Xander Driver - Mixologist Of The Month
- Date of Birth: New Years Day!
- Height: 5'6"
- Birth place: Leicester
- Eye colour: Blue
- Nationality: British
"I started bartending in a bar called time bar back in 2013 not really knowing what I was getting myself into after being made redundant from my previous job, from that point I got hooked. I had friends who where bartenders already and would always watch their excitement grow when they learnt a new drink or a new spirit. From there a went to a few other bars and finally started up my own thing in 2015 called The Attic Leicester. I used to rent space above a venue on Leicester high street some great amazing times had there, unfortunately, the venue was sold to someone else who had a different idea and I ended up packing up shop, to start my adventures at bar33cankstreet."
List of your awards, accolades, trophies.
Few comp wins here and there 2nd in Shakes And The City 2016, again opening a business was a big one.
Your claim to fame?
I once put a bloody Marie inside a pigs head.
Q & A
What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you?
I enjoy beer, it can also be fun to mess around with in drinks, I enjoy mainly stouts myself whether it be a speedway or a Guinness, then again Id do a crisp cold pint of lager any day of the week.
If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be?
Confidence and bullshit everything else falls in-between.
Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share?
Nothing really, I mean maybe messy sinks full of equipment, its quite an intense job with the hours worked at times so It can make you go out a lot and retain a shit diet of booze and takeaway if you lose track sometimes, you have to look after yourself in this job
As a mixologist/consultant, you work directly with many restaurants on their drink menus -- describe the parts of this process.
I think when I design drinks I always start with a simple idea and then like to play word or reference association games with the said subject, more often than not a flavour or product will relate to most things we do or see, once the ideas in place I normally have a rule of thumb that if I try a drink twice and I'm not feeling it I take it drawing board, if it goes well ill keep tweaking it until I'm happy
How did you get started?
I had always enjoyed a drink and had a few friends who had been bartending a few years already they would always be buzzing for me to try there drinks when I finished work (before I worked in bars) it would always open my eyes and make me realize there was a hell of a lot more to offer with alcohol than is first assumed when your young, when I eventually started bartending it was mainly the excitement of always learning something new every day about a product or a new spec even a new technique.
How were you trained in bartending?
I generally learnt through just asking ready and watching the people who where at the bars I worked at bartending is a hum.
Did you take any courses?
What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
Takeovers are a massive thing at the minute, especially up these ends.
What is your favourite cocktail To make?
I do love to throw a martini now and again.
What are some of your favourite tools?
I'm a dab hand with a peeler.
What are some current trends you’ve seen in the cocktail market?
3 ingredient cocktails are on the rise.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I don’t really know at the moment, haha, I have recently come from owning my own business to working at another bar so I think I need to rethink that one ahha, but it will absolutely still be in the industry.
If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
I don’t even have a clue to be honest.
Your biggest career influencer?
Definitely Steve Schneider after watching hey bartender.
First drink you ever tried?
First ever cocktail was a margarita it was one of those things when I was 18 just thought ‘I well wanna try one of them’ and did haha, became one of those things like id always have at least one on a night out.
We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid?
HAHA, definitely had horrific nights on all of them, I have to cool it a bit on the fernet nowadays bin to some dark places with that one haha.
Your hangover cure?
Getting back on it and winding it down.
£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
Probably be dead haha.
Bar or cellar at home?
No, I like to keep my home low on alcohol and use it as my retreat away from the job its nice to have that escape.
High Wire grapefruit IPA.
Another tough question aha I like a lot of stuff, Blanton's original single barrel is always a good one, I also enjoy a G&T every now and again, Martin Miller's, Jindea or Brooklyn gin on that note.
Tough one, I'm loving a Mai Tai at the moment, I do love a corpse reviver no2 also but then again a solid night on negronis never goes amiss.
London cocktail trading co.
Would easily be any Tarantino film.
I have three 'start to finish' favourites: Tyler The Creator – Wolf. Cage The Elephant – Thank You Happy Birthday. Daughters – Self Titled.
Very hard one to answer probably.