An award winning bartender who is set to deliver a take part in a cocktail masterclass in Belfast this weekend has revealed he loves “the energy and the welcome” he encounters when he visits the city.
Tristan Stephenson is the author of the Curious Bartender range of cocktail books, and co-owner of two of London’s hottest cocktail bars, Purl, and Worship Street Whistling Shop.
This weekend, he’s set to give guests an exclusive opportunity to taste contemporary and classic cocktails with his own unique twist during the masterclass, which will be a fitting ending this Sunday to Belfast Cocktail Week.
Speaking to the Guide, the Cornish man revealed that his father was from Northern Ireland, and he still has a lot of family members living here.
“My background in hospitality was originally as a chef, but I transferred over to the bar when I couldn’t find any kitchen work about 14 years ago.
“Cocktail culture was growing slowly at that point, so it was a great time to get in to the business!”
He adds: “I’ve only visited Belfast a couple of times before but I love it. I like the energy, the welcome, and the drinking culture here.”
Tristan hopes to encourage fellow drink enthusiasts living locally.“I hope that through talking about my career running bars and writing books, I can inspire other people,” he says.
“I’m fortunate enough to have travelled a lot, seen many of the world’s best bars, and call many of the world’s best bartenders my friends.I’m excited about this industry and I hope that none of that excitement wears off! My advice to anyone interested in getting into the business is go to the tastings, enter the competitions, socialise with your peers and be good to your guests.
“Making yourself present really is the best way to discover new opportunities.”
And when pressed to the best parts of his job, he added: “The travel and the people, but not in that order!”