CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT WEST WINDS CUTLAS GIN AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR COCKTAIL? West Winds Cutlas is a punchy little number sitting at 50% ABV, and I honestly wanted to create a tasty cocktail utilising all the botanicals. The coriander stood out a lot, so I paired that with Mancino Bianco Vermouth, which also has some similar flavour profiles. I rounded it out with the freshness of apple and nuttiness of chestnut from the Le Birlou liqueur, which complements the bush tomato found in West Winds Cutlass. CONGRATULATIONS ON MAKING IT INTO THE 2018 T25. HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY? Thanks ever so much. I started out a long time ago. The first bar job I had was pouring wine, opening beers and making G&T’s in my Dad’s house back in the 90s. I started travelling when I was 18 and found myself collecting glasses and helping out in a hostel in Austria, while enjoying the ski season. My bartending career really kicked off when I met Sean Muldoon and started working as his main man at The Merchant Hotel in Belfast. Working at The Merchant Hotel created the path that I am now on and I wouldn’t change it for the world. WHAT’S ONE OF YOUR BEST MOMENTS BEHIND THE BAR? There are way too many to even count! I’ve been super lucky to meet some really famous people and some of my favourite moments have just been watching people having fun. But the best moment was when I met my now wife, Erin. Her smile changed the outcome of my life forever. DO YOU COLLECT ANYTHING? I used to collect books, but not so much anymore. IF YOU WERE STUCK ON AN ISLAND AND COULD ONLY TAKE ONE OBJECT, ONE BOTTLE AND ONE PERSON, WHAT AND WHO WOULD YOU TAKE? I would definitely take my wife Erin, a bottle of Krug Clos du Mesnil 2000 and a 20kg kettlebell.