Meet Teddy, our expert bartender and your cocktail class teacher
Edward ‘Teddy’ Harris is a talented young cocktail bartender who is committed to making great tasting, great looking, classic drinks. Teddy is the manager of a top restaurant’s cocktail bar and has experience running masterclasses and private events, as well as working with a high-end bespoke cocktails pop-up company. Over the next couple of weeks, Teddy has agreed to share some of his mixology secrets with the Ludlow Dry Gin tribe.
Head Distiller, Shaun Ward, met up with Teddy to talk cocktails, gin, and barwork
Wardington Bear: What’s your favourite cocktail?
Teddy: My favourite cocktail, hands down, has to be the Negroni. For two reasons. Firstly, I like the challenge of it. On paper, it’s such a simple drink. Just three ingredients. But all too often, I’ve been served watery, sugary rubbish. If you can get it right – I’m yours. The beautiful balancing act of bitterness with sweetness and dryness can instantly transport me to the cool, evening heat of the Tuscan hills. For me, a good Negroni should be intensely complex and rich, yet also be refreshing and bright. Secondly, I love the feel of a Negroni in my mouth. There is something about the way it coats your tongue – it’s like you’re drinking ice cold velvet.
Wardington Bear: For you, what makes a great cocktail?
Teddy: Quality ingredients. I’m a huge advocate for using premium products at every stage of making a cocktail. It is completely pointless to mix a quality spirit with something cheap or artificial. I get a lot of targeted ads on my social media feeds for spirits and liqueurs, and it makes me genuinely angry to think that some people are actually buying the fantastical array of alcoholic e-numbers now on offer. You don’t serve caviar with ketchup!
Authenticity is also really important for me. Whether that’s using authentic ingredients, processes and methods, or adhering to the various ‘rules’ engraved into mixology rulebooks. I’m not against bespoke, signature cocktails (I’ve got a couple up my sleeve), but I think if you are going to try running, learn to walk first.
Wardington Bear: What is it that you love about bartending?
Teddy: For me, bartending is all about my patrons. The widening of the eyes, the guttural sound of appreciation, and the surprised smile of amazement that washes over their face when they take that first sip of my cocktail creation. That’s what I love. It’s a millennial thing I guess – instant gratification. But honestly, that’s what makes the late nights (and a social schedule that only aligns with those of other bartenders) worth it.
Wardington Bear: How do you drink Ludlow Dry Gin at home?
Teddy: Can I talk about a Negroni again? No? Okay then, well… other than in a classic Negroni, I drink a lot of gin and tonic at home. If it’s a sunny evening, I go for (just over) a double serve of Triple Citrus and Pomegranate gin with plenty of ice, a couple of lemon slices and a good glug of Mediterranean tonic. When it gets too chilly to sit in the garden, my friends and I sip Navy Strength on ice with a game of cards or good conversation. To be honest, I’ll drink Ludlow Dry Gins any which way. They add such an amazing level of complexity and body to any classic gin cocktail that I’m always happy to hear the pop of a Ludlow Gin bottle opening.