Tell us about you as a mixologist…
I am 28, turning 29 in August, and have been in the industry for about 7 years as a mixologist. In the past I managed The Orphanage Cocktail Emporium and most recently I established The Twankey Bar at the Taj Hotel. Recent awards include Best Hotel Bar and Best Social Media at the B.A.R Awards, Best Bartender, Best Signature Cocktail and Most Loved Cocktail Bar at the S.A Cocktail Week awards.
When did you decide you wanted to be a mixologist?
It was never anything that was really decided, it just happened very organically as I worked my way up from bar to bar. The first thing that I fell in love with was the service side of it. I love working with people. The rest is just the general vibe, the music in the background, playing with interesting flavours and creating some cool cocktails.
If you weren’t a mixologist, what would you be?
I probably would’ve been a chef, or a bike mechanic. I love my Harley.
What’s your favourite cocktail to make? And to drink?
A good Paloma. I rarely drink cocktails when I go out. I love a good cold beer and whiskey or bourbon.
Looking towards the future – 2018 Mixologist Goals…
As the T&O brand ambassador, what have you got planned for 2018?
Watch this space! Ha-ha. I am interested to learn as much as I can, this is all new to me. Developing my brands together with Truman and Orange through creative partnerships with some of the best bars around the country is important. I am looking at giving back to the industry by providing mentorship and training to up and coming bartenders.
What brands are you going to be representing and what makes you excited about them?
I am representing Don Papa Rum, Fortaleza Tequila, Aviation Gin (Ryan Reynolds for the win!) and Tito’s Vodka. All the brands are very near and dear to me, they are all very rich in history and good old-fashioned value, which is why I believe they are part of the Truman & Orange Portfolio.
Who’s your mixologist idol?
Too many to mention! Nick Koumbarakis, Devin Cross, Denzel Heath, Dominic Walsh, Pieter Oosthuizen, Julian Short, Jody Rahme, Cassandra Eichoff, Owen O’reilly, Kelsey Ramage, Ian Griffiths, Dennis Zoppi, Simone Caporale, Stephanie Simbo, Alex Farenheim, Chantelle Horn,Kurt Schlector,Jusin Shaw,Marshall Siavas, to name a few.
If you had to choose a cocktail that represents your personality, what would it be and why?
It would have to be a Dark and Stormy. The rest will lend itself to a bit of mystery.
Favourite bar in the world?
The Ramping Horse in Mexico! Operation Dagger by Luke Whearty.
Favourite bar in SA (CT, Jozi and Durbs)?
Again, there’s way too many to mention. Cause and Effect, Orphanage, Arcade, Sintax, Mootee, Tonic, Lucky Shaker, are just a few of my favourites.
If you could choose one person in the world to make a cocktail for, who would it be and why?
Hemingway. Just to make him a Don Papa Daiquiri
Do you taste every cocktail you make?
The first rule of fight club is…
Have you got any tattoos of cocktails?
Yes I do! I have a Japanese Shaker on my hand that says “Shake, rattle and roll”