Mixologist Of The Month - Matt Hurst
- Date of Birth: 26th January
- Height: 6'3"
- Birthplace: Stafford
- Eye colour: Blue
- Nationality: British
"I started my career in television, radio and large events. This worked for a number of years and I really enjoyed it but the credit crunch hit and my work dried up. My brother Tom Hurst now owner of Rockstar Spirits needed some assistance with a brands agency he was heading up at he time and I needed some money. I started to read all kinds of books about cocktails and began assisting customers with cocktail menus and staff training. Over the years I really started to pay attention to what made a rubbish bar, a mediocre bar and a great bar. What was the essence that could cause that feeling you get when you walk into a place and you feel right at home yet enlivened and ready to party. My wife and I wanted a change and we decided that maybe our own bar was the way forward and The Shrub Club was borne. (A lot harder than it sounds) Environment, Service, Product."
Q & A
How did you get started? I started working with my brother for a brands agency called Signature Brands.
How were you trained in bartending?
I taught myself everything from books, the internet and practising at home.
Did you take any courses?
What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
For me its really about creating products that are premiumised, they are expensive but offer value through their size and strength as well as the actual flavour. Premuimisation of drink is still growing strong and a concept that I like to fit into our products.
What's your process for creating a new cocktail?
Read books, create ingredients, walk around the bar, gain a spark from somewhere, imagine recipes.
And what inspired you in the first place?
Reading about an ingredient can often set me off.
What is your favourite cocktail To make?
It varies, but over Christmas I was really enjoying Negronis made with a lot Tanqueray 10.
What are some of your favourite tools?
Metal OXO measuring cup. They are great and hardwearing and offer a lot of different measures.
What is your favourite mixology resource?
Online, diffords guide, books – Cannon, Dead Rabbit and Beachbum Berry’s books.**
What does success mean for you?
The clamour of a busy bar and my cocktails getting demolished.
What are some current trends you’ve seen in the cocktail market?
The use of eastern ingredients which offer our pallet that feeling of the exotic.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Having a some cocktails available for the retail market and a 2nd Shrub Club.
If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
Your biggest career influencer?
Probably my Big Brother Tom Hurst.
First drink you ever tried? Blue Curacao.
We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid?
It used to be whisky as I was violently sick on William Wallace Whisky, but now I collect the stuff and end up drinking it all. I don’t avoid any now.
Your hangover cure?
Pints and pints of Ribena.
£10m comes to you.
What do you do next? Finish all the little bits at The Shrub Club and build another one.
Bar or cellar at home?
No but I do have an AGA which is amazing.
The Shrub Club.
Kinda of Blue.
Kathika Rabbit from Slamboree.