Nick Wykes - Mixologist of the Month
- Date of Birth: 21st October 1970
- Birth place: Oxford
- Height: 5'11"
- Eye colour: Green
- Nationality: British
"I'm an accidental bartender. Having spent 10 years tending bars around Europe, I went to work with IPBartenders and really began an education in drinks, bartending and presenting. Since then I have had the privilege of travelling the world making drinks, writing about drinks, talking about drinks and studying the experience of drinking nice drinks.
For the last few years I have been able to work with one of my favourite spirits, an Irish Whiskey portfolio called Wild Geese, creating cocktails and presenting the fascinating history and wonderful flavour profile of this remarkable category"
Awards, Accolades and Trophies
Perilously few, if you don't count half a dozen athletic awards and hundreds of thousands of happy guests and well made drinks. Which I do.
Claim to Fame
Asking Leonardo DiCaprio for age ID.
Q & A
What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you?
I like beer that is cold, wet and refreshing, ideally with a whiskey on the side.
If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be?
Make sure to spend as much time working on improving your customer service as you do your drinks mixing skills.
Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share?
Bartenders who think the drink is more important than the drinker.
How did you get started?
Left college and got a job behind the bar while I figured out what to do with the rest of my life. That was in 1991...
How were you trained in bartending?
Poorly, followed by self-taught, followed by osmotically.
Did you take any courses?
What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
Thankfully a return to customer focused elements of bartending.
What's your process for creating a new cocktail?
Evaluate the flavour profile of the spirit I am working with and find contrasts and complements, from there it all gets a bit hazy.
What is your favourite cocktail To make?
Drinking: really depends on where, when and with whom I am drinking, but usually, short, strong and whiskey based. To make: I like to make drinks that I have not made before, something that exercises the brain trying to get it right.
What are some of your favourite tools?
I'm not particularly materialistic but I have a two-piece extra long barspoon I picked up in Berlin that I am very fond of...
What is your favourite mixology resource?
My office/shed. It's full of books, bottles and bar equipment, plus there's an ice machine in there.
What does success mean for you?
Enjoying what I do for a living and having time for my family.
What are some current trends you've seen in the cocktail market?
Drinks that are sensorially complex executed with simplicity. The role of the different senses is now understood like never before and being exploited by some very creative people.
What goes into creating a cocktail? And what inspired you in the first place?
Having an open mind, a decent palate and the humility to accept when you've got it wrong. A bit of creativity doesn't hurt either. What inspired me? Making money and trying to look cool in front of girls.
What is your favourite drink to make?
Ramos gin fizz.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
NCAA Head Coach.
If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
Your hangover cure?
24 hours sleep interspersed with regular whingeing.
Your biggest career influencer?
The various luminaries of IPBartenders.
First drink you ever tried?
Cointreau. From my parents liquor cabinet.
We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid?
Cider, evidently it makes me cry like a girl.
£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
Laugh like a maniac followed by some things I won't be proud of.
Bar or cellar at home?
Yes. Extremely well stocked too I might add.
Irish Whiskey. Wild Geese Single Malt.
The Nut Tree at Murcott.
My parents house in South West France.
Hyperspace by Michio Kaku.
Sign O The Times.