Mixologist Of The Month - Josh Beazeley
- Date of Birth: 25th April
- Height: 6'3"
- Birthplace: Leicester
- Eye colour: Brown
- Nationality: British
"It's been a pretty good career so far, I started in Leicester in 2012 and worked there until 2016 when I left for Nottingham and worked there for a year in The Hockley Arts Club as the Bar Manager. Since then I've worked back in Nottingham again as Kitchen Manager at Mojo and also in London at Hercules which was an absolute blast where we got nominated for best new bar at Class Awards.
I'm now back in Nottingham for the third time working at Alchemilla. I think its fair to say I've never worked anywhere that is like anywhere else I've worked, I'm always looking to learn in different environments and its put me in good stead. Next stop on the map will be Toronto from April this year."
List of your awards, accolades, trophies
Runner- Up at Class Bar Awards for Best New Bar. Michelin star gained in my first year of working at Alchemilla.
Your claim to fame
I was once in a 4 part TV series called The Choir: Boys don't sing. It was about my secondary school which was an all-boys and why there was such a stigma against singing, at the time I was part of my local church choir as the Head Chorister. I've also sung at Westminster Abbey and St Paul's Cathedral to name a few.
Q & A
What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you?
Beer is the best. Especially since the craft revolution. I have tried so many varying degrees of beers over the course of my career and been blown away by so many.
Dugges - Tropic Thunder, Brewdog - Occultist, Cloudwater x Brewery Terreux - I still got it.
If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be?
Practice makes perfect. Don't get too ahead of yourself, you're here to provide a service, after all, arrogance is an ugly trait, you can still be proud of your work and creativity without shoving it in other peoples faces.
Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share?
As above, so below. I hate arrogance in peoples work. The competition between a lot of bartenders can be toxic and exclusive. Instead, we should be more welcoming and sharing our expertise instead of alienating.
As a mixologist/consultant, you work directly with many restaurants on their drink menus -- describe the parts of this process.
Fitting the brief is the most important detail, learn the space, learn the menu and the concept that drives the restaurants forward. More out there and intricate methods and unusual ingredients aren't going to perform as well in some places. If I were to design a menu for a smokehouse id want a balance between classic inspired boozy prohibition drinks and refreshing clean drinks to quench a thirst. Where I work currently we have experimented with different and formerly unknown ingredients to my self but made drinks to challenge the customer's palate as much as the food does whilst trying to keep a sense of familiarity.
How did you get started?
At a fun little bar and kitchen in Leicester. Steady food service throughout the week with crazy hectic Friday and Saturday nights. Still one of the most fun places I've ever worked with a solid team.
How were you trained in bartending?
By people who cared and had fun with what they did. Encouraging individuality whilst reinforcing classic knowledge and methods.
Did you take any courses?
What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
Loads more sparkling drinks that aren't just topped up with bottles of soda/soft drinks, more focus on batching and carbonating in house. I would have said Low/No too but that seems to be here to stay now which is good in my mind.
What's your process for creating a new cocktail? And what inspired you in the first place?
It's hard to say, a lot of bartenders I know draw a lot of inspiration from memories and childhood; things like melting ice cream on a hot summers day. For me personally I am more inspired by food, I love food so it only makes sense and since starting work at a fine dining restaurant a whole new set of flavour combinations and ingredients have been unlocked to me.
The process can vary, if I'm writing a full menu at the time I like to be able to write down the key spirits that you would expect to see on a cocktail menu and work from there. Other times I will take my inspiration and work backwards from that point for example, a drink I developed a while back was based on Cranachan. Cranachan is a really simple and classic dessert from Scotland; raspberries, honey, oats, cream and whisky. To me, it was crying out to be made into a milk punch so I tried it and turned out to be one my favourite drinks I've ever made.
What is your favourite cocktail To make?
A couple of years back I would have said a gimlet, now I would say any silly little twist on an 80's classic. I love how fun they are a lot of the time and that with little tweaks in the specs you can end up with a much more balanced drink. Champagne Woo Woo's are the one.
What are some of your favourite tools?
A good stirring tin, a nice spoon, a couple of very beat up Reyka shakers I've had since I left Hockley Arts in 2017 and a 3 pronged ice pick whenever necessary.
What is your favourite mixology resource?
Hard to say, Difford's guide is always a shout for a quick bit of info. However, a year or so ago a good friend of mine introduced me to Dave Arnold's Liquid Intelligence and that was a real eye-opener for the more scientific methods you can apply to make drinks. A lot of the time though I enjoy being able to chat with other bartenders about our ideas and inspirations, you always get pretty straight forward and honest critiques in my experience.
What does success mean for you?
It means running and owning my own place, I know that I could own anything from a cosy little local pub to a high-end restaurant or even a club and know that I would give it my all and be happy doing so. Ultimately happiness, I don't think there's a bigger barometer of success.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Running a solid little neighbourhood bar and restaurant. Great wines and beers, simple and effective cocktails, well presented and delicious food.
If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
I would have probably gone back into mechanics and completed an apprenticeship. I was once offered an apprenticeship to become a chippy about 2 years into bartending but I wussed out in the end. I just enjoy more manual focused work. Definitely not in any form of academia, I hated the education system by the time I left college.
Your biggest career influencer?
This is a difficult question, I've been influenced by so many people over the years. I think when I started my first job at a bar I would never have expected to say in that job for nearly 4 years. Stu Murtha, Ryan Tailor, Sam Munton, Ryan Taylor, Phil Royle, Andy Groves. These guys all influenced me one way or another in my first ever role and taught me a lot about the business. I owe a lot to them all because if they hadn't taken me under their wing I might not have stuck around in the industry. I've also had the pleasure of growing up in the industry with Charles Roche when we have worked all those guys and we've gone on to do a few projects together since and it's always been a blast.
First drink you ever tried?
The first cocktail I tried was probably a Mojito, the first beer was definitely Adnam's Broadside.
We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid?
Sambuca and for a long time Cognac.
Your hangover cure?
I love to sleep but I can't stay in bed all day with a hangover it's grim. A gentle stroll into town, buy something unnecessary, go to a pub, regret my purchase, go home.
£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
2 pints and a packet of pork scratchings.
Bar or cellar at home?
Bar every time.
Adnam's Broadside or Guinness.
Jumpin' Juice Gee Dub 2018 for white Ancre Hill Triomphe petnat for red Chateau Changyu Moser Cabernet Sauvignon for rose.
Such a hard question. I still love Remy 1738 even if Fetty Wap sings about it in every one of his songs.
Whisky Mac, so simple so tasty. Whisky and ginger wine, what can go wrong.
Probably Bar Swift if I had to choose one, otherwise this would be a massive list..
St. John, always . World location?
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince.
Not Waving, But Drowning.