Alasdair Shaw - Mixologist Of The Month

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Author: Andy
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  • Date of Birth: January 1991
  • Height: 5'11"
  • Birthplace: Glasgow
  • Eye colour: Blue
  • Nationality: Scottish

"I initially started working in kitchens when I was 15, once I was 18 I begged my boss at the time to put me behind the bar. Since then I’ve moved around lots of different styles of places to further myself & give myself new challenges. Since 2019 I’ve been at The Gate in Glasgow, a modern Scottish pub where you can get a great pint but also some of the best cocktaiis in the city."

Signature Cocktails

Claim To Fame

Being on the telly during The Glasgow Commonwealth Games Bid... in swimming trunks!

List of your awards, accolades, trophies

Scottish Bar Apprentice of The Year 2012.
Glasgow’s Worst Chat Award 2020.

Q & A

What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you?
I love a nice refreshing lager in summer but my true love is Guinness.

If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, take notes & don’t be afraid to try something new, even if it doesn’t work out.

Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders – care to share?
When other bartenders come in & their sole focus is with them, not the rest of the people in the bar! That, and leaning on the bar when working.

As a mixologist/consultant, you work directly with many restaurants on their drink menus – describe the parts of this process.
First, find out how big the menu needs to be, then what style you would like to present it. I always work on flavours we would like to have first, then start to build a drinks around that.

How did you get started?
I started as a KP initially, but saw the buzz of the bar & immediately fell in love with it so once I was 18 I moved to front of house, and haven’t looked back since!

How were you trained in bartending?
A mixture of on the job training & moving into different parts of the hospitality sector.

Did you take any courses?
I’ve taken WSET & the Mixxit Bar Apprentice.

What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
No & Low cocktails are still on the rise, but I think ready made cocktails are going to be really popular over the next year with people trying to save money where they can.

What's your process for creating a new cocktail? And what inspired you in the first place?
Finding flavours I would like to work with, then searching for ways to incorporate them into a cocktail whether that’s doing a rift on a classic or creating something new. Cooking is a massive part of my inspiration as I see every dish like a cocktail.

What is your favourite cocktail To make?
Anything apart from a Mojito.

What are some of your favourite tools?
A nice bar spoon and big tongs.

What is your favourite mixology resource?
Cooking books, The Flavour Thesaurus & Liquid Intelligence.

What does success mean for you?
Happy guests & tasty drinks.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Continue to progress in the drinks industry.

If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
Music or Sports Industry.

Your biggest career influencer?
Graham Swankie.

First drink you ever tried?
Appletini, easy on the 'tini.

We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid?
Southern Comfort.

Your hangover cure?
Lucozade Sport & a Bloody Mary.

£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
Buy a house, pay my parents back for helping me when I’ve needed it.

Bar or cellar at home?

Favourite beer?

Alberiño & Amarone.


Dirty Martini.

Fav Bar?

Sabor, London.

World location?
Australia .

**Fav film? Top Gun

His Dark Materials.

Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge of Trouble Water.

Foo Fighters.


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