GETTING TO KNOW SOPHIE
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I’m originally from Llantwit Major in South Wales, then I lived in Bristol for 3 years while I was studying before moving to Cardiff.
What is your role at Dirty Martini and which bar do you work in?
I work at our Cardiff venue, and have just been promoted from Bartender to Bar Supervisor. I’m also part of our research and development team, the Dirty Designers.
How long have you worked at Dirty Martini?
I was part of the original team when we opened Cardiff back in October, so it’s been ten months now.
What is your favourite cocktail and why?
My favourite cocktail is by far The Butterfly Effect – the glassware and garnish are so elegant! I love gin anyway, but it pairs to well with the Sichuan pepper and rose syrup in this drink. You wouldn’t expect the flavours to work so well together, but they really do!
What piece of cocktail/bar equipment can you not live without and why?
I HAVE to have my bar blade on my at all times!!! I get a bit panicked if I can’t find it. I don’t know why, but I think it’s because I’ve had it since the start of my bartending career and it feels weird working without it. I also can’t work unless the small Boston Tins are on the left and the big Boston Tins are on the right (but maybe that’s just my OCD…).
Tell us about your bar career so far…
My first experience behind a bar was a part-time job while I was studying in Bristol. After I graduated, I tried an office job but very quickly realised it wasn’t for me – I missed the atmosphere and the fast paced environment! So I joined DM in September, and it was absolutely nothing like the bar work I’d done before… The drinks and garnishes were phenomenal, as well as the fresh ingredients and preparation that goes into each cocktail. In my opinion this isn’t done anywhere else which makes DM unique.
I became part of the Dirty Designer team in February after going to London for the competition, and this is the side of bartending I really love and want to pursue in the future. Playing around with different drinks, flavours and spirits for menu development is so much fun, as well as researching and having the chance to visit bars and meet people I normally wouldn’t have the chance to. And I get to go to London for all the sessions!
I’ve recently been promoted to Bar Supervisor which I’ve been working really hard towards, so let’s see what the future holds…
Who is your inspiration in the bar world?
Any female bartenders are my inspiration – it’s a male dominated industry out there! I’ve recently been told about Martina Breznanova from Nightjar, she’s amazing!
Aside for Dirty Martini, what are your favourite bars in the UK and beyond?
Within the UK, it’s got to be Nightjar. I love Dirty Dick in Paris – such a cool atmosphere! And Lulu White in Paris which is equally incredible.