Alex Walker: Beaufort Bar at the Savoy (London)

Alex is a bartender at Beaufort Bar at the Savoy in London. He makes two cocktails for us, one with Oloroso Sherry and Vermouth and the second with Rye and Campari.

Alex introduce yourself
My name is Alex Walker and I work in the Beaufort Bar at the Savoy Hotel in London. I started bartending in the most cliched way possible… gap year in Australia, ran out of money, got a job in a bar in Sydney. When I walked in the manager asked if I had any bar experience, so obviously I lied, told him I did and started the next day. I did the usual and travelled around Australia, but that job had got me aching to learn and do more in the industry. When I returned home to the north of England I decided to keep working in bars and stumbled upon a small cocktail bar in a converted victorian terrace in Warrington. Eventually my hometown got too small for me and I decided to move to Manchester. I worked in a few bars with very different styles of service, honing my skills until I made my move to London. I’d always had my eyes set on the Savoy, so when the opportunity arose, I applied for a job and got it. It’s a great privilege to work in such an institution and I’ve been working at the beautiful Beaufort Bar for a year now.

The classic you want to show us
Adonis
45ml of Oloroso Sherry
45ml of Cocchi Torino
2 dashes of Orange Bitters

The bar you dream of
I already know where and what I want my bar to be. I’d open it back in the north, as there is an incredible old derelict building in Manchester I love. It has The Percy Brothers painted on the side and I would give the bar the same name. I’d keep the current state of the exterior, but give the interior an industrial, very british feel with an Alex Walker twist. I’d really want the bar to have green carpet (as I’m always jealous of bars with carpet), exposed brick walls, lots of wood and a huge chandelier. I’d serve classic english food like pies, sausage rolls and scotch eggs but turned up to 11 in terms of quality and flavour. Really old school music would feature heavily, with a little french electro swing thrown in for good measure.

What do you do in your time off
Obviously I like to indulge in a tipple every now and then, so I spend quite a bit of time exploring new bars in London. My girlfriend and I are both massive foodies so we are constantly trying various restaurants in the capital. Also, since moving down here I’m trying to push myself culturally by going to more theatre and exploring all the galleries London has to offer.

The spirit you like the most
My favourite spirit is not actually a spirit, it’s sherry. With the whole low ABV trend and the wide variety of sherries available it’s a very versatile ingredient. I particularly like oloroso, as I believe it’s as complex as a whisky.

What makes a good cocktail
The right ingredients, the vessel and the balance.

What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktails
Bananas. I love bananas in any form. They are amazing.

The signature cocktail you want to show us
By Invitation Only
45ml of Jack Daniels Single Barrel Rye
20ml of Cranberry Cordial
10ml of Maraschino
5ml of Campari
2 dashes of Wormwood Bitters
Spray of Chocolate Perfume
Cherry Lipstick

Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
I’d go and see Jake O’Brien Murphy from Callooh Callay and Claire West at Milk and Honey. Also you have to meet my best friend Jack Daniels (no he’s not joking, that’s his real name) at the Wash House in Manchester.

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