Richard Tring is currently working as Head Bartender at the Milk Thistle in Bristol. He is 27 and has been working in the industry for eight years. He trained with The Match Group in London, and The Player is still his favourite bar to drink in.
After relocating to Bristol two years ago he has made a name for himself working with The Drinks Cabinet and at The Milk Thistle, most recently by winning the Appleton Estate Bartender Challenge. He aims to open his own bar soon…
What does the World Class competition mean to you?
It’s the most prestigious competition in this industry
What is your earliest cocktail memory?
Being taught how to make a passion fruit Martini by my then boss Jules Kelly. Delicious!
Did you choose the profession or did it choose you?
It definitely chose me. I’ve always enjoyed food and drink, and once I started my first bar job (at The King William in Bath) I was hooked. I haven’t looked back since
How do you think bartending is regarded as a career?
I think that the way we are regarded by the general public has improved dramatically, even over the past five years. People expect a higher standard of service and knowledge. That can only be a good thing.
If drink hadn’t entered the equation, what would you like to think you’d be doing now?
I’d probably be a chef, something equally creative with equally unsocial hours.
What’s the best thing about your job?
And the hardest?
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?
Ian Wright! I’m an Arsenal fan so it was a bit of a dream come true. He was drinking rum punch.
Who’s your favourite cocktail drinker and why? (living, dead or fictional)
It’s got to be Churchill, the man had epic chat!
What’s the most valuable piece of advice you picked up at the World Class Forum?
To be humble, and to put the hours in (from Jim Meehan).
What’s your favourite cocktail:
a) to mix?
b) to drink?
Depends on what time of the day it is…
c) on your menu?
The Milk Thistle Daisy – Tanqueray Gin, lemon juice, spiced pear syrup and fizz. Sharp and to the point
List three ingredients you’d put in a cocktail to sum up the facets of your personality and a few words why you’ve chosen each item.
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?
I personally don’t drink many cocktails at home, but if I do, I tend to drink an Old-Fashioned. It doesn’t require any bar equipment
Take a large lowball glass and fill with ice.
Pour a generous measure of whisky (whichever your preference may be).
Add a couple of dashes of bitters (Angostura is a failsafe).
Pour in a tiny bit of sugar syrup, 10mls or less. This can be made at home by just stirring together equal volumes of sugar and water and kept in the fridge.
Stir until the ice has begun to melt.
Squeeze a little lemon or orange peel over the top of the drink.
The recipe that got him through:
50ml Ketel One vodka
15ml simple syrup
3 dashes Chartreuse elixir
25ml lemon juice
Dry shake all ingredients then shake again with ice. Fine strain into coupe and garnish with a twist of lemon discarded.