Chris Grotvedt & 1980 – One of Heering´s 200 year

Words by: Hayden Wood

Chris Grøtvedt is a bartender who wants to make the world a better place and have a great time doing it. As the creative force behind Oslos *Ism Bar, he takes inspiration from all over the world to pioneer Norways cocktail culture and make its mark on the global stage.

Chris chose 1980 from Heerings legacy as its a year of events that he connects with in his love of ice hockey, cocktails and overcoming mountainous challenges. A former professional ice hockey player, Chris swapped the rink for the bar at some of the best 5 star hotels in Norway before opening his own bar in 2017. Much like the 1980’s USA team’s gold medal win over USSR in Olympic Ice Hockey (known as the Miracle on Ice), he sees himself as somewhat of an underdog in a world of complicated issues that require a certain focus outside of political arenas. Henceforth *Ism; a cocktail bar with a focus on 12 of our worlds most pressing issues that require drink inspired communal dialogue followed by consequential community action.

His approach is,If you’re drinking a cocktail that’s provoking conversation around matters such as deforestation, depleted fish stocks or something like global warming you’re opening the subjects up for action outside of watching 2 minutes of six o’clock news. Now, it’s actually in your mind. When it’s in your mind then we actually are getting to you. It is like I always say to people, when you actually take actions with yourself you can tackle an issue before is becomes a problem.” He says. “70% of people don’t do shit before it’s too late.” He claims. Fair claim too.

“We have a cocktail called Global Warming. Some people say it’s a problem, some people don’t, until the day it’s actually a fucking problem, but then it’s too late. Then, it’s drastic changes.” Grøtvedt says.

We kicked off with two different Isms to work with – We have the upstairs bar, which is the main bar and our ideology there, or the Ism we’re working with is Hedonism, so guilty pleasure, self-indulgence. There, we focus on the kind of cocktails that you love, be it a perfectly crafted Manhattan or a delicious creamy concoction that is our guilty pleasure.

 Downstairs at *Ism, Chris designed the concept around Humanism. There, the cocktails are a vehicle to keep global issues in the minds of his customers. Drinks inspired by Deforestation, Weapons Of War and Global Warming take centre stage. That’s what we do. We work closely with charities and give away part of the profits of each cocktail.

 Concepts and environmental awareness aside, Chris is passionate about educating his customers about flavours and refining the palates in a cocktail culture that traditionally leans towards sweet drinks. For me, thats why I also talk about the clean flavours. It’s more understandable for them. The cleaner it gets in terms of flavour profile, the more comfortable they will probably be for ordering the next one, instead of going back to sweet drinks.

 I remember a couple of years ago when everybody called themselves mixologists and made their own bitters and did this and that and overcomplicated everything. Also, a bartender would get pissed off if somebody came to the bar and ordered a gin and tonic.

 In *Ism the guest can drink whatever they want – If they want a $500 cognac with milk, let em have it. If that’s their go-to drink, who are you to tell them no?

 I’ve been working seven years in five star hotels so no matter what you do, it’s to make the guests happy. That is why you’re here. You’re here to make him feel good or her feel good or have a great time when they’re out. They’re actually out spending money in your bar, they’ve probably been working all week to make an income and they’re actually choosing to come to your bar and spend it. That is a privilege for us. For me, now as a business owner, you realise that even more.

 I think hospitality is so crucial. If you can’t nail hospitality and actually make people feel good about themselves, leave them with the sense, “Jesus Christ, this was amazing! The bartender was amazing! The cocktail was amazing, or just the ambiance was amazing and I would love to come back next week.” I think that is the most important part of our concept.

 Changing perceptions is key to his success and his clean and conscientious use of heritage brands like Cherry Heering is a testament of the plain speaking, boundary pushing attitude that keeps his creativity and passion alive.I could mention several ways of using Cherry Heering, but the first time I tried the Blood and Sand I wasnt convinced it was going to be a great cocktail at first – I tried it and yes, its great all right.Everything that needs a little cherry note and a kind of sweetness, you can swap it for Cherry Heering.

 Chris embraces the role of the underdog. In a hospitality climate that is largely still thundering through sweet disco drinks from a bygone, it should be noted Grøtvedt is doing something very different here for Norway while sending a very clear message to drinking culture globally too. The message – ask for the menu.

