CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT ARDBEG AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR COCKTAIL? My greatest memory of Ardbeg is finishing off a magnum of the sweet nectar on my last shift at Bulletin Place – my ‘childhood’ home. This was chased with half a bottle of Ruinart Blanc de Blancs. I decided to bring this memory to life through uniting these two elements. I used strawberry gum - a natural flavour enhancer - to bridge the gap and allow the Ardbeg to pop! The Ardbeg An Oa is perfect for this - well rounded and perfectly integrated. CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING NAMED IN THE T25 FOR 2018. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW YOU GOT STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY? I come from a long line of publicans, some fictitious some not, read into that what you will. After six years of university, I made a fortuitous venture into the world of bartending and Adi, Tim and Shay ensured I stayed there in flavour town. YOU’RE ONE OF THE BLACK PEARL CREW TO MAKE THE LIST. WHAT IS IT THAT MAKES THE VENUE PRODUCE SOME OF AUSTRALIA’S BEST BARTENDERS? Good people attract good people! As far as jobs go, working at the Pearl is the real deal. Stick around for the 10 hours we are open, and you’ll see the transition from early on high end cocktail service to late night wine disco. It’s intense, and forces you to be an extra version of yourself. Luckily in hospitality, that’s a good thing. WHAT’S THE STRANGEST THING YOU’VE EVER WITNESSED BEHIND THE BAR? A man gulped down an entire Jack and Coke once, ice and all. That was pretty great. WHEN YOU’RE OLD AND GREY, WHAT’S YOUR PLAN AFTER BARTENDING? I plan to drop off all social media and relocate to New York. I’ll get heavily involved in the arts and fashion scene under a pseudonym, of course. I’ll get in all the tabloids, make the worst connections, then drop back to Australia to buy a property in an emerging town and live a quiet life. DO YOU HAVE A SECRET HOBBY? Well, I really enjoy making homemade martinis and converting ordinary bathrooms into extraordinary steam rooms. Oh, and dress ups. I love dress ups.