Bruce Govia is the Bar Manager of FAM in London. He makes us two cocktails, one with Whiskey and Gin Liqueur and the second with Rum and Falernum.
Bruce introduce yourself
My name is Bruce Govia and I am originally from Trinidad. I love to take care of people, so the hospitality industry was made for me and I embraced it back in 2001 in my homeland. I opened an outdoor nightclub with friends in Tobago, our sister island. But I wanted to go further regarding cocktails so I moved to London in 2006 and bounced between different places before starting at Dirty Martini in Covent Garden. Then I moved to Opium in Chinatown where you could be a great host and a great bartender. I wanted to know a little bit more about food, so I worked in a few Michelin star restaurants and now here I am in FAM as a Bar Manager. It’s a neighbourhood cocktail bar in central London, with the goal of being low impact on the environment, even if we don’t promote that. I have a degree in sustainable engineering so it’s important for me to do our best. We even talk to our suppliers to see how they can improve their sustainability too. Sustainable development is all about education, as is drinking better. That’s why our cocktails are not over garnished and quite simple. For instance, citrus oil will be added in the batch if needed. Next step is we plan to make sorbets, so we lose nothing with the fruits we use. I also think our wall of records is part of our identity too. Anyone can come into the bar, pick a record to play, pick a cocktail and have fun.
The classic you want to show us
25ml of Maker’s Mark Bourbon
20ml of Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey
20ml of Blended House Sweet Vermouth
5ml of Braemble Gin Liqueur
1 dash Regan’s Orange Bitters
1 dash of Angostura Bitters
The bar you dream of
I want to work in a place that I would want to drink in, like here. A good dive bar with decent cocktails, I love that type of place. Nothing too big, because with over 60 people you lose the interaction between the customer and staff. The thing I would change here is the bar, I’d like a longer one, so more people could sit in front of the bartender. Regarding food, I’d serve more seasonal and fusion food. If we could have a DJ here it would be fab too.
What do you do in your time off
I cook at home for people and go for walks in parks around the city.
The spirit you like the most
Tequila is the winner. Since I’ve been in London it’s grown on me. It has so much flavour that no spirit can compare. It’s a beautiful liquid, you can have it martini style, with just citrus, it’s very versatile… and it’s a happy spirit too.
What makes a good cocktail
If the guest is happy, then that’s a good cocktail.
What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktails
I love tea as it has a lot of flavours and tannins and it adds length and body to a drink. I especially like milk oolong tea as it works very well with brown spirits or I use green tea with tequila.
The signature cocktail you want to show us
35ml of Mount Gay Black Barrel Dark Rum
15ml of Fair Café Liqueur
25ml of Fresh Espresso
10ml of House made Falernum
Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
You need to visit Amsterdam, as I love this city and you must go to Door 74 and Timo’s new place Flying Dutchman. In Paris check out Little Red Door.