An award-winning chef is stepping behind the bar at a new Bristol venue with the ambition of creating “the most innovative cocktails in the city”.
Christian Abbot (pictured), who reached the final of MasterChef the Professionals in 2013, is developing drinks at The Bristologist in Corn Street which was opened by James Sleeman and head chef Darren Farquharson in November.
He is using his gastronomy skills to make The Bristologist “the go-to venue in Bristol for cocktails” through the drinks’ “exciting flavour sensations and theatrical presentation”.
Christian said: “My training and experience as a professional chef means that I have quite a unique approach to creating cocktails.
“I think it is unusual for a chef to come out of the kitchen to work on the drinks menu in this way, but we want The Bristologist to become just as well known for its fabulous drinks menu as its delicious menu of slates and plates, so using my skills to create a fun and innovative cocktail menu seemed like the natural thing to do.
“As a chef I know which flavours work well together, and I am using many of the skills and techniques I have learned in the kitchen over the years, including some molecular gastronomy, to come up with some combinations which I hope will surprise and delight our customers.”
Christian, who also reached the finals of the Electrolux National Chef of the Year, came up with six Bristol-inspired cocktails for his first list. They include the Banksy – named after the Bristol street artist – which uses lemon vodka, gin, rum, orange liqueur and cola along with cola cubes and cola foam to create a version of the popular classic Long Island Iced Tea.
The Brunel, named after Isambard Kingdom Brunel who designed Bristol ship SS Great Britain, comes served in a conical flask and combines the warm, comforting flavours of spiced rum, apple and caramel with cutting-edge culinary techniques.
Christian is now working on an extended list of 40 food-led, theatrical cocktails for introducing at the bar this month.
Picture: Jon Craig