Not all Brighton Creatives put pen to paper or eye to viewfinder. We had a chat with Jake Goldstein who currently works at Plotting Parlour here in Brighton. If you haven’t been to this perfectly formed cocktail bar nestled near the seafront we advise you do so immediately. Before you do, carry on and read the answers to the questions we put to Jake about the art of mixology. Photos by: Ashley Lornie.
What do you do differently from other bartenders?
Lots of Bartenders are putting themselves out there now with creative and original recipes, thats what I like to do. I get bored making classic cocktails and I like to try to be a bit more risky. There is serious talent to making perfectly balanced classic cocktails but I’m about having a bit more fun with it. I like people to try new things so I’ll often use an ingredient or combination of flavours people haven’t necessarily seen before. I also tend to make most of my cocktail ingredients myself. There are some wicked off the shelf products out there but for me its about giving people something they couldn’t knock together at home.
What is your favourite spirit to create cocktails with?
Anything brown. Clear spirits are versatile but once something goes in a barrel it just develops so many interesting flavours to play off in a cocktail. But then again gin is pretty delicious isn’t it?
You’ve been keen entering competitions for cocktail making – what has been your most successful creation?
Definitely the Beekeeper. I owe that drink a lot, it took me to America to the Buffalo Trace finals and to the final of another national competition but instead made with Chivas Regal. It’s made with: Buffalo/Chivas, fresh borage, lemon and lavender marmalade, honey and lemon juice. It means a lot to me really. The idea is it contains some of the bee’s favourite flowers (borage and lavender) and honey. All things we can grow, eat and keep to encourage the little fella’s. Bee populations are declining rapidly. It’s pretty good if we can help them through getting drunk.
What do you love about creating cocktails?
The moment when you finally finish it. I often get a set of flavours that I know will work, but spend forever playing around with the specification and the style of drink. Unlike with a plate of food you taste a cocktail all at once so all the flavours need to come through harmoniously. So it’s the balancing I find most challenging, and most rewarding.
Do you have any secret ingredients or methods to your bartending?
Borage! Not the biggest secret though.
How do you stay inspired and come up with new recipes?
There is an endless supply of incredible spirits and ingredients out there, too many. I almost always work with flavours I really like and try things together that I haven’t before. I get inspired a lot and by a lot of whacky things, unfortunately it doesn’t work a lot of the time. Its not a lack of ideas thats the problem its the amount of them! I’ll scribble pages of notes and have to read through picking out the bits that aren’t nonsense.
What are your top 5 global cocktail bars?
I don’t get out enough. I’d love to drink in swanky bars but I work weekends and get a bartenders salary. Here are the guys I think are on point at the moment though:
Happiness Forgets (London)
Worship Street Whistling Shop (London)
Duck and Waffle (London)
The Aviary (Chicago)