Mixologist Of The Month - Chris Churchman
- Date of Birth: 22nd December
- Height: 5'8"
- Birth place: Darlington
- Eye colour: Green
- Nationality: British
"I started off my bartender career 7 years ago as a barback at As You Like It while there I learnt how a bar functions from the bottom. After this, I began mixing up drinks at Popolo where I found a passion for spirits and earned the title of Party Bartender of the Year 2018 with it being an industry hot spot I found many a friend in the industry. Finally moving onto my new home of Alvinos I found my technical skills being put to the test and a great team of new mixologist wanting to learn that I can pass on my knowledge to. I am myself looking to move out of the industry now but would recommend it to anyone who has a passion for drinks and people."
Q & A
What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you?
Beer is great the breath of what flavours you can get through the different styles is so vast and especially for mixing I believe it's far too underappreciated.
If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be?
Be confident in your skills and knowledge but never be arrogant and believe you know it all because the world of drinks is always changing and advancing.
Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share?
Clean as you go it's not that hard but slows everyone else down when you don't.
As a mixologist/consultant, you work directly with many restaurants on their drink menus -- describe the parts of this process.
To start with learning their clientele the menu should be representative of that to work, get a basis of more cocktails than you need covering many bases and finally have those who work in the venue have input on those to finish off the menu.
How did you get started?
I started as a barback and worked my way up over the years.
How were you trained in bartending?
I was trained by one of the best teachers I've ever met called Micheal McBride his passion to teach and his patience help feed my own.
Did you take any courses?
No just learnt on the job.
What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
Right now from what I'm seeing I can see rum being the next big trend gin has had its time as vodka did looks like rum is on the up.
What's your process for creating a new cocktail? And what inspired you in the first place?
I start the process with my nose smelling all the spirits I believe will work and then just get experimental.
What is your favourite cocktail To make?
A negroni, it's nice and easy and bloody tasty.
What are some of your favourite tools?
Cream wipers they have so many uses no only for foams but also for quick infusions.
What is your favourite mixology resource?
I love the PDT book as it covers how to fully set up a new bar, something not many bartenders know.
What does success mean for you?
Happiness, do what makes you happy the rest will follow.
What are some current trends you’ve seen in the cocktail market?
Right now I'm seeing prebatching as the next trend to come to the cocktail market in most bars you want many options but this takes up space and resources prebatch some cocktails and make it easier and quicker for service.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully on a beach in Thailand with my own little bar but I'm pretty sure that just a pipe dream.
If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
Probably accountancy as I've got a maths and business degree.
Your biggest career influencer?
Michael McBride, he taught me everything I first learnt about drinks and set me up to the best start in the drinks industry I believe anyone could get.
First drink you ever tried?
We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid?
Your hangover cure?
A Bloody Cure fixes me every time and trust me, I need fixing often.
£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
Jump on a plane and go see the world there's so much out there.
Bar or cellar at home?
Bar set up in the kitchen and a spirit cupboard under the stairs that’s full to the brim.
Hitachino Nest White Ale.
Mad Dog Shiraz.
Wray & Nephew (it's my drank!!!)
Popolo City Bar.
Dabbawal (get the chefs special menu it's great).
India (it's beautiful).
Up (made me cry).
Newton Faulkner – Hand Built by Robots.