What do you like to drink after a shift? “My go-to after a shift is Scotch. Currently you will find me drinking anything from Clynelish, Springbank or Craigellachie distilleries. ”
What’s the best dive bar jukebox song ever? “Simple Minds, ‘Living and Kicking.’ Some might say that Scotland has not produced any good rock bands. I ask to be different and that is an absolute tune. ”
After all these years of bartending and creating drinks, do you still like going out to bars? “Absolutely. When you’re lucky enough to live in a city like New York, with so many great bars, it’s just right to get around them. After moving here in January 2020, I feel like I’ve made a good luck in visiting a number of bars over the last 18 months. ”
Mention the first good drink you ever drank and where you had it. Affinity Cocktail at Bramble Bar in Edinburgh. They were far ahead of everyone else back then and made me think of drinks (and service) in a different way. ”
Which book on cocktails or spirits is your resource you should go to? “I like many of the older, historical cocktail books, but the book I find back to again and again is Fluent intelligence by Dave Arnold. ”
What is your favorite cocktail and food pairing? “It’s hard to beat a Whiskey Highball with fried chicken!”
Which drink are you most proud to create? “The Night Nurse, which can be found in the 50 Years of NYC Bar Life section of our opening menu in Hawksmoor NYC. The section pays homage to classic cocktails that NYC has given us over the past five decades. The Night Nurse is our reworked version of Penicillin and is made with beeswax-washed Dewar’s, smoked single malt, ginger, acid-adjusted honey and citrus oils. It is then decorated with a spirit of Laphroiag. ”
Is there a person (dead or alive) you would like to make a cocktail for? “Anthony Bourdain, because I know he would give it to me directly. And then I want to be with him for a drink and hear some of the incredible stories he wanted. ”
What is your favorite shot-and-a-beer combination? “It’s easy: a pint of Guinness and a shot of Jameson.”
What is the only tool you always make sure to pack when you are on a business trip? “A good wine / bottle opener. I would be lost without it. ”
Adam Montgomerie is the bar manager of the New York outpost at London’s famous Hawksmoor restaurant.
The interview has been condensed and edited.