King of Mixology with Brian Calleja

30 Jan 2017
2 min read
FOUR speaks to Brian Calleja of The Bloomsbury Club Bar, about its latest residency with NYC’s BlackTail bar and what will be in store…

Where did you grow up?

Gzira, a small town in Malta.

BlackTailwill kick-off their three night residency at The Bloomsbury Club Bar on Thursday 9thFebruary 2017, with an innovative cocktail menu created by BlackTail’s Bar Manager Jesse Vida.

What did you aspire to be when you grew up?

An engineer; I always loved working with my hands and the physics behind it all. I went to engineering school for 3 years.

How did you find your way into the world of mixology?

I started working in the industry when I was 17 as a bar-back at a popular club in Malta.The way that the bartenders had such an exceptional level of hospitality and the great experience they provided for their guests really inspired me.

Can you tell us a bit about why you chose BlackTail as the second collaboration for the Club Residencies Project?

We see a lot of ourselves in BlackTail, their literary connection with Hemmingway and their storytelling makes them the perfect collaboration for The Bloomsbury Club Bar.

What are you most looking forward to about working with BlackTail?

I’m most looking forward to getting to know the guys behind the cocktails and learning more about their unique style and attention to detail.

I am also looking forward to bringing elements of their bar to ours. You’ll find postcards in each of the menus and if you pop one of those in the postbox, which we will have in the bar, we will send to anywhere in the world. They have the same set-up at their bar in New York.

Out of the FOUR bespoke cocktails that BlackTail have created for their residency, which is you favourite?

We haven’t actually tried them yet but the Friday Club looks intriguing, because of the amount of different ingredients used. We can’t wait to see how it all comes together for the final product.

What interesting trends/themes are going on in the world of mixology?

Collaborations are becoming more popular as people seem interested in the concept of two bars joining forces and sharing their experience. A lot of bars are also heading back to making their own newly refined forgotten classics.

What are your FOUR indispensable cocktail making ingredients?

Passion, motivation, creativity and alcohol (obviously).

What’s next for you?

Continuing to build my team, positioning our bar among the best.

Find out more about The Bloomsbury Club Bar and its 2017residency series here |