MIRACLE ON ICE 

50 ml Woodford Reserve Bourbon with Banos*

25 ml Cherry Heering

5 ml Fernet Branca

Glass: Rocks

Method: Stir all ingredients with ice in a mixing glass. Strain over single large ice cube into a rock glass. 

* Sousvide cook Woodford Reserve with Banos (Norwegian banana marmalade)for 60 minutes. Fine strain solids and pour infused liquid into a clean bottle.

 For those who are unable to accessBanos(banana marmalade).Use 300 grams of banana with 50 grams of sugar to 700 ml bottle of Woodford Reserve Bourbon for 60 minutesat 40 degrees celsius. Fine strain solids and pour infused liquid into a clean bottle.

Falil Jayah & 2016 – One of Heering´s 200 year

Words by: Fabio Bacchi

Imagine being bathed in the glittering lights of the Dubai skyline whilst sipping a drink at 200 meters above sea level, comfortably sitting in the luxurious bar of one of the world’s most luxurious hotels, one of those hotels which can turn almost any dream into a reality. Welcome to the SkyView bar of the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai, the kingdom of Falil Mohamed Jayah, from Sri Lanka.

Working in Dubai  

“I came to Dubai about 15 years ago. Becoming a part of the bartending movement that was growing in the UAE was a stimulating challenge. The customers were very demanding. They were used to high standards and we had to adapt. Things developed at a rapid pace and they couldn’t be put on hold. It was an important time for growth for me”.

Days to remember   

“One of my most memorable days behind the bar was the first competition I entered with Cherry Herring in 2014. Then the day of the first purchase of our World’s Most Expensive Cocktail comes second. The cocktail named “27.321” was sold on 16 April 2008, just two days after its launch on 14 April 2008. The price was 27.321 AED (£7777.77 GBP) and broke the existing record, held by the Merchant Hotel in Belfast, which was £750 GBP. The cocktail was sold twice to two buyers from the United States of America. The first sale happened very spontaneously. The guest entered our busy Skyview Bar at around 10.30 pm and looked through the menu, whilst having another drink at the bar counter. The eye-catching first page of our menu, which listed the “World’s Most Expensive Cocktail”, attracted the guest so much that he had a look at our 27.321. He ordered the drink. We immediately set ourselves up for preparing it and looked for guests with a standing in the community to be witnesses of the purchase. We also called a bar manager from a nearby hotel to witness its preparation with an expert eye. The witnesses were Sach, the bar manager from the 1897 Bar of the Kempinski, Hanan Merefie, and Glen Coomber, both working for renowed media and broadcasting agencies”.

How will you be celebrating the Cherry Heering bicentenary?

The year 2016 inspired our drink for the Cherry Heering bicentenary. In 2016, the Burj Al Arab Hotel introduced the ‘North Deck’, an outdoor luxury leisure concept which was a world-first masterpiece. It was fully constructed in Finland, and took six months to be shipped the 4,500 km half way around the world before reaching its final destination in Dubai. The idea behind my cocktail, “Master Piece”, is to combine two main ingredients, Cherry Heering and Godet Antarctica Icy Cognac. Cherry Heering is thought to be one of the oldest cherry liqueurs in the world with a 200-year history. Icy Cognac is a clear Cognac which is pure and clean. Together they make a world-first cocktail that is tranquil and unique.

The cocktail is mainly made for the winter festive season. Sweet spices such as cinnamon, star anise and nutmeg powder are mixed with Finnish chocolates and red berries (cherries & strawberries) together with milk, making the unique, inspired drink. Master Piece is an egg-nog style drink.

Bartending of the future according to Mohamed Falil Jayah

“Bartending is using culinary techniques and ingredients and combining them into cocktails more and more. The kitchen and bar were once separate kingdoms, eyeing each other warily. That’s no longer true. Bartenders today raid the larder for veggies, herbs and even meat (in the form of bacon-infused bourbon) for added depth and intrigue. Even ice will be an ingredient requiring attention.” Ice? “Cracked, cubed, crushed, hand-chipped, flaming, spherical—ice is now to a drink what a stove is to cooking. Better cubes determine the rate of dilution and should complement the particular drink you’re having”.

 

 

Bartending and environmental sustainability

“A wide range of fruit and vegetables is essential to giving our cocktails great flavours. Ensuring that we source them sustainably not only ensures that we can meet consumer demand, but also enables us to make a positive environmental and social impact, while making a difference to thousands of lives”.

