Brainfood: We'd love that job - Cocktail mixologist - Jamie Walker

What do you do? I travel the world giving courses in making cocktails and holding workshops with the top mixologists. I soak up local ideas and share them. In Singapore, they use things like chilli and melon; in Poland, it's beetroot. I've just been to Delhi and Mumbai, and the flavours there are very different.

by
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

How did you get the job? I fell into it about 12 years ago, when mixology was blowing up. I wanted to be an actor, but ended up getting a bar job in London and I went on to run a few top cocktail bars. It was hard to learn. I had to remember 400 cocktails, measure for measure. Before that, I had only thought of bartenders as flashy - making knickerbocker glory-style creations with sparklers sticking out of them. Nowadays, it's about beautifully crafted, seasonal cocktails that make use of locally grown ingredients.

Does reality match the dream? Absolutely. I get to go to the world's best bars and hotels. I've started doing food pairings - meeting the top chefs, tasting their food and creating drinks around that. If that's not the coolest job in the world, I don't know what is. I'm learning all the time. I've got friends working in London's top bars, which is great, and I'm the envy of them all. If I ever left, there'd be a queue of top mixologists ready to jump on my job.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime