Country Tails

May 25, 2012

Dominic Jacobs, bar manager at Harvey Nichols 5th floor bar and curator of the cocktail menu gives us an insight into his world.

  1. What was the inspiration behind the Chase cocktails
The inspiration is to create a list which is fun and approachable for consumers, celebrating the best of British products using a cross section of the Chase Distillery range. I also wanted to create a menu which made people start thinking about cocktail and food pairing. Most of the drinks on the list could also be recreated at home.
  1. What’s your favourite Chase Spirit
I like the Marmalade Vodka, my guilty pleasure with tonic. Pretty much drank it all last summer. I also like introducing customers to it, it is fun and delicious.
  1. What’s your favourite Chase cocktail?
Personally I would order a vodka martini with a twist (or marmalade and tonic)
  1. Are there any new cocktails you are working on in the future
Constantly, it is non-stop! Our menu’s change very regularly so there is never any rest. I am always working on seasonal cocktails and approaching summer this opens up more options
  1. Who do you most admire in the Wine and Spirits world?
I admire those who have the vision and patience to spend create quality products without compromise. English sparkling wine is a casing point. It is a tough and costly process to start a vineyard, which takes time if you want quality, however there are number of examples of producers who have fought against the odds and fortunately now they a reaping the rewards. I couldn’t name just one person, but I always admire the people creating it.
  1. Can you give us an unusual food and spirit match?
Whisky and cheese, epic!
  1. If you could swap jobs with anyone, who would it be?
Probably a formula 1 driver. Looks pretty sweet.
  1. What’s your favourite food
Tough call, lots to choose from. I like to cook with pork, very versatile from sticky ribs to tasty ragùs, or succulent roasts.
  1. What’s your favourite wine?
I go through phases, currently into Picpoul de Pinet, always enjoy drinking English wines, mainly the sparklers.
  1. What’s the most interesting place your work has taken you to?
Mexico was pretty cool, though some of the most inspiring places though are here in the UK, seeing what passionate people are doing right on our doorstep.
  1. If you were a Champagne house, which one would you be?
Perrier-jouët, I drink a lot of it so I think I am already half Perrier-Jouët at any given point. Mumm Champagne also fits in with my Formula 1 dreams though….
  1. What’s the secret to your success?
Passion and enthusiasm, this will rub off on everyone you come into contact with, customers and colleagues.
  1. Will we see a TV series any time soon? 
I would love to do one. There is definitely a market for one if approached in the right way. There is a complete dominance of cookery shows in the UK when most people also fancy themselves as cocktail maestros. There is also a great need to develop a better understanding, appreciation and respect for alcohol in the UK. We should celebrate the amazing industry we have from production right through to the front line in bars and restaurants; it is only through education that people will approach drinking in a different manner.  
  1. Vodka or Gin?
  1. Where do you go from here?
I couldn’t say. I will always remain in the drinks sector. I will want to own my own bar one day but we shall see what happens.