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Our favourite bartenders: Tristan Stephenson

ByThe Cocktail Lovers

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Tristan Stephenson, co-founder of Fluid Movement, Purl and Worship Street Whistling Shop

Where did you learn your craft?

I started as a chef and bartender in the pubs and restaurants of north Cornwall.

Name a few of the places you’ve worked

Fifteen in Cornwall. I also worked as an ambassador for Diageo for a while.

Who’s the most inspiring person you’ve worked with and why?

Too many to name, but some would be Dave Broom, Nigel Barden, Wayne Curtis and Professor Tony Blake.

What makes a good bartender?

Attention to detail in everything.

Which bartenders do you admire and why?

Dave Arnold. He brings a lot of sensible science into the profession, some of which answers a lot of questions of which the answers have been wrongly assumed over the years.

What’s your proudest moment as a bartender?

The opening night at Purl… Or, winning CLASS Bartender of the Year 2011.

Shaken or stirred?

Thrown. Just kidding. It depends on the drink.

What’s your favourite drink?

To mix:
The last one.

To drink:
The next one.

On your menu:
That would have the be the Mr Hyde’s Fixer Upper at Purl.

What’s your definition of a bartender and a mixologist and where do you fit in?

I don’t really see them as being different. People associate the term ‘mixologist’ with a certain type of bartender, but it’s just a word and it’s been used for a lot longer than most people recognise.

What’s your favourite ingredient?

Bob’s Abbots bitters

Where do you drink off duty?

The Langham, The Savoy and a whole bunch of pubs.

What’s your essential piece of bar kit?

Scales – bartenders don’t use them enough, but a decent set is essential for good prep.

What’s your failsafe recipe to mix at home?

Absinthe. It’s quick, easy, doesn’t go off, and above all else – really, really tasty.

If you could mix a cocktail for anyone alive or dead, who would it be and why?

My father.

Find Tristan between bars at Purl, 50-54 Blandford Street, W1U 7HX. T: 020 7935 0835. purl-london.com, and Worship Street Whistling Shop, 63 Worship Street, EC2A 2DU. T: 020 7247 0015. whistling shop.com.

The Cocktail Lovers

The Cocktail Lovers

The Cocktail Lovers are Mr G and Ms S, a man and a woman who share a passion for cocktails. (We also happen to be married, so we’re cocktail lovers in more ways than one…)

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