I FELL IN LOVE WITH this industry because of my love of people and the social aspect that comes with a cocktail. A drink is so much more than a blend of ingredients; it’s an experience of history, learning, creativity, and sociability.
As someone who’s never had a detailed life plan, I tend to follow the ethos of do what makes you happy and you will end up in a job that makes you happy. I stumbled upon the wine and spirits industry as a student in Leeds trying to be more self-sufficient, and I haven’t stopped working since. The industry is physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging, and it can be exhausting. But if you’re up for the challenge, it can also be incredibly rewarding.
Approximately 3 years ago, I was offered an opportunity I couldn’t resist. At the time, I was a working at legendary Leeds bar Oporto. I got talking to Declan McGurk, manager of the American Bar at The Savoy Hotel, and a few weeks later, he asked me to join his team. Since then, so many of my wildest dreams have come true. Under the patient teaching of head bartender Erik Lorincz, I now hold the position of senior bartender—the first female to take on such a role in a century. I have seen the bar itself grow, and I have witnessed and been a part of some of the most memorable achievements in its incredibly long history. In October 2017, it was crowned the “World’s Best Bar.”
A large part of that history comes from a man named Harry Craddock, head bartender of the American Bar in the 1920s and ’30s. He created The Savoy Cocktail Book, probably the most important cocktail book of the 20th century and a text that has guided bartenders globally for decades. It has been a huge pillar of my learning, and a great source of inspiration and wisdom when writing this book; you will see many references to it as you read through! From my own Pearfection spritz to the American Bar’s Moonwalk, the following pages are a combination of three of my loves: cheesy puns, fizz, and cocktails …
LET’S GET FIZZICAL!