Bartender creates training events to support young talent

Iain Griffiths

A series of training events designed for the junior ranks of the bar industry has been put together by a leading London bartender.

Iain Griffiths (pictured) has created The Switchel Academy to deliver informative content and hands-on training, featuring everything from basic skills to inspirational talks, supported by a panel of industry specialists.

Run in association with bar industry events programme The London Sessions, it is part of his campaign to promote his cocktail, the Carta Switchel, which earned him a place as one of the three “most promising” finalists in the 2016 UK Bacardi Legacy competition.

Iain is new business development manager for My Lyan which, alongside various food and drink projects, operates White Lyan in east London and Dandelyan at the Mondrian London hotel on the South Bank. Previously, he worked in bars such as Bramble in Edinburgh, Black Pearl in Melbourne and Eau de Vie in Sydney.

Sessions will take place at Dandelyan on January 18 and 25 and February 8 and 15 from 10am to 3pm, hosted by Iain with Rebekkah Dooley, organiser of The London Sessions. Email for details.

Panels will feature John Deragon, former beverage director at bar PDT in New York City, Carina Tsou of Candelaria in Paris, Davide Segat of Punch Room at The London Edition hotel, Alex Kratena, formerly of Artesian Bar at London’s Langham Hotel, and more.

Iain’s cocktail, the Carta Switchel, is based on a 17th-century drink called a Switchel that was a predecessor of the Rum Swizzle with the key difference that it specifically called for vinegar. The original Switchel recipe was first developed by the sugar cane field workers and later adopted and adapted by the more affluent.

Iain was named one of three most promising finalists at the Bacardi Legacy competition in November alongside Oliver Pluck from The East Village in Leeds and Santiago Michelis from Happiness Forgets in London. Click here for a full report.

As part of his four-month campaign to promote his cocktail, Iain will also be doing a small number of guest shifts across the world, including Paris, Los Angeles and New York. The UK winner will be announced in March, going on to compete at the global final in San Francisco in April.

Carta Switchel
25ml Bacardi Carta Blanca
25ml Bacardi Carta Oro
25ml Fresh grapefruit juice
12.5ml Sugar syrup
4 dashes Fernet-Branca
4 dashes Cider vinegar
Build and churn over crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig and a grapefruit twist.

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