Jolene was the winner of The Chivas Masters, Bristol heat. She currently plies her trade at Papaji’s in Bristol, is partial to an Old-Fashioned and served one of her winning drinks with a side order of Vimto sweets…
How did you become a bartender?
I started working in a bar when I was 15 whilst doing my A-levels. I quickly realised that I enjoyed myself and learnt more from interacting with people, rather than sitting in a classroom. I worked hard and worked my way up. After so many years in the industry, I wouldn’t change a thing.
What is your definition of a classic cocktail?
A classic to me is a cocktail that has stood the test of time, one that is known inside and outside of the bartending crowds. Although a lot of people define the classics as those between 1887 and Prohibition, I think there are many cocktails from later periods such as the Mai Tai that are becoming classics in their own right.
What is your classic cocktail of choice?
For me, you can’t beat a good Old-Fashioned – I want to taste the whisky and enjoy how the drink changes as the ice melts. If it lasts that long!
What appealed to you about The Chivas
I really like the challenge of making four cocktails for four different eras. Each period has aspects that I love, either the history of the Classic Age, the Tiki influence of the Post-War Boom, the fun of the Disco Years and the freedom of the Age of Revivalism period – I liked the way we had to take the classics and put our own twist on them with techniques, knowledge and ingredients that are now readily available.
Which of the four periods (The Classic Age, The Post-War Boom, The Disco Years and The Age of Revivalism) did you enjoy most?
I would have to say The Disco Years. In an age where the techniques and craftsmanship of cocktails had been lost, it leaves more room for the less serious, fun elements like making things blue, adding crazy garnishes and unnecessary serves. It’s like cocktail Guilty Pleasures. How often do you get to use Vimto in a cocktail?
Which of your four winning cocktails are you proudest of?
The Brickcroft Flip. Sitting down and looking through my family history and discovering stories of my Grandma Great (as the family called her) when she ran The Brickcroft Tavern. I feel this cocktail was a way of personally acknowledging her and a thank you for the love of whisky in my blood.
Which famous person, living or dead, real or
fictional, from the four periods would you like to make one of your four cocktails for?
I’d make the Post War Bloom cocktail, Chivas M’Timbers for my Dad. This cocktail was inspired by him, his love for anything remotely pirate-like and memories of the way he used to sit in the same position of an evening with a whisky in hand. It’s a shame he didn’t get to see me have a career in the industry before he died, I think he would be proud that I was carrying on the family trade. He may not be famous to anyone else, but he is to me.
What’s your favourite way to enjoy Chivas?
Oooh, that depends on my mood! Chivas 18 as it comes, or Chivas Regal in an Old-Fashioned or Whisky Sour. It’s so versatile. Just put it in my face (responsibly, of course)!
What’s your recipe for a simple Chivas cocktail for people to make at home.
50ml Chivas Regal
20ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
10ml sugar syrup
Dash peach bitters.
Built in a tall glass, filled with ice. Top with double-strength green tea and soda.
What are you most looking forward to about the UK final?
I’m really looking forward to seeing what the other finalists bring. Competitions are a great way to learn new techniques and see what other bartenders are using and how they go about doing things differently. Every day is a school day! Also, the chance to take part in the global final would be amazing!
The Chivas Masters is…
GOING TO BE AWESOME!
The People’s Choice
Who would you like to see win The Chivas Masters UK Final 2014? Click the Facebook ‘Like’ button below to cast your vote for Jolene. To see all the finalists click here.
Jolene joins the other seven finalists in the The Chivas Masters UK Final in London on 3rd June.