King of mixology with Richard Woods

25 Aug 2015
2 min read
Head of Spirit & Cocktail Development, Richard Woods, continues to translate his signature style through his cutting-edge cocktails that have impressed critics, connoisseurs and media alike…

Where were you born and where did you grown up?

Born in Hammersmith and grew up in Surrey.

How did you get into your line of work? Was there a particular moment where things just clicked into place or that you realized the direction you wanted to take?

I was 18/19 years old when I first started working in a bar. It was a small gastro pub. A small list of 8-10 cocktails and mainly pulling beer and pouring wine. It wasn’t the creativity that enticed me but the hospitality – meeting people and hosting them gave me a great buzz.

That gave me my first insight into the industry.. After I made a move into the industry full time and after a few moves from the suburbs into town, I made my way up to ops director for a brand. But it wasn’t until a few years later that I became more interested in cocktails, mixing and bartending. Over the years I’ve actually stepped back down to a place and position where my creativity can shine and I am more comfortable.

What can guests expect when they come to one of your events?

Hopefully something different. Something that challenges preconceived ideas.

What future events and collaborations do you have lined-up that we can look forward to?

I recently completed a collaboration with Ritz. The brand released a new product called ‘Crisp and Thin’ and I was tasked with creating a selection of drinks that complemented their 4 new flavours. The collection of cocktails include Pea and Dill GNT, Mates Mary, Lovers Cup and Sweet and Chilli.

Also working with Alex James and his wonderful cheese brand and working with Johnnie Walker and creating a ‘tache wax that enhances the flavour of their whiskey.

In terms of mixology what is hot on your radar at the moment?

The trouble with trends is that by their own definition they are here today and gonetomorrow. That said I’m a big advocate of savoury.

Could you suggest FOUR top cocktail recommendations?

Love the twist in the bloody marry I created for Ritz ‘Mates Mary’ it became my go to drink in my fridge.. Also the Pea and Dill GnT. Such earthy flavours and perfect for the warmer evenings.

What are your most indispensable ingredients?

Salt – great as a flavour enhancer and not just in food.

What is your favourite tipple?

Hmmm. It varies. I’ve recently been given a few whiskies which I am loving.

Do you cook at all? What kinds of things do you like cooking at home?

Love cooking but alas time is my enemy. It relaxes me and I love nothing more than cooking for family or entertaining.

Find out more about Richard and Ritz Crisp & Thin’s here |