Alex Proudfoot - Mixologist of the Month
- Date of Birth: 8th January 1985
- Birth place: Oxford
- Height: 5'8"
- Eye colour: Hazel
- Nationality: British
"I started as a dispense bartender in a restaurant in Oxford. I then transferred to Kew and then Windsor where I took on the roll as head bartender. I then left Windsor to work with my Dad laying stone floors. After which I moved back to Oxford to pursue a slightly more modest career pulling pints in a local backstreet boozer.
After pulling pints and pouring gin and tonics for a year and a half my boss transferred me to Raoul's where I am now the assistant manager. Since working at Raoul's I have been to Paris, Bordeaux and St Martin, and in October I'm off to Guyana. I couldn't wish for a better job."
Awards, Accolades and Trophies
I'm not going to list the number of comps I've won or lost. But since taking part in competitions I have me countless people that I will be going out of my way to see again!
Claim to Fame
I once served Harrison Ford a pint of ale. Great moment!
Q & A
What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you?
I absolutely love beer. Currently have a bit of a thing for bottled IPA's and have a massive thing for Innis and Gunn.
If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be?
Drink more rum! Enter more competitions! But most of all be humble.
Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share?
I hate bartenders that fob you off because they don't enjoy their job. If you don't enjoy it do something else. I have a massive hate for bartenders walking into a bar and ordering really really obscure drinks nobody has ever heard of, or drinks they have created themselves. If you go to a bar you should let that bartender showcase their own abilities rather than ram yours down their throat.
How did you get started?
My first bar job was working a dispense bar in a restaurant in Oxford.
How were you trained in bartending?
I think the best way to learn is on the job. You never stop learning. But lot's and lot's of reading helps.
Did you take any courses?
I once did I.P.B. perfect pour training under a chap called Alex Turner. One of the most inspiring moments in my life!
What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
Disco is back! Back in a big way. I love disco drinks, I work in a party bar that specializes in disco done well!
What's your process for creating a new cocktail?
If it's for a competition, I'll read the brief and fit the brief to my style of bartending then build a concept round my drink. If it's for a punter, I'll ask them a few simple questions and go from there.
What is your favourite cocktail to drink? To make?
My favourite drink in the world to make and drink is a Daiquiri made with El Dorado 3. Desert island drink number 1!!
What are some of your favourite tools?
My favourite bit kit in the bar is the Parisian 2 piece. I love the sound it makes when you shake with it.
What is your favourite mixology resource?
I really love what the guys at BarLifeUK are doing for the industry. Keep up the good work guys.
What does success mean for you?
Success isn't what it's about. It's about enjoying what you do. I love my job and look forward to going back to work on my days off.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In 5 years I'd like to be still well and truly affiliated with the bar industry. Bartending or not, I love this industry.
If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
When I left school I trained as a carpenter. Monday to Friday, 8am 'til 5pm and great money but not for me...
Your hangover cure?
Water, greasy food and a shot of cheap rum.
Your biggest career influencer?
Lot's of people have inspired me along the way. My Dad, Alex Turner, Tim Fitz-Gibbon and Stefanie Holt to name but a few.
First drink you ever tried?
The first cocktail I ever had was the non Trader Vic Mai Tai (Pineapple juice and grenadine etc.).
We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid?
Strawberry Daiquiri. No explanation needed.
£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
Buy a big house. Fit a Library for the Mrs and hide a secret rum room in the library (James Bond style revolving door).
Bar or cellar at home?
Bar. If rum was meant to be kept in a cellar it would have been invented in France.
Innis and Gunn or Brew Dog IPA.
El Dorado 15 hands down!!!
I have to say Raoul's! But the Artesian at the Langham and The Liars club are 2 places I really really want to visit!! Both Lyndon and Alex are two very different sides to the same coin and both venues really appeal to me.
The Ledbury. Two star deliciousness at affordable prices? Yes please.
Jamaica so far. Soon to be Guyana!
And a bottle of rum.
Based on a true story - Fat Freddy's drop.