Wednesday, 28 September 2011


Over the last 5yrs I have been buying to my wife's dismay, an array of lovely bartending equipment. For a along time all I did was collect it like a magpie hoarding it in my  "special" bartending box. Now that I am doing some work for Martin Millers I get to use it on special occasions. Here are just a few pictures of what I have been collecting over the years. Here is a collection of my bar spoons.
And here are some of my jiggers

Well that's most of my stuff....

That's not a knife its a spoon!

Since starting at the Merchant, ice and it's use has played a huge part of my working bartending life. We started humbly. We fumbled our way through making, storing, using and cutting it. It was a total nightmare and extremely time consuming. In Belfast we don't have the luxury of ordering in pre made blocks of ice. So every single piece of ice has been made by us for us...
We haven't changed our methods that much in five years. We freeze tap water, yes pure tap water in large plastic containers and place them into chest freezers. Its takes two to three days for the water to freeze into a solid block. We then remove the frozen block and let it defrost awhile. Once the ice block has defrosted a little we removed it from its plastic container. We set to work with an ice pick, we collect all the clear ice discarding the ice that is cloudy(mineral and dust sediment). It's that easy folks, really it is that simple. Here is me with a chinese meat cleaver cutting ice in the wonderful merchant hotel.


I visited Manhattan once, it was just after 911. You could cut the tension with a knife, the streets were dead, like a vacuum cleaner had just sucked the life out of the city.I want to go back because I never had a Manhattan in Manhattan.

Manhattan, Manhattan
Soft, silky, smooth
luxurious like satin

An elegant combination
that lingers on your lips
It numbs the tongue

The rye bites at your gums
The gentle sting of pleasure
It's a great Manhattan's measure

A volatile mixture of
Rye, bitters and vermouth
Bound together by tradition

Manhattan, Manhattan
Soft, silky, smooth
luxurious like satin

Drunk in a sensual 
And pleasurable fashion

Manhattan, Manhattan
Soft, silky, smooth
luxurious like satin

Monday, 15 August 2011


OK wow, I haven't updated this blog in over a year :(... Well I have but pulled the pin on the updates. I'm super excited to announce that I will be doing some Ad-hock work for my favourite gin company Martin Millers. I will be supporting the brand in a training capacity across Ireland. So for those of you who live and work in Belfast and Dublin see you soon :). I have also been working on training guide for the Merchant Hotel. Here is a sneak preview of what I have been doing. If you like it please feel free to drop an email.
Enjoy any comments or recommendations appreciated. Hayds

Friday, 9 April 2010

42Below Cocktail World Cup 2010

Hay gang, well its been ages and ages and I have been meaning to update my site but life takes over. Anyways since my last post I have had the pleasure of meeting a huge amount of fantastic people, Julio Bermejo, Tomas Estes, Jim Meehan and loads of great bartenders from all over the world.

I also had the greatest pleasure of representing the UK in the 42Below cocktail world cup. For those of you who don't know about the 42Below world cup and you are a serious bartender, this is an amazing competition. It tests every part of your imagination and you have fun doing it,check it out at Jacob Briars is a great host and he is the man when it comes to organising everything and I mean everything. Oh did I mention that 42Below is the most awarded vodka in the world!
Every day was just filled with excitement and I would like to extended a HUGE thank you to all the guys and girls at 42Below for making it just a super special week!!!


Wednesday, 28 October 2009

The waiting game

Hi everyone sorry I have been really busy of late. With the birth of my baby looming I haven't felt that creative. I'm really stuck on a Manhattan poem and it's driving me mad! I have been debating the taste of Bacardi Carta Blanca from the 1920's, check out the war of words and feel free to have your say!

I had the pleasure of meeting Wayne Curtis and his wife they are just great people. If you haven't read his book : "And a bottle of rum, a history of the new world in ten cocktails" shame on you.

Anyways, I will be up and running shortly with some more poems please check it out and comment on the comments section. I had some nice criticism from a reader and will be looking into some poetry classes to improve my work!