The Plotting Parlour
I don’t really drink in bars that often. I do try to but I just love beer too much. If you’re asking where my favourite place to drink is, it’s not a bar at all. I’m all about my local pub, The Brighton Beer Dispensary. It’s a proper little community hub right close by with the best selection of Ale and Craft beer in Brighton. If I had to pick the best bar I have been to ever, it’s got to be The Artesian. They just get it you know? The combinations of interesting flavours in such a classic and classy surrounding, but still maintaining a forward thinking and original approach to the menu. They are award winning for a reason.
Weirdest comment you have heard from a customer?
The other day we had some trouble in the bar, rare for us, but an inevitability of anywhere that alcohol comes into contact with brain dead young people. There was a young couple in the pub that became progressively loud and annoying as the night went on. Basically they were swearing at staff and being general fools. I was trying to get them out and the girl came about 2 inches from my face and whispered “You may be very handsome, but you’re a (censored)” I lost my (sensored) at that point and told her to get out. Only as she started trying to scratch me with her Whitehawk witch talons did I realise what she had actually said. Maybe in a different scenario me and the 5 foot harpee lady could have made a go of it.
What’s the funniest thing you have seen in a bar?
I used to run nightclub bars, a lot of funny stuff goes on there. It seemed a constant fight to stop people from pissing on the floor or having sex in the toilets. If someone has no ID they would throw a fence at you and if you ask them to leave they are suddenly a lawyer who “knows their rights”. I’ve got so many stories from nightclub bars it’s hard to pick one. If I have to choose then I’d go for the time that I went to the beer cupboard to grab some stock. I couldn’t get the door open cos a girl’s leg was jamming it. I pushed my way in to see two completely naked punters going at it hard on the cold concrete floor. I have no idea how they got there or why they had chosen a brightly lit beer store as their romantic destination of choice. At my presence they did not stop. WHY WOULD YOU NOT STOP AT THIS POINT?! I called security on the radio as I had no desire to touch either of these flabby writhing bodies. By the time security came in they had stopped and were getting dressed, thank god. Once it was safe we moved to eject the “gentleman” from the venue. He very calmly and politely said “Bruv, please, if you don’t mind, chuck us out the back door. I’ve already ‘got with’ (we have reworded this….) three girls in there and I don’t want them to see me with her”. We swiftly removed him in a noisy fashion through the front door.
Your favourite secret bartender saying?
Sorry, it’s a secret.
Your favourite cocktail?
As I’m sure a lot of bartenders will say, I don’t have one. There are so many factors in play as to what you like at any given moment. I tend to rarely order classic cocktails. I like to try what bars have to offer, especially when there is such a high quality of innovative drinks around at the moment. Classic cocktails have their place and they have created a revival of cocktail culture based on real flavour, but I love experiencing new ways of imbibing, new flavours and new experiences. The best cocktail I’ve had recently was called The Changeling. I had it at The Worship Street Whistling Shop. It was Lapsang, Chase Marmalade, Aperol and Peychaud served over this ball of Lemonade ice, which was basically a sorbet. At the start it was smoky, bitter and intense but by the time the ice had melted it was fresh, sweet and palate cleansing. I’ve tried a few drinks that have tried to achieve this kind of effect. For me this is the only one that has pulled it off. It was served with an orange blossom hot towel and a toothpick to smoosh up the ice.
Why do you love Buffalo Trace?
I love the taste of Buffalo, I love the price of Buffalo and I love what Buffalo means for the market. Bartenders will generally never direct a customer to a house spirit, due to up-selling being important sure, but also because bartenders aren’t usually that keen on their house pours. With a lot of spirits, the phrase “it’s okay” springs to mind. Buffalo is different. What shall I have in my old fashioned? Buffalo. Whiskey and coke? Buffalo. Neat sipping whiskey? BUFFALO. This is what I love about it, not just its versatility but the fact that I can pour it and pour it proudly. This is a movement that is beginning to happen across the board as people are demanding better quality products. Buffalo Trace is definitely leading the way on this.