Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the north of England in a place called Lancashire, not too far from Manchester.
What did you aspire to be when you grew up?
When I was very young I apparently wanted to be a milkman. In my later years, I studied contemporary art at university with the intention of working in the creative field of advertising.
How did you find your way to into the world of wine and spirits?
During my university days, I started to work part time in a cocktail bar, and from there I fell in love with the trade.
What do you think makes a good mixologist?
I believe it is all about being a good host and making people feel welcome and good about themselves when they visit your bar.
Do you think that more people are entering this industry and why do you think is?
I believe so, and perhaps for the same reasons as me. You get to meet different people from all walks of life, and always surround yourself with amazing colleagues who share the same passion. Most importantly, you get to create something that you can call your own.
Stay tuned for Joe’s cocktail recipes, coming soon.
Tell us a bit about what your role involves at Tippling Club?
Besides being the Head Bartender of Tippling Club, I also look after the beverage programmes of three other F&B establishments under the Spa Esprit Group—Ding Dong, Open Door Policy and Open Farm Community—alongside Chef Ryan Clift, who’s an amazing boss and inspiring chef. In fact, we both worked closely together since I joined Tippling Club to develop the bar’s latest Sensorium menu. The majority of my time is still spent behind the bar at Tippling Club. A usual day involves drink development, working with some incredibly talented chefs and running service behind the bar.
What interesting trends/themes are going on in the spirits world?
One trend I am starting to notice is that bars are investing more time and energy into perfecting the guest experience – be it by paying attention to small details or coming up with concept menus. More and more establishments are striving to create an experience that is truly unique to their brand. This was also one of the driving forces and inspiration behind the creation of our new Sensorium menu.
What are your FOUR favourite cocktails from the Tippling Club menu?
My FOUR favourites have to be the Sonic Negroni, Rain, Campfire and Caramel.