A future goal for improving the bar industry

“Recruiting people with the right attitude and passion for the profession is the most forward-thinking thing that the hospitality industry can do. Greater investment must be made during the recruitment process, and a positive outcome will be guaranteed in the short term. It all goes back to the bar hiring process. If you bring someone on board with impressive experience but a terrible attitude, your drinks will look pretty but your bar will soon be empty. Team dynamics, personality, and work ethic are a lot more difficult for bar masters to teach than the best pouring methods.”

MASTER PIECE COCKTAIL

Ingredients

40ml Godet Antarctica Icy Cognac

15ml Cherry Heering

30ml white chocolate cream (homemade)*

30ml spiced strawberry syrup (homemade)**

2ml rhubarb bitters

2ml chocolate bitters

Style: Egg-nog

Method: Shake all ingredients with ice and fine strain into clay pot filled with crushed ice

Glassware: Clay pot

Garnish: Mix of berries, rosemaryon top of a layer of Massa Ticino and dust with icing sugar on top

*Preparation of white chocolate cream

200ml fresh cream

100ml milk

30ml egg yolk (only)

100 ml white chocolate

Method:sous vide 60°C 20 minutes 

** Preparation of spiced strawberry syrup

500g acacia honey

500g Boiron strawberry puree

30g cinnamon (whole)

3gr cloves

15g nutmeg powder

5gr black peppercorns

10g star anise (whole)

10g sumac powder

30g chocolate nibs

Method:sous vide 60°C 30 minutes

 

 

Antonio Lai & 1997 – One of Heering´s 200 year

Words by: Jenny Adams

“I remember having my first drink at a bar in 1997 and watching the bartender flair with such ease and grace,” recalls Barman Antonio Lai, warmly. “I remember thinking, ‘I want to be just like them.’”

For some, a moment like this might prove a passing fancy. For Lai, it would change his life. That change in his career path would in turn change Hong Kong’s bar scene for the better forever.

Today, you’ll find Antonio Lai in a dapper suit several nights a week, tending to an eager crowds at his bar, Quinary. The crowd is often equally split between locals and expats, foreigners there on business and tourists looking to experience the best liquid flavors in a town known for culinary melting-pot prowess.

When Cherry Heering sought a slew of great tenders around the world to commemorate their upcoming 200thanniversary in 2018, Antonio Lai was the obvious choice for Hong Kong. They posed the question, “What year would you choose in our 200-year history to build a drink around and why?”

For Lai, it had to be 1997––a year of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule. A year of hot summer nights and the ubiquitous Long Island Iced Tea.

“The handover ceremony of Hong Kong in 1997 officially marked the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the People’s Republic of China,” he says. “It was an internationally televised event with the ceremony commencing on the night of June 30, 1997 and finishing on the first of July.”

As the world changed forever for the citizens of Hong Kong outside, inside of his own head, Antonio Lai was plotting a course that would change the city’s landscape for drinks. He didn’t know it at the time, but his decision to pursue bartending full-time in that year would result in the city’s modern love affair with his current playful takes on serious libations. From a start in flair bartending at Hong Kong’s Planet Hollywood in these new ‘90s days, he would go on to be a leader in molecular drink creation. Lai and his partners would eventually form Tastings Group––which today owns and operates five illustrious craft cocktail bars in the city, including Ori-gin, Angel’s Share, and the Envoy bar at the Pottinger Hotel.

When you mention 1997 to him, his first thought is of the nights when a seemingly endless amount of Long Island Iced Teas were ordered. He set out to recreate the original––a drink often maligned for being too many spirits at once––to make it something proud and palatable.

“Finding a recipe which is, in both parts, iconic and easily referred to while having the room to play with techniques and ingredients to make it fit the theme,” he says was the biggest challenge of Cherry Heering’s request to honor the year with a drink. “I chose the Long Island Iced Tea because of its controversial nature in the world of modern mixology,” he laughs. “Some bartenders have been known to refuse to make them altogether. I servedit with a twist, by using Cherry Heering instead of Cointreau for a bright red version that’s the same color as the flag of Hong Kong. I added Aquavit instead of vodka for a Danish interpretation, as homage to Cherry Heering’s long heritage. This cocktail was my memory of a new chapter to come, both for my home country and the world of cocktails.”

He named this new drink The Hong Kong Island, which on the surface might sound simple, but it holds a double meaning in Cantonese. The word Hong sounds like the word Red in this language, a nod to the hue of the flag and to the color of Cherry Heering in the bottle.

