07/09/2020 On this Page of bartender series you will get information about London's Bartender - Arnaud Volte
I was born in the south-west of France, and started my professional career working with kids when I was around 16, and ended up in charge of summer camps at 21. I then decided to change my life completely, and wanted to become a bartender. So I went to do a school in Thailand, and moved to London.
My journey didn’t start really well as I couldn’t find any job because of my lack of experience. After a couple of months I finally found a pub that was looking for a barback. After a few hard months of polishing glasses, the place I was working for had a cocktail bar in the basement. I was lucky enough to have a really good bar manager and mentor that taught the basics of service, creations and how to manage a bar. I then moved to a place called The Distillery on Portobello Road, where I’ve learned a LOT about gin and classics, but also about distillation. I spent a year and a half there, working closely with people like Jake Burger and Del Jones who helped me throughout my journey from bartender to duty manager.
Then I wanted to focus more on my bartending skills and knew I had still a lot to learn, so moved to The London EDITION Hotel, a luxury lifestyle hotel in Central London. I’ve learned how to provide a luxury service, yet having the chance of being truly myself and focusing on providing the best for our guests. I’ve also got more time for competitions, which I think is really important for your progression as a bartender. Less than a year ago I found out I had type 1 diabetes, so my lifestyle changed tremendously but the chance of working in a hotel allows me to be able to have “regular” hours. It also changed my way to create cocktails, for instance now I’m focusing a lot more about the natural potential of products and getting the most flavours out of them. Of course keeping the sustainable part in mind.
How did you get into Bartending?
I got into bartending 4 years ago, went to do a bartending school in Thailand called EBS. I then moved from France to London because of the city’s potential in terms of cocktail bars
Any tips to pass a Bartender job interview?
It doesn’t really matter what’s on your CV, show your motivation and you want to learn. This industry is made for passionate people, and you can learn really fast if you want to climb the steps, from polishing glasses to managing a bar.
What’s your favorite cocktail to make?
Irish coffee. It’s an easy cocktail to make, yet quite hard and requires some skills.
What are your bar essentials?
Shaker, jigger, Japanese knife, ice block
What according to you are London’s Secret bars?
London is full of bars in general. The more you live here, the more you discover. I really like Milk and Honey as a member’s / hidden bar as you can get any classics made to perfection. I also remember one of the first bar I stepped into was Nightjar, and it really showed me the incredible potential in terms of preparation and ingredients.
Where and what you drink when not working?
I like to go to Bar Swift in Soho, they’ve got the best Irish Coffee and their service is incredible. They also serve an amazing Gibson martini served with Portobello Road Navy Strength gin and a tasty pickle onion (pickled in house with lots of different spices)
Your favorite places to get happy hour deals?
Swift does an aperitif hour with delicious cocktails for a decent price
Your favorite nightclubs?
I went to Ministry of Sound for their anniversary a few years ago, and it’s still the best memories I have in terms of music and entertainment
What’s the most underrated cocktail ingredient or spirit?
I would say it’s the ice itself. At The London EDITION we cut our blocks, and it’s quite easy now to get some perfect clear blocks in London. The importance of having the right dilution in a cocktail and therefore the quality of the ice is an aspect that bartenders often forget.