Liza Mortimer - Mixologist Of The Month
- Date of Birth: 12th April
- Height: A foot shorter than Dwayne Johnson (5’6")
- Birthplace: Kent
- Eye colour: Blue, blue blue or grey blue
- Nationality: English Romanichal
"My career started in 2018, studying for my Masters in Dance, I was on the look for a part time job that I could actually enjoy. Successfully, I was entering my first bar job for the FOH role at The Gadabout.
Even though I had no prior knowledge about the drink industry, I asked questions, I sought out cocktail knowledge and very early on (from watching how The Gadabout team ran) I gained a big respect for the industry and its workers. Most importantly I found a craft that I enjoyed so much that it stuck.
Since the start my passion for the industry has grown with every cocktail comp, every friendly fellow bartender encounter and now I am Bar Manager (must have done something right). Looking to the future, I’m hoping to expand on my cocktail craft and take it to the next level."
List of your awards, accolades, trophies.
A Tribe in the Wild Winner
Whiskey Ambassador Course
Southern Comfort Christmas Competition Dual Winner (1st)
Lyer’s Competition (2nd)
Leicester Hospitality Award for ‘the gadabout’
Imbibe Drinks list of the year 2020 Best Themed Menu (nomination)
Q & A
What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you?
Brews of note are entirely dependent on my mood. I can go from a pompechello for a fruity sour hit, to a smooth blonde or, a decent lager shandy on a nice summer day.
If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be?
Don’t be afraid to not recognize or know a drink the first time you hear it. Flare alone does not make you a good bartender. If in doubt, tequila.
Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share?
Suspenders taking themselves too seriously but also not taking their role seriously enough.
As a mixologist/consultant, you work directly with many restaurants on their drink menus -- describe the parts of this process.
The start of the process for me is figuring out the concept of the menu so you have a direction/theme when it comes to cocktail creation. Next, research, followed by more research, and then some more. You can never over plan, cocktail composition is a delicate game of flavour juggling.
How did you get started?
The year was 1994. My mum and dad decided to, you know, make me. After years of crappy part-time (food) hospitality jobs, I decided to branch out into bars. What intrigued me was the concept of creating a unique experience and constructing something from scratch. What started as a part-time floor job ultimately became a full-time bartender role, and it’s a role that continues to teach me.
How were you trained in bartending?
Learned on the job - starting with learning about products that ‘the gadabout’ carries and their origin, to the composition of cocktails, to then making cocktails. Also watching and working with other Leicester bartenders has really shaped my practice.
Did you take any courses?
What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
Low and no cocktail/product exploration.
What's your process for creating a new cocktail? And what inspired you in the first place?
I think about cocktails as though they’re food. Called on my love of cooking, as pairing ingredients is a similar process. I research the variations or approaches to a flavour and find the right fit.
What is your favourite cocktail To make?
Any sort of Martini, which is probably the type of cocktail that customers are most particular about. So I really enjoy getting that perfect balance of flavours to meet the customers' needs.
What are some of your favourite tools?
I love a good bar blade, me.
What is your favourite mixology resource?
Books! There is still so much I need to learn about cocktails so I’m always eager to pick up a book and hope to find something new.
What does success mean for you?
Feeling whole and happy in whatever you do and wherever you are.
What are some current trends you’ve seen in the cocktail market?
Eco friendly is definitely in. Partly to work towards better sustainability to help our environment as well as to accommodate the current Covid sanitary world.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years I see myself with grey hair, can’t wait.
If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
Considering the degrees I have in dance, maybe some sort of entertainer? I like stilt-walking.
Your biggest career influencer?
Anyone and everyone that has taught me how to bartend. My biggest support and motivation comes from my manager and the bartenders I’ve worked alongside.
First drink you ever tried?
We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid?
Fernet Branca, soz not soz.
Your hangover cure?
Soda water and angostura bitters.
£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
Get a mortgage and take my family on holiday.
Bar or cellar at home?
Bar stocked with Scotch, Wine and Tequila.
Highland Park Cask Strength No.2.
Still exploring. TBC.
Bramble (Edinburgh), 400 Rabbits (Nottingham), CTC (London).
Roald Dahl The Twits.
What’s going on Marvin Gaye.