 

His drink recipe is:

15ml Aquavit

15ml London Dry Gin

15ml White Rum

15ml Blanco Tequila

20ml Lemon Juice

20ml Cherry Heering

“It’s shaken in a Perlini shaker and strained, with a float of Sprite/Lemonade, garnished with lemon twist and cherry in a Sling Glass,” says Lai.Sprite Super Lemon was released as a Slurpee flavor in Hong Kong in 2003, and I was instantly hooked, because it reminded me of Super Lemon––a popular sour candy in Hong Kong, especially amongst kids. Growing up, cherries were my favorite fruit, but it was subject to seasonal availability. So, I could only enjoy it for a few months during the year. So, I think of this as a combined realization of my favorite childhood flavors.”

Today, if you have the pleasure to sit at any of his illustrious outposts in the city, you’ll open menus to find Multisensory Mixology––a coin he termed for his drink design style. Playful uses of smoke and rare Japanese fruits, tiny moments of detail and adept skill with citric acid make each concoction truly one-of-a-kind. You’ll also find a plastic flamingo or a little bathtub replacing the glassware, because Lai is still a kid at heart, if anything. Those days of Planet Hollywood certainly taught him that.

 

 

Charles Joly & 1912 – One of Hering´s 200 year

Words by: Theodora Sutcliffe

“Lots of stuff happened in 1912,” says Chicago’s Charles Joly. “But the personal touch for me is that it’s the year my grandmother was born. She raised me, and she was a big influence in who I am – in this business and everything else.”

Joly made his name locally with classically influenced cocktails at the now-defunct Drawing Room and internationally with high-drama, high-science creations for the Aviary before winning World Class 2014. He now co-owns premium, natural pre-made brand Crafthouse Cocktails, runs his own events and consultancy company, Spirit Smith, and has his own line of drinks tools. He credits his grandmother, Mona, who lived to the age of 101 and stood just 4’11” tall, with much of his success.

1912 was a fascinating year to be born. “I’m not sure another generation will see the changes that she saw,” Joly muses. “When she was born, the Wright brothers had just happened; the transition from horse-drawn carriages to automobiles was just happening. Prohibition ended on her 21st birthday; she lived through World War I and World War II.”

 

1912 was also the year that absinthe was, effectively, banned in the US, and Joly incorporates that into his cocktail, a full-bodied spirituous blend that’s very much in the style of early 20th century drinks. Mona, whose parents came from Lebanon, kept a little bottle of arak in the kitchen cupboard, and the waft of anise harks back to her too. “The flavour profile of arak, and the fact that it louches when you add water, has that connection to absinthe for me,” says Joly. “She’d show me the magic trick with it when I was a little kid.”

The walking, talking definition of formidable, Mona worked full time when that was still rare for women, as well as busting a gut around the house and keeping her 6’1” grandson out of the multifarious trouble Chicago’s South Side had to offer in the 80s. “She was well into her seventies when she assumed responsibility for my sister and I – and it’s no small feat at that age to take on a couple of soon-to-be teenagers,” Joly recalls. “My grandfather was in a wheelchair at that point. And I think that’s what kept her alive to 101.”

 

It’s a work ethic Joly seems to have inherited, at least after abandoning his dream of becoming a vet for a dream of becoming a musician. While he’s known for his work in cocktailian spots, he cut his teeth at a club named Crobar. The world of freaks and club kids and gender-fluid door staff on 12-inch platforms, the twisted glamour and exuberant glitz of 90s nightlife enmeshed him until, in his mid-20s, he realised he was a better bartender than he was a singer, and accepted an operations role with a bar group.

Winning World Class marks a clear transition point in Joly’s career. Although he and Matt Lindner started Crafthouse Cocktails back in 2009, the consultancy, PR, events and ambassadorial opportunities that opened up to him as officially the world’s best bartender – and an American to boot! – enabled him to leave behind the role of employee. “World Class is definitely a dot on my timeline, it’s definitely a key moment,” he says.

Today, Crafthouse is going from strength to strength. “We’re in 11 states in the US, everything from big liquor stores to grocery stores: Whole Foods is one of our biggest partners,” Joly says. “We’re in some sporting venues, we’re about to break into New York into some theatres and concert venues, we’ve been on United Airlines for two years: places that are super-high volume, and fast.”

