Where is home and work?
Home is Brighton, also known as Little London by the sea, but I live in London now and once you get used to the pace of the city it’s hard to go back, other than to see friends and family. Work used to be in the cocktail hub of Shoreditch, but my role now as a mixology consultant for Schweppes means I’m constantly moving and never in one place for too long.
Where did your passion for mixology come from?
During my second year of studying graphic design I was simultaneously running a bar. Something had to give and it was the social aspect, enjoying a drink or two and the instantaneous creativity that hooked me in. It got me up on my feet and away from a computer. If anyone tells you they got into bartending for any other reason, they’re probably lying.
Where are your favourite places to eat and drink?
I like small gratifying places to eat and drink, the kind of secret or low key spots that don’t make the headlines. My favourite pub in Brighton was a 15 seated brew house with their own ales. An old lady played piano on Thursdays and they had plaques above the bar that read things like “please don’t drop cigarette butts on the floor as they burn the hands and knees of customers as they leave.”
What’s your favourite gin based cocktail?
I’ve always loved floral and complex gin combinations. ’20th century cocktail’ is an old classic that combines a floral fortified wine with dry cacao and lemon juice in equal measures, it’s a bit disarming but interesting. Otherwise a well-balanced Martinez is enjoyable. That said, it’s hard to beat a classic Schweppes regular tonic, gin and lime!
What brands do you admire?
Brands that stick to values of craftsmanship and creative direction. I’ve been a long admirer of Schweppes so when they asked me to be a mixology consultant it felt like a great fit. I admire their longstanding heritage and genuine product quality. So many new brands come and go but they’ve been around for hundreds of years and still manage to be innovative and creative.
What’s the biggest perk of the job?
Freedom and the constant element of surprise. We meet people from every walk of life and if you can take something positive from the everyday then you’re doing something right. I also love innovating, experimenting and genuinely being creative, which is why I love working with Schweppes. Their Mix Your Way campaign encourages me to think out of the box, and subvert the norm.
How can people ensure they are ordering the best possible gin and tonic?
Three simple things – plenty of ice, perfect proportions, and Schweppes tonic of course! It’s really important that to choose quality spirits and keep all elements chilled, especially your mixer. Schweppes tonic should be perfectly chilled – bubbles like to be kept that way so they keep their fizz.
Where in London do you think you can find the best gin and tonic?
There’s so many places in London to get a quality gin and tonic, so you’re spoiled for choice really. Try The American Bar at The Savoy, which is actually voted second best bar in the world! It’s pricey but worth it for a treat. My order? A Beefeater 24 gin and Schweppes tonic then I’ll ask them to get creative with the garnish depending on my mood.
Schweppes at boisdale
Liam Cotter is a mixology consultant for Schweppes and has been helping customers create their own perfect serve, as part of Schweppes Mix Your Way campaign. Mix Your Way, allows customers to create their perfect gin and tonic with Schweppes mixers and a range of garnishes. With the help of our expert mixologists, this experience is available exclusively in Boisdale Canary Wharf.