Mixologist Of The Month - Josh Ambrose
- Date of Birth: 10th May
- Height: 5'8"
- Birthplace: Liverpool, UK
- Eye colour: Blue
- Nationality: British
"My name is Josh, a 28 year old from Liverpool in the UK. Over the past 12 years I've had a number of different roles in the hospitality industry but i'm currently managing two bars in Liverpool. My experience stems from a number of different training programs in bars I've worked in but my passion for the industry has also led me to win a number of national and regional cocktail competitions."
Q & A
What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you?
I love beer the beer industry and how innovative it can be, in terms of noticeable brews id point out i'd say at the moment im loving anything by tiny rebel and wild beer co.
If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be?
Get rid of any ego you may have, its the number one way to burn bridges in the hospo industry, everyone starts somewhere and don't forget that.
Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share?
Bragging about how many hours you have done e.g. 'ive done 75 hours this week!' - Its not healthy and if you're doing that many hours you should be having a serious chat with your employer, burn out is real and a terrible thing affecting our industry.
As a mixologist/consultant, you work directly with many restaurants on their drink menus -- describe the parts of this process.
I think the number one important aspect when coming up with a drinks list for a venue is gauging the audience, its all well and good having a Corpse Reviver or a Vieux Carré on the menu but if your customers aren't going to order it whats the point? Know your crowd and start from there. I'd say another thing i really enjoy doing when coming up with a new drinks list is visiting world food stores, this is the easiest way to expose yourself to a number of potential ingredients as quickly as possible; teas, spices, herbs are a great starting point to look at.
Did you take any courses?
Never, i've always learnt by doing, my first hospo job was as a glass collector in a busy nightclub and i worked my way up from there.
What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
With the current lock down more and more bars are jumping on at home delivery kits and i think its great, when normality resumes i think it's going to be a strange time for both customers and staff to remember how normal service used to operate.
What's your process for creating a new cocktail? And what inspired you in the first place?
Personally i choose a base, something i'm going to work with and work around that, next i choose my modifiers and think of flavour combinations that can work well, i think the more cocktails you make the more you can identify in your head what would work without actually having to put it in a glass, also one of the best tools you can have for making new cocktails is collaboration with your staff.
What is your favourite cocktail to make?
A last word or a Corpse Reviver no 2 (Because they're my favourite cocktails).
What is your favourite mixology resource?
The flavour thesaurus is a great book.
What does success mean for you?
Running an efficient workplace where both staff and customers leave happy.
What are some current trends you’ve seen in the cocktail market?
At the moment with lock down its tough to comment however i have seen that a number of bars are using this time wisely to learn and train staff, compared to ten years ago consumers demand a lot more, so even your average bars drinks program is getting better.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Preferably i'd like to own my own bistro.
If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
Your biggest career influencer?
I wouldn't say anyone specifically but I'd say that Liverpool as a city has a great hospitality sector and when I first started in the industry I was mesmerized by the trade and wanted to be a part of it.
First drink you ever tried?
Probably a WKD or a Steamboat.
We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid?
Wray and Nephew, I think everyone knows why.
Your hangover cure?
Lemon, Ginger and Turmeric with green tea.
£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
Buy some property, holiday for a few years, open a restaurant.
Bar or cellar at home?
At the moment I'd have to say Clwb Tropicana by Tiny Rebel, or the little french stubbies from Aldi (if you know, you know).
Pinot Noir or something natural and orange.
Dwntwn Liverpool of course.
Wreckfish Bistro in Liverpool is always a good meal.
Into the wild.
Kitchen Confidential - Anthony Bourdain.
Circles - Mac Miller.