And the World Class magic continues to power Spirit Smith. With Diageo, Joly has created official cocktails for the Academy Awards, Emmys, Grammys and Kentucky Derby, and done after-parties for Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel. And, yes, working Oscar night is as much fun as you’d imagine.

“At the very first afterparty, the Governor’s Ball, people are generally very well-behaved, very much still on, if you will,” he says. “But the later afterparties are definitely where people can let their guard down, which is really fun to see and work. There’s not media everywhere, so it’s easy to relax and be themselves.”

Mona didn’t quite live to see this phase of her grandson’s life. But she did make it to a couple of his bars. “I think the last time was when she was a little more mobile: we had her in for Mother’s Day at my first full-fledged cocktail bar, the Drawing Room,” Joly says. “Getting her down the stairs to it was a bit of an adventure, but she wasn’t much of a drinker. She smoked a pack a day, that was her vice.”

The 1912 Cocktail

1oz Overproof Cognac (Pierre Ferrand 1840)

3/4oz Bulleit Rye Whiskey

1/4oz Rhum Agricole Vieux

¾ oz Cherry Heering

3 drops each, Bittered Sling Suius Cherry & Arabica Coffee Bitters

Rinse glass with absinthe

Glass: Rocks

Garnish: Mist with lemon oil and place twist

Method:  Stir first 6 ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled rinsed with  absinthe. Smoke with cherry wood

 

 

David Wondrich & 1851 – One of Heering´s 200 year

Words by: Theodora Sutcliffe

Digging up long-lost bartending heroes is the stock-in-trade of drinks historian David Wondrich. So it’s small wonder that he chose to celebrate a 19th-century New Yorker for his Heering anniversary year. Her name? Martha King Niblo.

“Martha King Niblo (1802-1851), a native New Yorker, grew up inher father’s Wall Street porterhouse and went on to run the bar at the outdoor pleasure garden and performance space she founded with her husband, William Niblo,” Wondrich explains. “She certainly popularised, and might possibly have invented, the Cobbler, one of the most popular drinks of the nineteenth century.”

Wondrich’s anniversary cocktail is an almost-classic Cobbler with brandy, madeira, Cherry Heering and a rum float borrowed from the mint julep. “They are ingredients that would have been known and popular there,” he says. “Cherry brandy, or cherry bounce as it was also known, was certainly a colonial favourite… Brandy was probably the most popular mixing ingredient at the time. And I thought I would soften it down with wine because obviously the cobbler was a wine-based drink.”

It was the Sherry Cobbler that made Martha King Niblo’s name, Wondrich observes, at the pleasure garden and performance space she ran with her husband, William. “People said that to get a Cobbler from her hands was the ultimate Cobbler,” he says. “So if you need a candidate for the Sherry Cobbler taking off, there’s no better place than Niblo’s Garden.” William would mourn her for 25 years after her early death, making the pilgrimage to Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery almost daily.

Wondrich, who blends the academic enthusiasm of the English professor he once was with the rock-‘n’-roll edge of the musician he once tried to be, stumbled into his career completely by accident at the end of last century, just as New York’s cocktail revival was starting to take wing. Knowing that he liked cocktails and had some bartending books, a friend who was working for Hearst Magazines approached him to edit Esquire’s 1949Handbook for Hosts.

Esquirepaid me by academic standards incredibly well,” he recalls. “And, coming from a comparative literature background, I looked at all these drinks and immediately sorted them into families and arranged this chaotic lump of stuff into family trees.”

Over the last six years, that academic training has come in handy once again, as Wondrich ploughs his way through the monstrous task that is creating the Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails. He’s corralled scores of writers to produce a whopping 1200 entries in a project he refers to simply as “the behemoth”. “I’m on the final edit, so it’s getting there,” he says. “It’s a huge job so it’s taking forever. But it is – moving slowly – every month it’s getting there.” All gods smiling, the book should be released in autumn 2019.

Besides working on the Oxford Companion, Wondrich also has a weekly column on The Daily Beast, where he delves into topics as diverse as dive bars, Cinco de Mayo, and why it took America so long to have female bartenders. “It’s fairly all-consuming because it’s weekly and I can write whatever I want,” he says. “So I tend to write like deep dives into one thing or another: it’s a fairly long column.” He also presents regularly at cocktail gatherings around the world.

