Mixologist of the Month - Jody Monteith
- Date of Birth: 15th July 1983
- Birth place: Glasgow, Scotland
- Height: 6' dead
- Eye colour: Blue
- Nationality: Scottish
"I started working in the hospitality industry some 15 years ago. My father was a publican and it was in his 'boozer' that i earned my pocket money. I grew up in and around an old-fashioned working class pub, and I vividly remember my father instructing me to "under no circumstances work in a pub son", naturally I went full time the day I turned 18 just over 10 years ago!
Over the course of the last decade or so I have worked in a variety of establishments and encompassed many, many different roles, but always returned to the safety of that 3ft of timber behind the bar. My first foray into full-time employment took me into a management role at revolutionary micro-brewery, The Clockwork Beer Co. It was there I gained a passion for the production of alcohol and I have no doubt that it was for this very reason that I still do what I do today.
From here I earned my spurs serving high volume in a nightclub that goes by the name of Tusk in Glasgow's South side. I made my first ever cocktail here. I had just stepped on the bar and a customer asked for a cocktail menu, I delivered said menu, and proceeded to s*!t myself. The fella asked for a vodka-martini and I asked "shaken or stirred"? He said stirred ,and I shook it, because i had seen that done before. The cheat sheet said stir with barspoon, I didn't know what a barspoon was.
After stumbling through high volume, mediocre drinks for a year, I had a real thirst to develop as a bartender and further my knowledge and understanding more than anything. I was very fortunate to find myself behind 'the stick' in Glasgow institution Booly Mardys for 3 years, and it was an invaluable experience. I worked in an independently owned cafe bar where we had weird and wonderful ingredients to play with and scope to experiment with some incredibly talented peers and pester for information asking stupid questions.
In addition, my varied career has seen me take the role of Stella Artois brand ambassador, General Manager positions, company trainer, a couple of openings, and most recently tending bar in the Manchester institutions of Socio Rehab and Keko Moku. Moving to Manchester some two years ago then led to my newest venture, brand development, training and event management consultancy The Liquorists of which I am co founder and with business partner Tom Sneesby."
Jody's Signature Cocktails
Awards, Accolades and Trophies
Theme Magazine Scottish Bartender of the Year 2008
Boutique Barshow 'Free Spirit' Winner 2010
Bombay Sapphire 'Best of the West' Winner 2010
Domaine de Canton national finalist 2011
Bacardi Legacia '3 Most Promising' Winner 2011
Diageo World Class Finalist 2011 (encompassing the now legendary MAC v MONTEITH Mexican shake off. I won that with a Midori Sour)
I have an IMDB credit for a movie role which involved me calling James Nesbitt a c&4t and then getting a pasting from him!
Q & A
As a mixologist, what do you think about beer?
Having come from a beer background, naturally I think it's a massively overlooked category. The boom in recent years in both craft beers and micro breweries however has gone some way to remedying this, yet still it appears to be an afterthought more often than not. I love what the boys at Brewdog are doing to attract a new demographic to try ales.
If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be?
Strive to always offer the best service. Read, research and ask questions to further your knowledge. Above all remain humble.
Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share?
Being told i can't have what I've asked for "that's crap mate, have one of these instead". Messy bartenders, absolutely nothing worse.
How did you get started?
My father owned a bar and made it patently clear that i should not follow in his foot steps. The rest is history...
How were you trained in bartending?
Above all watching workmates, asking question constantly, attending every tasting, product launch and cocktail competition going and pestering peers.
Did you take any courses?
No. WSET's are the next thing.
What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
Real ales, vermouth long serves and Ting with everything. Oh yeah and Gin & Ginger ale (I'm bringing it back).
What's your process for creating a new cocktail?
I'm quite methodical. I like simple drinks generally and usually try and play on subtleties and nuances. I also have synesthesia which means that I taste in colours and as such, I think an awful lot about the appearance of the drink from the outset; i.e. glassware and garnish to balance as equally as the composite ingredients.
What is your favourite cocktail to drink?
At the minute it's Blood & Sand, I think it's the time of year as much as anything. In warm weather it's a Tommy's. To make it is and has been for a while, The Martinez. I always gravitate back to it, switch it up and tailor it for customers.
What are some of your favourite tools?
I love old 3 piece cobblers and good old fashioned 25ml jiggers, in fact can I add measuring spoons and oxo jiggers to my bartenders pet peeves?
What is your favourite mixology resource?
Without a shadow of a doubt my peers and social media.
What does success mean for you?
I consider the fact that I work for myself to be a success. It allows me to flexibly work in an industry I adore and hopefully through our work at The Liquorists have a small voice in both the on and off trade.
What are some current trends you've seen in the cocktail market?
Rather unsurprisingly given the success of Mr Wondrich's book and the tiki boom, punch and sharing cocktails have grown in popularity. People are moving back to simple classics as well, without a doubt.
What goes into creating a cocktail and what inspired you?
At the risk of sounding wanky, I think it's important for the the end product to have a character and I think undoubtedly a measure of that comes from the hand of he or she that has created it. My entire family are arty and creative and for along time I thought perhaps I was the milkman's, as I couldn't find an artistic bone in my body, that was, until I started to experiment with hard liquor and cook.
What is your favourite drink to make?
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Overseeing The Liquorists empire from the safety of the stick in my own wee bar.
If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
The careers adviser reliably informed me that I would be a tree surgeon or green keeper. So not far away eh? She earned her money.
Your hangover cure?
Your biggest career influencer?
My dad followed closely by Chris Miles without him even knowing.
First drink you ever tried?
Grants blended whisky.
What drink do you most avoid?
Mixto tequila, it's the devil.
£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
Expand the business and buy my own little piece of paradise. I'd have wee hotel in the northwest of bonnie Scotland.
Bar or cellar at home?
Drank my weight in Aldi's Sancerre in recent weeks. It's off the hook for the money.
Caol Ila 18yr every day of the week.
Blood & Sand
Christ now you're asking. After much deliberation and purely based on nostalgia I have to say Cafe Pacifico in Covent Garden.
Crabshakk, Glasgow. Great personable service from lifelong friends and the best seafood in the world pulled out the ocean and on your plate in hours. No messing.
Arisaig, The Highlands, Scotland. & Castellamare del Golfo, Sicily. I can't separate them I'm afraid.
Gomez - Bring it on.