Where did you start your career?
I was self taught and pretty green when I first opened my own bar, Cushdy, in 2008. All my experience came from on the job and industry training events that I would attend.
What’s been the best part about working in the bar scene?
The social aspect is very rewarding and the engagement you get with the customer is what keeps most people in hospitality. The educational side is what gave me most pleasure in seeing my customers learn more about the products and drinks. Just as the term “foodies” came about describing those people who took an interest in cooking, a lot of people who drink in bars nowadays have a great deal of knowledge compared to the average drinker 20 years ago.
Recommended bar in Adelaide and Why?
Bad Dog. My favourite selection of spirits, great vibe and the owner is not only a very good bartender but he is passionate about his customers having the best time possible.
Best Bar you’ve ever visited and why?
High Five in Tokyo. The bar only fits 20 people but the owner is the ultimate host (typical of Japanese hospitality) you are treated as though you are a guest in his house and that you come first. Not something that bars are very good at doing these days unfortunately.
What's your go to cocktail when you are looking for a drink?
It really depends on time of year, mood, where I am etc. However I love Rye Whiskey so during the colder months it would be an Old Fashioned or Boulevardier. Through Summer I gravitate to Gin or Tequila based cocktails so a Last Word or a Tommy’s Margarita form my drinking list.
What's new in the bar world, best cocktail trend you are
The restaurant scene is always a good gauge of what will happen next in the bars. At the moment people are really focusing on cocktails with less ingredients but a strong regional connection. This sees bars use as much local spirits, produce, seasonal fruits and herbs that are specific to the bars location in their cocktails.