Rusty Cerven : The Gibson (London)

Rusty, is the bar manager at The Gibson London. He makes two cocktails for us, one with gin and mancino vermouth, and the second is with earl grey and citrus grass cordial.

Rusty introduce yourself
I’m Rusty Cerven and I’m the bar manager atThe Gibson in East London. I’ve worked in the bar industry for the last 13 years and sarted in my native Slovakia. I actually studied marketing and computing, but found my job in marketing was not what I expected. A friend of mine had just opened a bar and explained how exciting it was to create drinks and chat with clients, so I tried it and never went back to marketing. After a fews years I decided to move to London to discover a larger cocktail scene as Slovakia was still small in terms of the hospitality industry. I worked at Mark’s Bar in Hix, then I had an opportunity to work at the Connaught Bar where I stayed for five years, before opening this place.

The classic you want to show us
Gibson Martini
60ml of Tanqueray Gin
5ml of Mancino Vermouth
1 Pickled Onion

The bar or party you dream of
That’s a tricky question. I do have few concepts for bars in my head but I can’t tell you about them ;).

I used to go to bars alot when I was younger, but these days I prefer a good old pub like The Grapes or going out to restaurants. I do try to go to new openings though, to see how bars look and what people in the industry are doing. I’ve always admired chefs and their talents to play with flavours, so when I travel, it’s important to see what and where people eat to understand the culture.

The spirit you like the most
My favourite spirit is Genever. When I came to London, of course I found my way to gin, but when I went to Amsterdam and discovered this product, its history, it blew my mind, it was incredible. Even if there are common roots with gin, it’s very different because of the botanicals which give very different flavour profiles from all around the world. It’s a versatile spirit that’s complex, herbal and refreshing.

What makes a good cocktail and which product do you want to highlight at this moment
For me the definition of a good cocktail is passion. You can practice and train all you like, but in the end if you don’t have the feeling for drinks they won’t be good. When I create a drink, I don’t focus on technique, I focus on what I want to express and experience, I want to share that with people.

When we opened The Gibson we were thinking of ingredients that are not too common, so we use a lot of savoury shrubs with vinegar which are now becoming more and more popular. We also chose pickles and chutneys with different ingredients and vinegars that related to the Gibson.

The signature cocktail you want to show us
Electric Earl
45ml of Tanqueray Gin 10
10ml of Earl Grey Liqueur
2 dashes of Electric Bitters
1/4 Fresh Grapefruit
1 Lime
35ml of Tonic and Citrus Grass Cordial

Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender?
Go to meet Erik Lorincz the head bartender at the American bar in Savoy.

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