Whether as a presenter or an author, Wondrich’s influence on the global cocktail scene is impressive, with his two most popular books, Punchand Imbibe, required reading for the serious bartender. While Punch is his favourite, “Imbibehas definitely caught on as a textbook, so that’s kind of fun,” he says. “I’m pleased with the fact that it’s being used and taught and so on.” And even with the Oxford Companion still in progress, he’s already thinking about his next book, a history of bars and bartending in New York.

While it’s Wondrich’s researches we have to thank – at least in part – for the wave of solemn retro bars around the world, he himself is pleased to see a more nuanced approach coming into vogue. “The thing we’re seeing in the US right now is a new maturity where people are going back to running bars just like a normal place: not as a spectacle, but with a new high level of excellence and cocktails,” he says. “They’ll have short cocktail lists. They’ll pay a little more attention to the food and a lot more attention to the service, and a little less to dazzling the customer with mixology.”

It’s an ethos of which Mrs Niblo, for whom the saloon was only a part of the pleasure garden’s attractions, would no doubt have approved.

 

David Wondrich´s Cobbler

1 oz/30 ml Cherry Heering

1 oz/30 ml Rainwater Madeira

1 oz/30 ml VSOP-grade cognac

1 lemon wheel, cut in half

Strain into highball glass full of cracked ice and garnish with two more half lemon wheels,

Glass: Highball

Garnish: Two half lemon wheels in addition already in drink) slid between the ice and the glass. Float a barspoon of aromatic Jamaican rum on top and add a straw.

Method: SHAKE all ingredient (including lemon slice) with ice and strain into a ice-filled glass

Alba Huerta & 1932 – One of Heering´s 200 year

Words by: Theodora Sutcliffe

“Currently, at least in America and in this political climate, our borders are becoming very distinct. So the idea of looking at a place like Céret, on the Spanish-French border, really worked,” says Alba Huerta. “The borders are kind of blurred, particularly with produce because plants don’t see borders, they just grow in those regions because that’s the environment they need to survive.”

Huerta, a Mexican-born Houstonian, is a partner in the critically acclaimed Pastry War and owns Julep, the temple to Southern cocktails that’s featured on Esquire’s Best Bars in America list and as one of Bon Appetit’s five best new bars in America – no small achievement for a bar in what’s far from a cocktail city. She chose the year 1932 for her Heering Anniversary cocktail because of its connection to Céret.

 

“The cherries that are grown in this particular region are also the most covetable in southern France,” she explains. “And the year 1932 was significant to this town because that was the year where the very first pick of the cherry yield crop began to go to the President of the Republic – and for almost 100 years now, this basket of cherries has been delivered to the president.”

Cherry Heering stars in Huerta’s intelligent yet flavour-packed celebration cocktail, alongside Spanish brandy and, more surprisingly, peated Scotch. She is a fan not just of the liquid but of the women who represent it. “Adéle is a beautiful person – she and Michelle are two of the most amazing women I’ve ever met, and that sings to me because I’m a female in this industry,” she says. “If I’m out with them, it’s going to be fun, it’s going to be amazing, you’re going to live for a moment.”

Huerta stands out in the drinks industry not only for her gender, which remains as under-represented in the bar as it is in the professional kitchen, but for her heritage, a political hot potato in the era of The Wall. “I’m an immigrant first and foremost,” Huerta says proudly. “Which is one of the reasons I think I’m very resourceful at figuring things out.” Her parents, a restaurant worker and a computer programmer, came to America on legal visas but overstayed until the family was granted amnesty: like today’s Dreamers, she’s an American who was born elsewhere.

 

As a woman in a male-dominated industry where harassment is rife and women are often corralled to the floor in skimpy uniforms, the #MeToo movement struck a chord with Huerta. “It’s been an eye-opening experience for females in the industry,” she says. “There’s a much wider acceptance of talking about sexual harassment, discrimination, unequal pay – there’s always been a voice for that, but right now that’s really being heard.”

Even before she started working in bars, and long before she joined the team at Anvil, Houston’s ground-breaking craft cocktailery, Huerta wanted to be a bartender. “I went to school as Plan B,” she laughs. “I wanted to be a bartender my entire life. But when I started bartending it was not a long-term career for many people. I knew that I would eventually own a bar, but I didn’t know when or how the stars would align.”

 

That moment came in 2012, when Huerta found a site for Julep and, while tied up in the convoluted process that is turning a historic building into a cocktail bar, became a partner in The Pastry War. Now she’s highly focused not just on delivering the goods in hospitality terms but on being the best employer she can be, which includes helping her staff plan for that elusive long-term career.

