When Bartenders Talk - Colin Field
In our new book Where Bartenders Drink 300 expert drink-makers reveal 750 spots across 60 countries
Colin Field has been ranked as best bartender in the world by Forbes and Travel + Leisure magazines. He's the head bartender at the Hemingway Bar of the Hôtel Ritz Paris and has invented several drinks, including notably the Picasso Martini. He's also one of the high profile contributors to our new book Where Bartenders Drink.
In it, the best 300 expert drink-makers share their secrets - 750 spots spread across 60 countries - revealing where they go for a drink throughout the world when they're off-duty. Venues range from late-night establishments and legendary hotel bars to cosy neighbourhood 'locals' - often in some very surprising locales.
The 750 expert recommendations come with insightful reviews, key information, specially commissioned maps, and an easy-to-navigate geographical organization.
Written and compiled by the native New Yorker Adrienne Stillman, the co-founder, editor-in-chief, and event director of Dipsology, a curated digital guide and online community for cocktail enthusiasts, it's pretty much the only guide you need to ensure that you get the best drinks in the most memorable global locations.
Over the past few weeks we've been interviewing some of the bartenders in it and today we're chatting to Colin. This is what he told us:
Where are you from and and how did you get into this line of work? I’m from Rugby Warwickshire, my father was from Cape Town and my mother from Hamburg. This line of pleasure has been a vocation for me. My bedroom when I was 18 was already converted into a bar. The toughest thing was working in the restaurant of Lasserre 17 Ave Franklin Roosevelt Paris. A restaurant that existed through its perfect service and military strict Head waiters. We were 27 members of staff in the sale of the Restaurant for 28 tables, full carving and French service. Very very hard.
What's the one thing about being a bartender that would surprise people? It’s a brilliant career, especially if you have come from Hotel school. It can be very well paid and I travel all around the world, working with Air France on A 380s and 777s. Not to mention that I have been picked up by private jet to destinations, I work on private yachts, on the Orient Express. I have given speeches to up to 800 people in Washington and performed on stage to 2000 people. I have worked regularly in French Embassies across the world. Yes this is a real career!
What's your favourite cocktail to make and why do you like making it? The Serendipity. In a tumbler, Fresh Mint and Calvados with a tee spoon of sugar Clear Apple juice, Champagne. fIt is France in a glass. Made with exclusively French produce and was the cocktail I made in the President's Salon at the Senat whilst I was trying to convince the Ministry of Education to adopt a Degree from the Sorbonne University for Bartending. MOF. Yes France is the only country to offer a degree to French speaking bartenders, meaning that in France Bartending now is recognized as a real profession. We are the only country in the world!
Do cocktails go in and out of fashion? Yes cocktails go out of fashion. Slow comfortable screw up against the wall” Cosmopolitain, Garibaldi, Pina Colada, Alaska, ABC, Cavu, Olympic and so so many more. Next trend hopefully will be simple cocktails with three ingredients.
What do you do when you’re not mixing? My hobbies include horse riding, clay pigeon shooting, hunting, big game fishing although the tuna are only 30 to 50 lbs, but I like to call in big game fishing, cycling, roller blading, running, archery and precision shooting. I enjoy meeting people and feel at home with myself. I have reached a certain level of zen that motivates me to share myself with people rather than compete against them.
Check out Where Bartenders Drink in the store and check back in the coming days for another interview with one of its star mixologists.