Adam MacDonald er en ektefødt Australsk bartender som først satte sine føtter på norsk jord i 2003 og siden har blitt værende. Han har vunnet en rekke tittler hvorav seieren i TGI Fridays Australske, Europeiske og VM 2002 troner på toppen. Når han ikke mixer smakfulle cocktails underviser han bartendere over hele landet.
Her får du høre om bartenderlivet og få oppskrifter på to av Adams beste cocktails:
Why and how did you become a bartender?
I walked into a bar in Melbourne when i was 19 and saw the bartender shaking drinks, throwing bottles, putting on a show and having fun. He was the center of attention, every guy in the building wanted to be his friend and ever girl looked at him through rose coloured glasses. I just had to get behind a bar to see if the same magic would happen for me.
What is the best part of your job?
I think the hours, working flexibility and cash tip has to be up there as the best parts.
Many people can’t understand how the hours of working 9pm to 5am could be good, but if you can adjust your sleeping pattern, and not be lazy, then I think going to the gym and doing your food shopping at 13:00 when it’s practically empty is awesome, compared to the hustle and bustle of everyone being there after “office hours”…
If you’re good at your job, cash tips can flow your way… but not just the cash tips, as many bar guests build up a friendship with their favourite bartender. I remember planning a 6 month camping trip around Australia and by just involving my guests in the journey, talking to them, asking them questions about their own travels and camping experiences as they enjoyed a drink at the bar, i ended up either receiving as gifts or borrowing every piece of equipment and tool you would ever need to successfully navigate the country and stay alive, including the 4WD truck to do the trip in! For some reason, people like to engage with a bartender. However it must be added, this is much less in the Nordic countries, but it can happen if the bartender brings their personality to work and not just a mouth full of sour lemons! Which unfortunately seems to be the industry standard far too often.
What is your greatest strength as a bartender?
I think for the first 5 years of my career my greatest strength was being able to absorb large chunks of knowledge about the bar game, spirits and cocktails… at the height of it, I once sat an exam for 650 cocktails, and passed with a 95% success rate, winning the 2002 World Championship in Bartending! That’s kind of crazy if i really think about it, but that building block of knowledge is what allows my true personality of a fun, laid back guy, to come out. Without the base of knowing more than you should know, I don’t understand how I could possibly let my confidence out of the bag.
The last 5 years has been learning how to present myself, using my voice to control large groups of people and to keep the party going. Once the confidence is on display, then the greatest strength becomes the bar itself. Standing behind the bar, I feel like i can say and do things that in the normal world could have me shot or at least slapped… but from behind a bar, everything comes across as more cheeky, and I definitely use that to my advantage when leaving an impression on people.
Where do you find inspiration to make new cocktail recipes?
To tell you the truth, I’m not someone who is so addicted to making new recipes.. instead, I would rather research already known cocktails and put these onto menus… maybe made with slightly different ingredients or in a different kind of glass… but the way i see it, there are 10,000 cocktails out there, surely the world doesn’t need a new one from me… Instead, what about finding these drinks, reinvigorate them and bring them to a new audience.
What is your signature cocktail?
In the past year, I have made a drink called a Clover Club more and more often. I most certainly did not invent it, but I did probably bring it to Norway. I added a little twist to this 1907 cocktail and it gets served up in most of our events, private parties and cocktail courses. It has also become the signature drink at the new Thief Hotel. ((They asked my company, (Liquid Engineers or www.barstars.no to step in and help out with their cocktail bar, so the Clover Club was put straight into the team. It’s a winner, winner, chicken dinner!))
- 2cl Bombay Sapphire gin
- 2cl Martini Bianco Vermouth
- 4 Fresh Raspberries
- 3cl Fresh Lemon Juice
- 2cl Sugar syrup
- 1 egg white
Shake until really cold and foamy. Serve into a chilled cocktail glass! It’s amazing, it’s old school and surprises the hell out of people!
Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
In ten years from now I will be watching over my book series, The Long Pour, which (in my head, anyway) will be on it’s 3rd volume. It will be the Kitchen Confidential of the 2000 and teens, and as such, being involved with the book will bring about a whole host of opportunities, work-wise! I will probably own a couple of bars by then also and if things fall into place, will be known in Scandinavia as “the guy with the drink app that changed the way people order drinks in a bar).. stay tuned!!!
What type of liquor do you think is the most versatile for making drinks?
That’s easy… Bacardi superior rum, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart! Versatility to me means that you can use it with the most basic ingredients ( a lime and sugar) and you can use it with complex ingredients like chili, cumquats and agave nectar. When a spirit does not over power or dominate other flavours then you have a winner. But we also don’t want it to be washed out, and that’s why Superior Rum wins for me over Vodka or any toehr spirit…every time! But my personal favourite spirit is Tequila!
What is your favorite cocktail?
Now, saying that, You might expect my own personal favourite cocktail to be a Superior Rum classic like a Daiquiri or Mary Pickford… but my favourites change.. right now, this is my personal top 5:
- Amaretto Sour
- Tommy’s Margarita
- Clover CLub
- Whiskey Sour
Do men and women order different kinds of cocktails?
If we look at the world as a whole the answer is yes, but if you look at Norway, we have to have a big * next to Norway*… Norwegian drinking culture is a unique beast. Due to the dark market on advertising and high taxes on booze (or anything fun) the level of drink education in Norway is very different to that in other developed countries… As such, we have a binge drinking society who mostly drink at home and use bars as a meeting platform to have a one or 2 drinks before going off to a “nash” to continue the binge drinking and bad decision making… It’s just the way it is. To answer you question correctly, I think Norwegians want to drink better, they just don’t have the ability to ask for it, demand it and support it… This is slowly changing, but way too slowly compared to Sweden and Denmark.
The stereotypes ring true: Men want something with more robust flavours, spiced rums, whiskey, malt beverages, ales etc… where as women want more subtle flavours and want the effects of alcohol but not necessarily the full body taste of it.
Can you give us a simple cocktail recipe based on nothing but booze and ingredients bought in your local food store?
If you mean booze bought in the local food store, then perhaps you mean the “essences” that are available, but if you mean things that people can pick up in the store if they have a bottle of booze at home, then here you go:
Frozen Peach Daiquiri
(this is probably one of the most basic, refreshing, easy to make drinks EVER!
You will need:
1 x can of peaches in syrup
1 x bottle of Superior Rum
1 x bag of white sugar
2 x Whole Limes
Equipment: Blender of food processor
1 Peach half
4cl Superior Rum
3cl Lime juice (1 lime usually has 2-3cl of fresh juice inside it)
2 teaspoons of white sugar (you might want to add 1 more for your won personal taste)
1 scoop of cubed ice (imagine your hand, filled with ice cubes…that’s a good starting point)
Blend until smooth. The straw should be able to stand up in the blended beverage without falling over! If it can do that it is ready to pour.
[Bartender Adam MacDonald kan treffes her: Liquid Engineers]
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