Our favourite bartenders: Tristan Stephenson
Where did you learn your craft?
I started as a chef and bartender in the pubs and restaurants of north Cornwall.
Name a few of the places you’ve worked
Fifteen in Cornwall. I also worked as an ambassador for Diageo for a while.
Who’s the most inspiring person you’ve worked with and why?
Too many to name, but some would be Dave Broom, Nigel Barden, Wayne Curtis and Professor Tony Blake.
What makes a good bartender?
Attention to detail in everything.
Which bartenders do you admire and why?
Dave Arnold. He brings a lot of sensible science into the profession, some of which answers a lot of questions of which the answers have been wrongly assumed over the years.
What’s your proudest moment as a bartender?
The opening night at Purl… Or, winning CLASS Bartender of the Year 2011.
Shaken or stirred?
Thrown. Just kidding. It depends on the drink.
What’s your favourite drink?
The last one.
The next one.
On your menu:
That would have the be the Mr Hyde’s Fixer Upper at Purl.
What’s your definition of a bartender and a mixologist and where do you fit in?
I don’t really see them as being different. People associate the term ‘mixologist’ with a certain type of bartender, but it’s just a word and it’s been used for a lot longer than most people recognise.
What’s your favourite ingredient?
Bob’s Abbots bitters
Where do you drink off duty?
The Langham, The Savoy and a whole bunch of pubs.
What’s your essential piece of bar kit?
Scales – bartenders don’t use them enough, but a decent set is essential for good prep.
What’s your failsafe recipe to mix at home?
Absinthe. It’s quick, easy, doesn’t go off, and above all else – really, really tasty.
If you could mix a cocktail for anyone alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Find Tristan between bars at Flat P at Dach & Sons, 68 Heath Street, NW3 1DN. T: 020 7444 8139. dachandsons.com; Purl, 50-54 Blandford Street, W1U 7HX. T: 020 7935 0835. purl-london.com; Worship Street Whistling Shop, 63 Worship Street, EC2A 2DU. T: 020 7247 0015. whistling shop.com.