We have a a really strong team at Love Lane, each with a story to tell. This week we move onto the bar and our Cocktail Master, Mike.
We want people to know a little about the team so tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’ve lived in Liverpool the majority of my life and all the things I love are a bit cliche to be honest. Massive red fan, try and keep myself in the Liverpool music scene and I love a bevvy on Lark Lane.
How did you get into mixology/cocktail making?
I think it started out of nowhere. I worked in an old man boozer in south Liverpool when I was 15 asking 40 year olds for ID for pints and loved working in bars ever since. I’ve been lucky enough to go from working in run down pubs in Childwall to working at the métiers d’art in Paris for Chanel.
Have you had any specialist experience that sets you apart from other bar tenders?
Something that I was fortunate to do was work in a great cocktail bar in Paris called Cravan. I moved to Paris with my girlfriend and applied to work in a bakery. Having never made bread in my life, it came up mid-interview that there was an opening in their sister cocktail bar in the kitchen and I ended up there. It really showed me the next level of bartending working at Cravan, instead of being able to jump straight on the bar I had to ‘earn my stripes’ in some sense. Working closely with some wonderful drink makers like Franck Audoux the author of French Moderne: Cocktails from the Twenties and Thirties with Recipes, Thomas Girard who is now the head bartender of the world-renowned operation dagger in Singapore, Julie Martin and Baptiste Sauvage, each of these people helped teach me something new that I didn’t know about cocktails. I feel Cravan has really influenced my taste in drinks and really opened up a new world of cocktails to me.
What is your favourite tipple and why?
Jeez that’s a difficult question, you can probably ask me this every week and get a different answer! My go to is probably a Moscow Mule, in my opinion this drink doesn’t seem to get the love it deserves on many menus in Liverpool but it goes down an absolute treat. I’m really enjoying exploring the world of aperitifs at the minute, there’s some really great out the box ones that I could say and come across a lot cooler but I do just love going through a Martini Fierro during the week.
Why did you come to work at Love Lane?
I think Love Lane is synonymous with bars around Liverpool now. You go into 10 bars and 9 of them probably have the pale available. Working in the ‘headquarters’ where all the weird and wonderful things happen seemed like a great opportunity too good to miss. I think Love Lane has the beers down to a tee and with Jack and Paul, they’re only getting better. The building has so many great little spaces and really has the potential to not only be a great place for a beer but also a great place for cocktails and I wanted to be at the forefront of providing that.
What do you enjoy most about Love Lane?
I feel like Love Lane is never finished. We’re always looking at the next thing and how to make it great. Places can go stale without love and attention and a desire to go that next step. At Love Lane there is constant discussion from the brewery, to the bar and through the kitchen about what everybody thinks would work and how we can make things better and more exciting. I really love the collaboration of the whole building when somebody is experimenting. If i’m making a cocktail, I’ll ask the brewery guys to try it, if Jack’s making a beer, he’ll pass through and ask Ali what he thinks in the kitchen. Nobody is precious and everybody works together, that goes far in a place of work.