Jonathan Leathley works at Socio Rehab in Manchester. He goes through to the World Class UK 2012 Final with his Ron Zacapa 23-based recipe, Guatelmalan Fudge, a drink inspired by ladies.
What does the World Class competition mean to you?
World Class is the most prestigious and talked about competition, just to be selected at the earliest stage is a privilege.
What is your earliest cocktail memory?
Being on holiday in Majorca or somewhere with my family at a very early age. I was drinking a cocktail with whipped cream and a sparkler and felt the effects of alcohol for the first time. I loved it!
Did you choose the profession or did it choose you?
I chose this profession. I started working in kitchens as a chef and was always jealous of the bar staff flirting with customers. I wanted a piece of that action! Then I fell in love with making drinks.
How do you think bartending is regarded as a career?
Bartending is generally frowned upon by those who don’t understand what a rich and fun industry it can be.
If drink hadn’t entered the equation, what would you like to think you’d be doing now?
I’d be DJ or promoter – it would still have to be something sociable.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Good customer feed back, having everyone around town know who you are.
And the hardest?
Working with cling film, having everyone around town know who you are.
Who’s the most memorable person you’ve ever created a cocktail for? Who was it, what was it and why does it stand out for you?
Steve Coogan, just because he is a legend. I made him a Manhattan, he said it was ‘smashing’.
Who’s your favourite cocktail drinker and why? (living, dead or fictional)
I admire anyone who knows what they want to order, industry or not. I just get frustrated by people with no culture or understanding for drinks, people who just reel off clichéd lines like ‘are you going to flip it around like Tom Cruise’.
What’s the most valuable piece of advice you picked up at the World Class Forum?
I left feeling inspired more than anything.
What’s your favourite cocktail:
a) to mix?
Long Island Iced tea
b) to drink?
c) on your menu?
Socio Sweet Ale
List three ingredients you’d put in a cocktail to sum up the facets of your personality.
1. Some kind of in homemade syrup or liqueur, because I’m creative.
2. Premium products, because I enjoy the finer things in life.
3. Or anything at all, because I’m not a snob and sometimes I just want to have fun.
You’ve created a World Class cocktail to secure your place in the finals, can you give us a simple failsafe recipe for cocktail lovers to create at home?
Take a bottle of tequila, ½ a bottle of triple sec, the juice of as many limes as you can be bothered to squeeze. Ice, blend. The ultimate house party drink!
The recipe that got him through:
35ml Ron Zacapa 23
50ml apple juice
pinch sea salt
Half pint glass of chocolate torte and lemon sorbet
Shake, strain and serve straight up.