The perfect mix for a dream job
You wouldn’t normally assume someone who is an expert in cocktails to have started out with coffee and gigs, but that is exactly where Andy began.
“I worked at Belmont Filmhouse where I was hired to work with bands. The most I did was make cappuccinos and pour dry white wine,” he said.
Andy has come a long way since then. He has been $10 Shake Bartender of the Year 2014, Scottish Licensed Trade News Mixologist of the Year 2015 and recently Mixologist of the Month at TheDrinkShop.com.
His humble cinema beginnings on Belmont Street soon led down the road to the music venue Cafe Drummond. It was here he first learned the tricks of the bar trade, and, importantly, how to properly pull pints. The demands of a music venue are heavy on bar tenders and led to a quick learning curve, but it wasn’t until working with Snafu that Andy began to get into cocktail making properly.
Andy places a huge amount of importance on listening to his guests. After a break from the industry when his daughter was born, he returned and started working at The Tippling House.
He missed the industry too much when he was away from it. Now he gets to interact with customers and make beautiful drinks every day. When customers come in, he pays attention to their needs.
“There’s a bit of an attitude around cocktails, a kind of snobbery, but it’s important to make sure they are happy,” he added.
Andy can certainly make anyone happy with his mixology abilities. He won the Glasgow Gabriel Boudier Wizards competition and travelled to Dijon to battle other finalists. Each had to present their own liqueur and make a cocktail out of it, Dragons-Den style. Andy presented Sweet Cecily and Scottish Mint.
Andy started out in Aberdeen and continues to live and work there. He believes that there is a huge amount of opportunities available in the city which has led others working all over the world.
Andy said: “There is so much that the industry here can offer to the younger generation coming in.”