Caterer What's Shaker all about?
Adam Freeth Shaker was launched in 2001 and offers a cocktail of services to support the evolving bars and events industry including a bar school, consultancy and events organisation comprising exhibitions, charity events, corporate team building days and private parties.
Caterer What type of courses do you offer?
AF Everything from a one-day introduction to cocktails to our flagship International Bartenders course which has since been turned into a book called Professional Bartending, Every Bartenders Guide to the Industry. The course covers setting standards, customer service, product knowledge and how to mix classic and contemporary cocktails. The Advanced Bartenders course is a level up and covers more intense competition recipes and designing cocktails. Our latest offer is the Molecular Mixologist course, which applies the principles of molecular gastronomy and is designed for practical use in the bar rather than just using quirky techniques.
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Caterer Who are your typical clients?
AF Aspiring bartenders from independent and chain bars and restaurants who want to improve their practical skills. We try to promote the courses to women but 90% of our clients are men. We've trained people from outlets including Hakkasan, the St Martin's Lane hotel, the Connaught and the Light bar in London, as well as drinks giant Diageo and Abode Hotels.
Caterer What makes a good mixologist?
AF It's important to be able to create wonderfully palatable, balanced mixed drinks, but if you can't interact with the customer then you can't consider yourself to be a bartender. We use the phrase TNT (tiny noticeable things), which can mean replacing a wet napkin, wiping the bar down before the customer arrives, advising on drinks - we are in the service industry after all.
Caterer What's your favourite cocktail and why?
AF A large glass of Patron Gran Burdeos - an aged tequila matured in American French oak barrels for a minimum of 12 months - which can be served by itself or in an Old Fashioned cocktail. A bottle of this tequila retails at around £400, so it's a pricey tipple but it's good.
Caterer What's next for Shaker?
AF We plan to open training schools around the world by teaming up with local partners like education institutions, people in the industry and maybe by franchising our concept. The Middle East, India and North America are proven markets and the US especially needs a good quality professional bartending school that uses real ingredients. There are dozens of courses available but they use coloured water to save money. How can you teach a bartender to make a good margarita with water? Here in the UK we are also about to be accredited by the British Institute of Innkeeping and the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.