The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2018

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 110 of 124

1 10  /  the tasting panel  /  november 2018 AMBA LAMB Master Mixologist at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman What's your favorite cocktail to make? It would have to be the Old Fashioned. There are only four ingredients—spirit, sweetener, bitters, and ice—so each one plays a huge part in the result. It's such a gentle manipulation of flavors but can have stunning results when done well. You've won a number of beverage competitions, including the United States Bartenders' Guild Reserve World Class contest in 2017. What do you most enjoy about competing? For me there are two parts to competing. Putting myself entirely out of my comfort zone has absolutely pushed me to be better. Every time I stand up in front of people, I learn something else about myself and get better. The second part would be the community you build both locally and globally. These are the people we learn from and share with, and our industry gets stronger through these relationships. What's the best cocktail someone else has made you recently? I am in Iceland at the moment and a few days ago I had a cocktail with gin, mango, and dill oil. The flavor combina- tion was spectacular! What's been inspiring you lately? I love the provenance of ingredients: asking about the story behind an ingredient or spirit, where it came from, and who made it or grew it, then trying to tell that story in a cocktail. GARETH MOORE Bar Director at Lola 55 in San Diego, CA What's the most important aspect of making a cocktail? The most important thing in putting a cocktail together is that it's tailored to the guest who ordered it. If it makes them happy, it makes me happy. Have you noticed any trends in the way that people are ordering recently? People are more attentive to the quality of the spirit and other ingredients going into their drinks. It's a really nice thing to see, actually—it gives the bar and bartender more accountability. Which cocktail trends are you tired of? I'm not sick of any cocktail trends, per se—a good drink is a good drink. I am sick of bars trying to be things they aren't, though. If you're a fancy cocktail spot, make over-the-top drinks with wild garnishes and glassware. If you're a sports bar, serve shots and beers along with Jack & Cokes and vodka sodas. Each type of bar has its own place in the world: Don't try to wear too many hats. What advice do you have for bright-eyed young bartenders? Start by bar-backing and doing syrup prep, and don't take yourself too seriously. Our job is to make people smile through drink and gesture, not wow them with esoteric knowledge about things they've never heard of. That being said, be sure to have that knowledge stored away just in case someone actually does need to be wowed. We've partnered with Chef's Roll & Somm's List, the global culinary and wine professional networks, to learn more about beverage experts from across the country. If you are a mixologist or wine professional interested in being featured here or want more information on Chef's Roll and Somm's List, please email PHOTO COURTESY OF MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL PHOTO: SERGEY KOLIVAYKO COURTESY OF CHEF'S ROLL

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - November 2018