Interview with Diageo Reserve GB World Class Bartender of the Year, Jamie Jones

Sated catches up with Diageo Reserve GB World Class Bartender of the Year, Jamie Jones (a.k.a. “Cocktail Hobbit”) at the Top Gun Oblix at The Hard Takamaka Tiki Takeover, to find out how things have been going since is crowning in June 2017, and what his plans are going forward.

How have the past few months been since you were declared Diageo Reserve GB World Class Bartender of the Year? What’s changed and what hasn’t?

It was such an incredible experience, and I will cherish the memories I made. I’d say not much has changed personally. Starting with Scotch+Limon as Director of Drinks has been great fun and there are some really exciting projects on the cards.

How did the new role come about?

I’ve know Fabrice Limon for almost 9 years or so; I used to run a bar up North and he was the rep for a number of brands. We’ve been very good friends since. I met Barrie a few years back too through his days at Diageo.

Working with two of my favourite humans in the industry is incredibly exciting and we’ve got some super cool projects and consultations on the cards. We all had a chat before I left for the World Class finals in Mexico, and were all very excited about the prospect!

Do you work anywhere else?

You’ll find me regularly behind the bar at Nine Lives.

What’s your “ethos”/ motto?

Educate, intoxicate but don’t intimidate. Make people feel comfortable with what they want to drink, and have fun with them.

What are your favourite bars in the UK at the moment? 

I absolutely love Three Sheets in Dalston: the Venning boys have created something really special there. Roc&Rye in Manchester is also a great new opening.

Who are your favourite bartenders?

Dan & Joe Schofield (Coupette and Tippling Club, respectively) are definitely two of my favourites. They’re both incredible hosts, have a great sense of modesty and make banging drinks!

If you could work with anyone, who would it be? 

There’s so much to learn from chefs, and I’ve really enjoyed working with some incredible chefs internationally. I’d love to work with Paul Walsh again; we created some great things together at City Social.

What did you get up to at London Cocktail Week 2017?

I trained bartenders all week with Diageo on sustainability and kitchen techniques that can be applied to drink production. It’s really exciting content, which is based on my challenges in the Mexico finals of World Class.

What’s next?

The extension of Scotch+Limon with our international consultancy is very exciting, as is the judging of World Class Europe 2018.