Will Edmondson - Mixologist Of The Month
- Date of Birth: 15th March
- Height: 6'
- Birthplace: Halifax
- Eye colour: Blue
- Nationality: British
"Like most bartenders, I started the bottom at 17, in local pubs and restaurants. Then by 20 years old came the decision to make it a career, learnt how to make cocktails and through experience, mixology, or cheffing with booze as we call it. Experimenting on menus of various pop culture themed menus. (Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Disney, Super Heroes, Festival, Caribbean).
As time went on I started taking on more responsibilities, so now over five years on managing Circle Lounge and training other staff members that came through the door.
Immediately I had a vision for the image of Circle Lounge and quickly took on the social media. Perfectionist with photos and uploading content to Youtube, making cocktails from trains to planes to mountain tops, and a couple of vlogs thrown in too! But all with the intent of having (maybe from vanity) the bartenders just as important as the drinks."
Your claim to fame
Probably being known in Halifax as the guy who does all the cocktail videos in weird places on Facebook/Youtube.
List of your awards, accolades, trophies
Represented the North of Britain in the final of the Chairman’s Mai Tai competition 2019. No trophies though… yet.
Q & A
What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you?
Anything sour/gose. Magic Rock Salty Kiss, Wild Beer Company Sleeping Lemons (Export of course)
If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be?
Just to relax and embrace a busy atmosphere. Always stay calm and with a complaint, kindness will prevail. And when making something new, think of the logistics of making it on a Saturday night.
Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share?
When I’m drinking - Bartenders with a God complex and bartenders that think it’s only about the drink instead of the entire experience. Cutting corners. Also a saying I’ve kept from training – Time to lean, time to clean.
As a mixologist/consultant, you work directly with many restaurants on their drink menus -- describe the parts of this process.
When I’m designing a menu for third parties, my first and most important step is finding out how many, what they have access to at their bar, work around that, and what their customers want eg. Classics, twists, weird and wonderful etc. Then going from there and creating specs and the style of the menu. In house it’s a bit different as I already know the bar, so it could start with any of these: The name, usually a pun (especially if they’re based around a theme), A flavour I am picturing in my head I want to create, A particular spirit or product to base the cocktail around, How I want the cocktail to look (Colour, Opacity, Sparkly, Smoky, FIRE, and Glassware)
How did you get started?
I got started in cocktails when I was 20 at a sort of crossroads in my life where I needed a career to sink my teeth into, with a choice of either full time hospitality or hairdressing. It just so happened one of my closest friends knew the manager at Circle Lounge that was looking for someone to train up long term. The rest is history
How were you trained in bartending?
Everything was done in house. From my boss, who was trained by The Living Room Ventures in Manchester, passed down from one to another.
Did you take any courses?
Management courses mostly, as well as a few talks on spirits, first aid and personal licencing. At trade shows I gravitate more to talks now after years of free samples.
What are some trends you're seeing in the market?**
I’m seeing a rise of rum cocktails and gin sales are on the decline. But we can still go through 5 Litres of cold brew coffee on a Saturday for Espresso Martinis. Trends take a lot longer to hit Halifax I’ve found if they do at all, Halifax loves sweety cocktails.
What's your process for creating a new cocktail? And what inspired you in the first place?
It can vary with the exact same way I design a menu.
What is your favourite cocktail To make?
A tough one I get asked all the time. Anything that I can pour 4 bottles at once with like Long Islands, best feeling ever. But Old Fashioneds are great because I get I little break almost while stirring to chat and catch up. Even Margaritas where I get everyone shouting “OO SALTY RIM!”
What are some of your favourite tools?
Probably a little spring ball I won at a trade show, that’s used in dry shaking to create the best foam.
What is your favourite mixology resource?
Difford’s Guide, all hail!
What does success mean for you?
For me, compliments on my work, people seeing the dedication in my work, climbing that ladder into management keeping a good work life balance and getting opportunities to travel around through my work and recognition like this article.
What are some current trends you’ve seen in the cocktail market?
Homemade infusions/ingredients all the way! Online I see a lot of mescal, grappa, cachaca and agricole rhum, short and delicate cocktails.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Bartending in my very own bar/rum shack taking my cocktail kit and camera to really strange places.
If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
Hairdressing maybe, or advertising. I’d like to think full time Youtuber.
Your biggest career influencer?
My old manager and best friend Matt, who hired and trained me. Inspired me with his work ethic from day 1.
First drink you ever tried?
Bucks Fizz on Christmas Day when I was about 12. Cocktail wise, Amaretto Sour.
Your hangover cure?
Milk and Pickled Onions (not together)
£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
Get away with my closest, upgrade my gaff and then spend way too much money on the perfect self-sufficient chain of bars.
Bar or cellar at home?
Cellar that I’ve thought many times about fitting out… but still have lots of booze in.
Magic Rock Salty Kiss.
Not a connoisseur, a nice red.
Salt Dog Slim’s, Liverpool.
Hawksmoor in Mayfair.
Feel like I haven’t been enough places to answer properly. Snowdonia National Park in Wales.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
Haven’t read a book in a long time… any of the Darren Shan Books.
Cross by Justice.