Kieran Grieves - Mixologist Of The Month
- Name: Kieran Grieves
- Date of Birth: 27th May
- Height: 5'10"
- Birth place: County Durham
- Eye colour: Blue
- Nationality: British
"My love for the industry first came to fruition when I was employed as a bartender at a small family ran whisky bar in Durham. It was an opulent venue for high-end consumers and an extensive cocktail menu. After 2 successful years at Whisky river gaining knowledge, writing menus, entering competitions & managing the bar I moved down to Sheffield. Whilst in Sheffield I had the privilege of managing Popolo then moving on to become AGM at Bamboo Door Tiki bar. 2 years in the fantastic steel city passed and I moved back home to Newcastle. I am currently managing a luxury late night cocktail bar and restaurant set on the ground floor of the historic Assembly Rooms."
List of your awards, accolades, trophies.
Winner of the Snow queen martini master cocktail competition 2016.
Diageo world class semi-finalist 2015 & 2016.
Winner of the regional Plantation & Monin Competition 2015.
3rd Place in the national Ting final 2015.
Claim to fame
Served Derren Brown 5 Tommy margaritas whilst working at Bamboo Door.
Q & A
What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you?
Bif fan of beer, whats not to love. 2 favourites of mine - Beavertown Gamma-ray, Death by coconut.
If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be?
Stay Humble, do your research & always priorities customer service. You have the chance to change a guests day, there's nothing more rewarding than watching a guest leave your venue with a smile on their face.
Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share?
Not really, each to their own I say.
As a mixologist/consultant, you work directly with many restaurants on their drink menus -- describe the parts of this process.
With any menu, I always start off with a concept and use that as the base of my drinks. Then I start with seasonal produce & decide on ways in which I want to extract that flavour/ingredient whether that be in a syrup/shrub/cordial/distillate/ferment etc and start flavour mapping. In regards to pairing it with a dish from a restaurant, I would look at the dish itself and the drink would be an accentuating element to the dish. Something that pairs well with the flavours/texture/temperature of the dish.
How did you get started?
In a Thai restaurant when I was 18, just as a source of income.
How were you trained in bartending?
I've never really had someone train me as such, I've had instrumental people around me within the industry who have helped guide me, however, I would say I was self-taught.
Did you take any courses?
What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
Sustainability is huge at the moment, also low ABV drinks & non-alchoholic spirits. There's also a lot of people foraging and fermenting their own produce/ redistilling spirits.
What's your process for creating a new cocktail? And what inspired you in the first place?
With any drink, I always start off with a concept and use that as the base of my drinks. Then I start with seasonal produce & decide on ways in which I want to extract that flavour/ingredient whether that be in a syrup/shrub/cordial/distillate/ferment etc and start flavour mapping. Inspiration can come from anywhere, from a dish, a holiday, architecture, inspiration is all around us.
What is your favourite cocktail To make?
A thrown bloody mary.
What are some of your favourite tools?
Japanese Jigger, Quality barspoon, Ice saw and chisel.
What is your favourite mixology resource?
We are fortunate to have an abundance of reading material available within the industry. Some of my favourites would have to be Tristan Stephenson's range, Drinks, Imbibe, Liquid intelligence & most recently the modern cocktail by Matt Whiley.
What does success mean to you?
Not as much as happiness.
What are some current trends you’ve seen in the cocktail market?
Low ABV & Sustainable drinks.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully, have my own place.
If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
Your biggest career influencer?
Far too many to list.
First drink you ever tried?
Hanky Panky at the American Bar, The Savoy.
We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid?
Your hangover cure?
Coffee & Doms!
£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
Invest in Bitcoin.
Bar or cellar at home?
Nah, but plenty of booze on the shelves.
Reisling or albarino.
Nikka Coffey Grain.
American Bar Savoy/ The Gibson/ Dry Martini Barcelona.
Peace & Loaf Newcastle.
Marco Pierre White - The Devil in the Kitchen.
Oasis - Whats the story of morning glory.