Mixologist of the Month - Colin Asare-Appiah
- Date of Birth: 29th October 1969
- Birth place: Ghana
- Height: 6'
- Eye colour: Brown
- Nationality: British
Currently Colin is the brand ambassador for U'Luvka Vodka in the USA. Focusing on training, sales and PR. He was the co-presenter for the cocktail kings a show that is currently showing in Asia and South. In the show Colin and his co-host travel around the world creating bespoke cocktails to reflect a destination. They set up a cocktail bar service called Ruby Bar Solutions while filming the show.
Colin has managed Bars such as Jamie Oliver's Fifteen, Babington House, Raincheck and Beach Blanket Babylon.
Working with Douglas Ankrah, Richard Hargroves, Alex Turner and Andrew Chan-Sing they set up a training school called London Academy of Bar tending London, which then became the LAB Bar. LAB is recognized as a benchmark bar in placing London on the Cocktail Map.
Colin has consulted on a myriad of spirits brands.
Colin's Signature Cocktails
Awards, Accolades and Trophies
Colin was the original cocktail guide for The Good Food Show with Anthony Worrel Thompson and Oz Clarke. Colin had the opportunity to train the brothers who used to run the Queen Albert on East-Enders. His cocktails were on the blackboard behind the bar for many episodes. Colin has been a nominee for the best brand ambassador Tales of the Cocktail.
Claim to Fame
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
What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you?
Bartenders have always loved beer. After a shift there is nothing better than a nice cold brew. There have been references to beer cocktails in many books over the last 100 years. There is a massive craft beer movement is providing more styles to work with. My favourite at the moment is the Italian Birra del Borgo Keto brewed with tobacco leaves.
If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be?
Always remember, it's about the customer and not you. Offer the best service you can. Study, research and learn from your peers. Have patience. Learn to cook. It will help you with flavour balance and texture.
Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share?
I hate messy bartenders and those that tell you they can't make a certain cocktail because it doesn't fit the style of their bar. Handle bar moustaches, really?
As a mixologist/consultant, you work directly with many restaurants on their drink menus -- describe the parts of this process.
I always try and liaise with the Chef of the restaurant about what style of food they will be working on for the season and create cocktails that enhance the experience.
How did you get started?
I started as a bar-back in a night club in Greece then came back to London to train as a bartender. One of the philosophies of the LAB was that promotion happened within and bar-backs would get their opportunity on the bar.
How were you trained in bartending?
My peers, Robbie O'Neil my mentor, reading a lot of books and practice.
Did you take any courses?
No, just Internal Training programs from the companies I worked with.
What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
Barrel aged anything, restoring historical liquors, bitters and Amaro's will keep on rising, obscure regional spirits, Micro-distilling.
What's your process for creating a new cocktail?
I try and use the basic rum punch formula when creating a new cocktail. Whenever possible I like to use edible garnishes.
What is your favourite cocktail to drink? To make?
Whatever I have in my hand is my favourite cocktail. I enjoy making a Pina Colada.
What are some of your favourite tools?
My gold Japanese style jiggers and gold collar bar-spoon from Cocktail Kingdom and my Julep strainer/ ice scoop from uber bar tools.
What is your favourite mixology resource?
My peers, social media and chefs.
What does success mean for you?
Success to me is satisfying the needs of the customer that I am creating a cocktail for.
What are some current trends you've seen in the cocktail market?
Shrubs and vinegars along with bespoke barware.
What goes into creating a cocktail? And what inspired you in the first place?
If I were to say love. I know it sounds corny. It is important to also have the right amount of dilution and the correct temperature. I am inspired by many things a song, smell, colour, seasonal produce.
What is your favourite drink to make?
I enjoy making a Pina Colada as they are the epitome of fun.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I hope to be still working in the industry doing what I love.
If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
I would most probably be a Barrister's Clerk.
Your hangover cure?
Fried egg sandwich and lots of water.
Your biggest career influencer?
My Father and Robbie O'niel who helped guide me in my early years.
First drink you ever tried?
My first Cocktail I ever tried was a Japanese Slipper. It is still a guilty pleasure.
We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid?
I don't avoid any drink. I like to try them all.. Lined up on the bar one after the other.
£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
Give it all to Charity...... Ok I would set up a foundation for all the giving back projects I have wanted to do and build a distillery to make the indigenous spirit of Ghana.
Bar or cellar at home?
At the moment Italian Birra del Borgo Keto, session lager and watermelon beer.
American Pinot Noir.
I enjoy all cocktails if made properly.
Do or Dine in Brooklyn.
Wherever my friends and family are.
Once Upon a Time in America.
The girl with the dragon tattoo.
John Coltrane - A love Supreme.