“I help other people work through their business plans and financial plans,” Huerta says. “I help my employees understand what it is to save, give them profit sharing so I can help them invest in their future, so they can see what’s coming next, whether it’s becoming a bar owner, staying in the bar, becoming a brand ambassador, moving on and becoming a lawyer…”

At Julep, the weekly staff meetings include an educational presentation, often on liquids, but also on life skills. “Once a month, we’ll have someone talk about topics like finances, credit, stabilisation – help people learn how they can improve their credit score for buying a house, for example,” Huerta explains.

 

Huerta has a book coming out in March, and is working on a gin and a vermouth, yet her vision of her own career future does not necessarily include opening more bars. Like the cherry trees of Céret, she sees no need to define borders. More books? More bars? No more books, and no more bars? Strategically, thoughtfully, but with plenty of heart, she leaves it open.

CERET COCKTAIL

1oz Brandy de Jerez
1oz Cherry Heering
2 barspoons Lemon
.5oz turbinado syrup (unrefined sugar 1:1 – golden brown sugar, lot more spices and molasses that we’re looking for with aged spirits)
.5oz peated scotch
1 whole egg

Glass: Highball

Garnish: Luxardo cherry

Method: SHAKE all ingredients with ice and strain into chilled glass

Gavin Liddle & 1908 – One of Heering´s 200 year

Words by: Hayden Wood

As Bar Manager at the eclectic Auckland restaurant and cocktail destination Beast & Butterflies at the M Social Hotel on Princes Wharf, Gavin brings a creative & scientific approach to Pacific fusion flavours in his cocktails. His small, sophisticated list compliments the food menu while offering his customers new and interesting combinations as a testament to its place as the standard bearer of the New Zealand cocktail scene.

Gavin chose 1908 as the prize year from the Heering heritage. A year when New Zealand scientist Ernest Rutherford received the Nobel Prize for chemistry and the Sazerac was immortalised in print for the first time.

Hailing from Scotland, Gavins love for Cherry Heering has come a long way since discovering it in his parents liquor cabinet as a young man. Cherry Heering is the bottle that I remember seeing first in my parents drinks cabinet, I remember opening it and thinking it smelled like the best sweet Id ever come across. 

When I was a young and naive bartender I mixed Cherry Heering with Coke and thought Id invented the greatest drink the world had ever seen!

Gavin took the opposite journey to Ernest Rutherford by leaving the UK and settling in New Zealand and it was there that he began honing his cocktail skills where his analytical skills and emphasis on the right chemistry in building his drinks offering came to the fore. 

His latest effort, inspired by the Sazerac, which was first noted in print, also in 1908 is a lot more sophisticated but it is the chemistry of his bar team that Gavin feels is just as important as the combination of flavours in his cocktails. It may sound as if Im being a little righteous, but I feel that the industry would be improved if it was more of an even playing field for female bartenders. I think it can be a little bit of a boys club, although it is getting better – female bartenders are getting more and more global recognition and the awesome work of people like Speed Rack(Female exclusive bartender competition in UK and Canada) are making it a more appealing industry for ladies.

During the recruitment process for Beast & Butterflies I was surprised at how few female applicants we had for the bar positions compared to the floor at the restaurant. The female applicants I approached were already happily in higher positions or on better pay rates than I could offer, but since we have started, several waitresses have expressed an interest in learning the tricks of the bar trade, which I am encouraging massively.

Another important area where Gavin sees great strides being made is the current sustainability trend amongst bars worldwide. Its probably a well-worn tale by now, but I like the fact that bartenders are becoming more aware of sustainability. Im in agreement with Simon Difford that sustainability doesnt necessarily mean we have to be making syrups and cordials out of eggshells and lime husks (although, I dont see too much wrong with that) but its good that we are becoming more aware of how we can control and minimise the waste that we do create. The current rejection of plastic drinking straws is the best trend thats happened since I became a bartender! Ive never understood why there were no decent alternatives, ever since I was a glassy in a nightclub and had to sweep them up and bin them in their hundreds every night. 

The Auckland bar scene prides itself on innovation and in the spirit of Ernest Rutherford, Gavins fusion of flavours manifests itself in a beautifully designed and eclectic cocktail list. The combination of local ingredients, international experience and the right blend of staff is, like Professor Rutherford all those years ago, making a splash on the global scene.

