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Mixologist Of The Month - Sam Vesey

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  • Name: Sam Vesey
  • Date of Birth: 18th February
  • Height: 6' 4"
  • Birth place: Canterbury
  • Eye colour: Brown
  • Nationality: British

Signature Cocktails

List of your awards, accolades, trophies.

I was never one for competitions I don’t know how bartenders find the time! I’m cracking on with my diploma WSET though at the moment.

Your claim to fame?

I’ve served a few famous people over the years - At Rocksalt I used to serve Kelly Brook a lot in the summer which was always nice!

Q & A

How did you get started in bartending?
I’ve always loved drinks and had a bar in my room from about 16/17 - I was a manager at a bowling alley when I was 18 and a job came up at a nice bar around the corner so I took it!

How were you trained in bartending?
Lots of self-teaching. Books, magazines, online videos and tutorials, courses, tastings etc.

Which bars have you worked in?
The Pearsons Arms, Rocksalt Bar, The Duke William, lots of private events and festivals.

What top tip would you share with other bartenders in mid-career?
Visit as many bars as you can and take at least one idea from all of them.

What’s your main inspiration when it comes to creating new cocktails?
I love to take an interesting spirit and working out how best to bring out its core character. I’ve taken a fair few ideas from shower gel’s and hand washes, to be honest!

What are your favourite in-trends in cocktail lists right now?
I’m glad molecular gastronomy seems to have taken a back seat and the boundaries are being pushed in terms of more unusual fruits and vegetables. I’ll never get sick of Yuzu and I’ve seen sweet potato working well in drinks lately.

What style of cocktails do you really enjoy creating?
Modern twists on classics.

What are some of your favourite tools?
I love an Atomiser and Japanese Jiggers.

What does success mean for you? In terms of your job that would have to be always being up for going to work and having enough money to do everything you want.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully with a little bar somewhere.

If you weren't in the drinks business, what do you think you would be doing now?
Something boring - accountancy was always an option.

Your biggest career influencer?
Has got to be Jamie Evans who gave me the passion when I first started out at the Pearsons Arms.

First drink you ever tried?
A concoction of spirits from my friend's parents drinks cabinet I think!

Which kind of drinks have been your one-offs – that you wouldn’t try drinking or making again? And why?!
Homemade moonshine from Montenegro has got to be one of the worst I’ve tried - there was no label so you can only imagine.

Your hangover cure?
8 hours sleep.

Favourite cocktail?
Rum Fashioned or Negroni.

Spirit?
Gin or Rum.

Style of wine?
White Burgundy.

Beer?
Viru or Blue Moon.

Bar?
The Bloomsbury Club Bar, London.

Restaurant?
I’ve been to some fancy restaurants but my go to is a nice little Mexican called Cafe Des Amis in Canterbury near where I live.

City in the world?
There are so many great cities - New York & Bordeaux are 2 of my favourites.

Film?
The Thomas Crown Affair

Book?
I only tend to read books when I want to learn more about something - Bitters by Brad Thomas Parsons is a cracking book for a bartender.

Singer/band?
Bob & Damien Marley.

£10 million comes to you. What do you do next?
I’d fly straight to the Caribbean and open a nice bar/restaurant.

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