Angus Winchester is one of the internationally most well known bartenders, with over 20 years of experience in bartending, training and consulting.
Angus, why are you coming to the BCB and what is your presentation “About the importance of constant training” going to be about?
I am of course coming to BCB because I have long had dealing with the Germanic bartending scene and feel very connected with it. The scene is filled not only with very talented and passionate bartenders who have a very precise style but also ones with character and some edge to them. By no means egotistical or arrogant, but with very rounded personalities. It’s a very cool scene.
And as a member of the Travelling Mixologists it is a de facto Annual Meeting for us.
My seminar is about the need and importance of continued training and how new technologies and new attitudes can help facilitate this. It will also no doubt try to be funny and interesting and useful all at the same time and fail dismally… but hey… I figure I will have fun!
What is your new job as brand ambassador for Tanqueray like so far?
To be honest I have not done too much with Tanqueray recently unless you count launching a Guild of Ten Bartenders from ten iconic cities around the world… but am sure that will change when we get all our ducks in a row and move on to the next stage of setting up local Guilds in various cities around the planet and plugging them into one another to form a globally connected network of professional, talented bartenders.
Could you tell us something about interesting consulting projects you have done lately?
I am doing the Beverage Program for a $1bn refurbishment of the largest single hotel property in Miami… eleven bars and over $120m in Food and Beverage sales per year.
I am also working closely with Barmetrix to develop a Learning Management System that will allow bartenders anywhere in the world to buy an online Bartending Training solution with videos and recorded tests and critical learning paths – technology is increasingly important in training.
Which countries and bars have you visited recently?
I go in waves of visits. I have been spending a fair amount of time recently in the USA with visits to Tales of the Cocktail as well as flying visits to Miami and NYC.
The number of decent bars that make decent drinks is still low tho the amount of glamorous bars filled with bartenders making a fortune is still vast.
I spend a fair amount of time in my lady’s home town of Bratislava and love the work of both Stan Vadrna and the guys from Shake The World.
But I am about to embark on a run around Asia and Australia with Tanqueray – Bangkok, Tokyo, Osaka, Sydney, Hong Kong, Taipei, Shanghai and then on to BCB and then off to Monza… bring it on. I love all of these cities for so many reasons.
Which has been your favourite spirit or cocktail lately?
I have been drinking a lot of gin recently and am loving Gin Rickeys and also Gin Daisies but to be honest I try and stay away from declaring things my favourite…
I have such a wide repertoire of drinks and try to choose both the familiar and the new, the cool and the uncool. I like to try and rediscover drinks and not invent them and try to find the good in most things rather than revel in the good that I know now.
I do like a good Last Word though…
Thank you for the interview, Angus.
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