Gavins attitude to inclusiveness and sustainability is helping to keep New Zealands cocktail voice a loud one in the global community and nothing shouts louder that a modern eclectic re-interpretation of a heritage brand like Cherry Heering.

ALPHA/BETA  Cocktail

20ml Cherry Heering

20ml Canadian Whisky

5ml Orgeat Syrup

1 dash Absinthe

1 dash Peychauds Bitters

45ml Champagne

 Method: Add all ingredients to a mixing glass, except for champagne, and stir with ice. Strain into chilled glass and float cold champagne on top.

 Garnish: Lemon twist and cherry

 Glassware: vintage cocktail glass/coupe/Nick & Nora glass

 

 

Erik Lorincz & 1921 – One of Heering´s 200 year

Words by: Ashley Pini

Born in Nitra, a small town in Slovakia, Erik dreamt of being a waiter on a cruise line as a child. This all changed the day he saw a bartender flipping bottles, mixing drinks and shaking cocktails. “It was in that moment that I just knew. I love thinking of the day I decided to be a bartender as it lead me to where I am now; my days behind the bar are just amazing”.

Failing to find a bartending school in Slovakia, Erik stumbled across an advertisement in a Rolling Stone magazine for the Beefeater national finals in Prague. Finding the nearest travel agent, he booked a ticket and headed to Prague with a camcorder to film the event. Once home, he watched the video over and over, practicing juggling above his bed. From there, his dream to become a bartender grew. 

 “After I saw what was happening in Prague, I realised that this was the city I needed to be in,” explains Erik. Following this recognition, he quite his waiter job and moved to Prague to attend bartending school.

“Within a few weeks my teacher came to me and asked me to come to Bratislava where he was consulting at a cocktail bar that had just opened. My first night went well and the owner asked me if I would like to come back next weekend.” One weekend turned into three months, with Erik travelling every weekend from Prague to Bratislava, working shifts in the bar over the weekends.

“All this time I was reading a book about cocktails and learning the recipes alongside working,” he says. After finishing school, Erik landed his first full time job at the Greenwich cocktail bar in Bratislava, which is where he first came across Cherry Heering, as a key ingredient in the ubiquitous Singapore Sling – and the rest is history.

“I love meeting people and I’m always exited to know who is sitting in front of me,” Erik explains. My motivation comes from things that I come across in my everyday life and I believe that a challenging guest is the best way to taste your skills behind the bar!”

 For Erik, travelling is another form of motivation for his work: “I can try and see new flavours, techniques and discover something I have never seen before,” he says.

Every day brings something new for Erik, “Lately my job is a combination of working behind the bar, running the floor, or taking a plane to another destination for a guest shift or presentation. At the same time, I’m working on expanding my range of bar ware”.

 “My mentor at work is Declan McGurk who has always an answer for me. He is a true guru that carefully looks after every person in the team and makes sure our bar runs like a Patek Philip watch!”

 Of one of his best memories from behind the bar, Erik says “I will never forget serving a cocktail connoisseur, a martini drinker who ordered a Dry Martini. I had carefully chosen a gin that he would like, chipped the ice block to fit into my mixing tin, poured a water to clean the ice and stirred carefully. At the same time, I sank into deep conversation with him. Whilst talking, I picked a frozen martini glass, placed it in front of him and filled it up to just below the rim, garnished with an olive and told him to enjoy it. Shortly after he called me over, saying ‘Erik, I just can’t get the juniper in this gin you were talking about….’ I had served him a chilled water instead of gin!”

 Having spent a considerable amount of time in the industry, Erik “believes it’s important to focus on guest service rather, as well as the drink creation. I believe that the best bar experience comes when not only the best drink has been served, but when we serve the guests other needs to, by going above and beyond to provide an experience, as well as an exceptional drink.”

 Erik chose the year 1921 as it “was the year Harry Lawson Craddock started at the Savoy as a bartender. This drink is my tribute to his excellent work and the legacy that he created for us.”

 

Craddock’s Fizz Cocktail

45ml London Dry gin

25ml Cherry Heering

10ml Fino Sherry

30ml Lemon Juice

15ml Sugar syrup

3 drops of Peychaud’s bitters

Top with soda 

Method: Fill up the highball with chipped ice. Shake 6 first  ingredients and strain into highball, top up with soda, gently stir.

Garnish: Lemon peel 

Glassware: Highball

 

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