record.
Q & A
What do you as a mixologist think about beer?
I love beer.
Any brews of note for you?
Particularly fond of Kasteel Cru.
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, remember that bartending is not brain surgery! Enjoy your work and let your customers feel it too.
Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share?
Got no time for prima donnas. Can't bear rude or miserable bartenders. A lot of bartenders need to realise that customer service skills are as important as being able to mix a great drink.
How did you get started?
Took a job as a kitchen porter in a local pub.
How were you trained in bartending?
I learnt my skills on-the-job! Plus, I also have an extensive library of cocktail books which proved to be a good source of bartending wisdom for me.
Did you take any courses?
No... although, ironically I teach them now!!!
What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
Very exciting trend is to see how single malt whisky is now featuring as a premium cocktail ingredient (see my article in the August issue of Spirits Business Magazine)
What's your process for creating a new cocktail?
I work mostly on instinct. There is nothing calculated about my creative process it is all done by feel.
What is your favorite cocktail to drink? To make?
Love making Old-Fashioneds and Martinis, love drinking them too.
What are some of your favourite tools?
My favourite tool is my new speed pourer that I developed with Urban Bar after my Russian world speed record. Completely revolutionises the old store 'n' pour. This is a one piece, super fast juice pourer. Perfect flow every time, no air-locks, pauses, etc. I just love it. Should sell a few hundred million in the next year.... I HOPE!!
What is your favorite mixology resource?
What does success mean for you?
Where do you see yourself in five years?
5 years ago I could never have imagined where I am today so.... I simply have no idea where I'll be in another 5 years.
If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
Something and anything that involved me being in front of people.
Your hangover cure?
Your biggest career influencer?
First drink you ever tried?
We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid?
Abbot Ale. Got Ill once many yeas ago and haven't drunk it since.
£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
Put it in the bank with the other £10m that is already in there... I WISH.
Bar or cellar at home?
Have a great cocktail bar at home. Has all the usual spirits and liqueurs plus a growing collection of whisky.
I love Kasteel Cru
Fleurie is my favourite.... I named my daughter after it!
Whisk(e)y... Scotch, American, Irish, Japanese. I love Dalmore, Macallan, Balvenie, etc
Sidecar (see above).
My bar at home.
Once went in to a small workman's cafe in Moscow. Everyone was friendly and welcoming. My wife and I had some Borscht... it was amazing!
Southern Spain for sun, KL for shopping and cool roadside Asian food, Brighton for living.
Dead Poets Society.
Lennox Lewis' autobiography.
Made in Japan by Deep Purple.