Finally home and with no choice but to stay as I had no money and unable to fly, I had to look for work. I decided to move to Nottingham in search of a job in the city, and once I was fit again, I started applying. I searched for anything and everything, but once again, came across a bar. It wasn’t open yet and they were looking for staff over the next couple of weeks.
I got the job and started working full time, I had only been working in bars for a couple of years but I was by far the most experienced member of the team. After the first month of work I was asked to design an intricate cocktail and drinks menu for the venue followed by a promotion to Assistant Manager. I throughly enjoyed seeing the look on peoples faces when they tried my concoctions from the menu that I had put together from my years travelling the globe.
I have since been the Manager of the venue for the past two years until I stepped down to pursue my own interests in cocktail mixology.
If you would like to know more about my adventures or hear some cocktail induced stories, please get in touch. Finally, I hope to see you at one of our Shake The Spirit events very soon and look forward to putting a smile on many more faces.
After being in Asia for the best part of 6 months, I returned home to spend some time with my family and tell them my stories. This didn’t last too long… mum was not happy! I found a job online where I could pursue itching travelling feet and get paid for doing so… PERFECT! Time to be a tour guide…
Training was intense, early mornings and long nights learning all the material I would need to look after a group of people, and tell them about the places they were to be visiting. After 2 months travelling through Europe learning the history of Venice, Milan, Vienna and Prague, I finally got to the destination where I would be predominantly working… The Greek Islands.
Hopping from island to island for my job sounded great and I loved Greece and everything it had to offer, but I found myself in the same ‘boat’… I wasn’t enjoying the job itself. Getting everyone up early in the morning to catch the next ferry and staying up with everyone to show them the best bars to go to started taking its toll. There was a bar I used to take my guests to that always amazed me when I went and I decided to ask if they had any jobs for the summer – they did.
I promptly took the job the week after and started learning ‘the Greek style’ of cocktails and flair. Using fire to make drinks come alive and new cocktails that I had only seen on The Islands interested me and amazed customers who ordered them. Somehow I found myself for the third time working in a bar on another continent of the world.
All stories have a twist in the tale, and towards the end of my summer in Greece I was forced to return home after an accident on the beach. I was due to have an operation and would need time to recover… mum was happy again!
After landing in Sydney I moved to Melbourne where I fancied my hand at a different job… sales. I was pretty good at it if I do say so myself, working on commission, I was able to enjoy my time in Melbourne as well as save. But it was long hours asking people to buy products, there was only so long I could do that for.
I travelled around a bit with the money I had saved until it started to run low, this was when I found myself in the middle of the desert… Alice Springs. Other than a few restaurants, bars and a couple of hostels, there was nothing around for days. Here of all places was where my cocktail journey began.
I applied for a job at all three of the bars in the town and two of them wanted experience behind the bar (I figured that I’d only be serving at most 10 people a day, how much experience did I really need…). However, the final bar had employed a new manager and he took me on. He was implementing a cocktail menu into the bar – it was the only bar in town to serve cocktails. Over the next couple of months I learnt the trade and was promoted to Assistant Manager by the end of month three. Cocktails were a new trend in Alice and they went down a storm… repeat customers would visit us every week to try our new concoctions from the menu.
I had been in Alice for a good seven months and other than enjoying my work, there was really nothing else to do. It was the peak of summer with temperatures hitting 45-50°C and it was beginning to become unbearable… I picked up where I left off with my travels and carried on through Australia and into Asia. Time for another adventure…
So, I’m Alexander James, and I’m going to tell you a little bit about how I got into mixology and the art of cocktail making. But before I do, let’s set the scene…
After a long, hard final year of university, I still had no idea about what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go or who I wanted to be! I had so many options but which was the right choice?
I moved back home and picked up a full time job at a local retail store to get some money together while I decided… and stumbled upon an opportunity, an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
Teach in America on a Summer Camp
My time teaching in America was great. Before I arrived I thought teaching might be the career path for me but I was wrong. Although I loved working with children, the out of hours workload wasn’t for me.
After my time teaching on the east coast of America I explored the west and adventured to some of the best places I have ever seen. The land and lights of Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, cities of L.A, San Francisco and San Diego to name a few. It was here where I picked up some small bar promotional jobs on beaches and helped collect glasses behind the bar. I’d like to say that it was here where it all started but it wasn’t.
After a month or so of saving some money, it was time to move on. I loved America and I will definitely visit again but it was time for my next career seeking adventure.