Raise The Bar with Tim Judge
A professional crossover
I was living in the UK, managing a beach resort, and one of the things that I wanted to do for the development of the restaurant was to serve cocktails. I thought, what could be better than serving fresh cocktails during summer at the beach? So I got together with the then brand ambassador for Diageo and we created a cocktail menu. In fact, the more I read about cocktails, the more interested I became. During this time, my mother passed away and, although, this was the saddest moment in my life, the aftermath was the best thing that happened to me. I quit my job, bought a plane ticket to New Zealand, with the dream of becoming a bartender. Then I got myself a job at a bar and that’s
where the story begins.
Mixology and the role of a bartender
I like to call it bartending. Mixology is the study or craft of preparing mixed drinks. Some people call it being a liquid chef, but it is about crafting great tasting drinks using spirits, juices, whatever is available. The role of a bartender is to make people happy. Besides making good drinks, which is our primary duty, there is a service aspect to our job as well. I truly believe that you have to provide amazing service—surprise them, delight them.
Allow you to create your own recipes. A wine, like most spirits, is someone else’s creation and you merely serve it. But when it comes to cocktails, you can indulge in incredible forms of creation. Cocktails are full of interesting tales, romance, and are associated with crazy characters. Unlike beer or wine, where people talk about grapes and the regions they come from, cocktails involve people and their stories, time, adventure and excitement.
What makes a drink stand out
A lot of thought goes into making a great drink. It requires an understanding of the ingredients—various flavours and their combinations. I like to make my drinks playful and fun because the idea behind visiting a bar is to unwind and feel rejuvenated.
(Read more in the July-August 2012 issue of Time 'n Style. On Stands Soon!)
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