Name: Hal Smith
Job Title: Libation-Creation-Stationist
We have many different favourite bars depending on the occasion. What's your favourite for: A. Pornstar Martini & Date Night? B. A Bloody Marry & Brunch? C. Rum Punch & a party?
Obviously Exotic Booze Club hits all these but if I had to answer -
A. Prohibition (great drinks and some sexy dimmed lighting)
B. Bar Lounge (The brunch maaaan, the bruuuunch)
C. Lono Cove (The staff always make you feel like an old friend)
Which spirit/ingredients has your favourite packaging? How important is this?
Mermaid Gin with their fish scale design! It’s sleek, eyecatching, it’s fits their theme. Packaging is key, if food looked like slop on a menu you wouldn’t order it. The same logic applies on a back bar.
What's your favourite food to pair with drinks?
Olives, I know it’s cliche but a good stuffed olive in herby brine is a perfect bar snack. Plus the brine can be used for a dirty martini or you can dare a mate to drink it. Craft & Company have just that sort.
How did you get into the drinks industry?
By chance, I started in uni and realised I was better at and preferred working in hospitality so I hung around for the party!
What do you love most about your job?
A million things! The love and support from colleagues, enabling a good party, being able to have a laugh, no early morning, and a staff drink to top it all off
And the worst bits?
No weekends and long hours. That’s it, the job is amazing other than that but I love it so it’s worth it.
If you could share a cocktail with anyone who would it be and why?
I’d love to sit with President Roosevelt, apparently he loved a cocktail. I’ve got a suspicion he ended the Prohibition for himself more than anything.
What are your Exotic Booze goals?
Make sure every customer leaves with a smile and you can always hear laughter in the bar
What advice do you have for aspiring Drinks professionals?
Read, Watch and listen to everything you can find to do with drinks. Dive into the Booze world and you’ll be intoxicated (Pun intended)
What's going to be the next big drinks trend?
Rum’s coming back people! Get on the bandwagon!
What have you learnt from lockdown - any positive takeaways?
Not so much learnt but reaffirmed that the people around you are the most valuable thing. And also that drinking Margaritas from 10AM is fiiiine (Sorry Mum)
Any other pearls of wisdom or drinks rants?
If you’re on a date and they’re rude to the person serving you get rid.