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Mixologist Of The Month - Mike McGinty

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Mike's Bio

  • Name: Mike McGinty
  • Date of Birth: 26th November
  • Height: 5'7"
  • Birth place: Kirkcaldy
  • Eye colour: Brown
  • Nationality: British

Bio

"I started working in Edinburgh as a bar back in the summer of 2008. I then moved back to Aberdeen to go to university where I worked in Ninety Nine Bar and Kitchen for five years before moving back to the capital. In Edinburgh, I joined a company called Big Red Tea Pot where I worked at Treacle. After three years I moved to their new unit where I helped open The Voyage of Buck. I have also done a lot of event work with the likes of 10 Dollar Shake and Liquid."

List of your awards, accolades, trophies.

2010 & 2016 - Caorunn Gin’s cocktail competition - winner.
2012 - SLTN Awards - Mixologist of the Year - shortlisted.
2012 - Diageo World Class Competition - Western European finalist.
2016 - Reyka Vodka competition - second in Scotland.
2017 - Global Patron Perfectionist - winner.
2018 - Imbibe Personality of the Year 2018 - shortlisted.

Claim to fame

Winner of the Global Patron Perfectionist 2017 Cocktail Competition.

Q & A

What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you? Beers will always play a massive part of the drinks industry and I think it is very important to keep up to date with all trends. Just now I would say the stuff produced by the guys at Pilot in Edinburgh is on point.

If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be? Be humble and treat customers with respect. Too often I see new bartenders coming in, learning a few bits of information and all of a sudden, they think they are better than the customer. So be humble and remember it is your job to improve a customers experience not look down your nose at them.

Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share? Messy bartending is the bain of my life. It is impossible to be productive and efficient if your working area is a riot. So many bartenders are guilty of this and it drives me crazy!

How did you get started? As I believe everyone should, as a bar back. Working hard, learning the basics and striving to progress onto the bar.

How were you trained in bartending? I think you are always learning and training as a bartender. I have been involved in many different training sessions, industry events etc.

Did you take any courses? No, although courses are great and help you learn the basics of bartending. You can only truly learn whilst behind a bar.

What are some trends you're seeing in the market? The main trend right now is sustainability. Bartending has an incredible amount of waste, so trying to reduce waste and utilise what is on hand.

What's your process for creating a new cocktail? And what inspired you in the first place? My inspiration tends to come from a culinary background. I like to use ingredients for in cuisines from around the world and incorporate them into my cocktails. I also try to engage with the consumer before they have even tried a cocktail by using ingredients that immediately perk your interest.

What is your favourite cocktail To make? I love making Martinis. It is such a particular drink and I love nothing more than making it specifically to a customer’s desire.

What are some of your favourite tools? I love a good cocktail shaker. Nothing beats a well-made shaker. Personally, I use Parisian shakers, but each bartender has their own favourite.

What does success mean to you? I think success depends on each person. I think to be successful you need to be happy, determined and enthusiastic. If you are happy in life then you are successful.

What are some current trends you’ve seen in the cocktail market? Same answer as above really.

Where do you see yourself in five years? It is always good to have life plans but this is such a fluid industry and it is difficult to determine where exactly you’ll be.

If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now? I studied history at university, so probably something to do with that. Perhaps in the tourist sector in Scotland.

Your biggest career influencer? I would probably say that a few people have had an influence on my career. It wouldn’t be fair to name only one person.

First drink you ever tried? As if anyone is going to remember this! I think it was perhaps a daiquiri.

We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid? I don’t think I have a specific drink that I would avoid. In terms of spirits, I’d say overproof rum. Far too many bad hangovers after heavy nights on that.

Your hangover cure? Sleep and greasy food.

£10m comes to you. What do you do next? Go on holiday somewhere warm for a good couple of weeks!

Bar or cellar at home? More like a nice collection of bar equipment and spirit selection. I don’t think you could call it a bar! There is always a lack of ice.

Favourite beer? Pilot Blond.

Wine? An Alberino.

Spirit? Tequila.

Cocktail? Gin Fizz.

Fav Bar? Kay’s Bar in Edinburgh.

Restaurant? Purselane Edinburgh.

World location? Tokyo.

Fav film? Trainspotting.

Book? Don’t have one.

**Album?. Don’t have one.

Singer/band? Don’t have one.

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