1.What is the name of your featured drink, and where did the inspiration come from? The drink is called Skulduggery, inspired by the mighty and well-loved Painkiller, to which I wanted to add some of my favourite ingredients, such as banana and pimento, to give at a(n even more!) tiki spin. The banana and the coconut play amazingly well together, and passion fruit and lemon balance out the sweetness.
2. Tell me about yourself. What’s your background, and how did you end up as a mixologist? I’m from Hungary originally, and used to be a teacher and translator, but I realized upon moving to England that people tend to speak English here quite well (outside of Newcastle, that is); so I looked around my hobbies and got into mixing drinks, then ended up falling in love with it.
3. What’s your favorite rum drink? Recipe? The above mentioned Skulduggery is a firm favourite any time of the year: Pusser’s Gunpowder, crème de banane, Coco Re’al, pineapple juice, passion fruit syrup, lemon juice and pimento dram.
4. Please tell me about your personal connection to rum. Why choose rum over another spirit? Because rum gives you more variety, more choice, and more flavor than anything else, and you get to combine it in ways you can’t with any other spirit. Not to mention all its associations with the finer things in life, be it a sophisticated cigar, or a the Hukilau tiki party.
5. What do you think the future holds for the rum industry? Continuous growth and more popular appeal for a diverse portfolio of rums. Currently, lighter, less challenging rums still rule the market, but I think more complex mixers and sippers are catching up really well.
6. What inspires you creatively when it comes to making drinks? A fair few things, but chiefly popular culture: I like making drinks based on movies, stories, or with some sort of connection to existing drinks or old cocktail basics. And if I can sneak a pun or reference into the name, even better.
7. Please tell me about your greatest achievement in relation to the spirits industry. I drank 14 Mai Tais in one night and lived to tell about it. Otherwise, managing Trailer Happiness, getting the chance to work with some amazing rum brands and rum lovers, and now getting on the opening team for everyone’s future darling, Disrepute are definite high points in my career.
8. Any other interesting facts? Hobbies? Special talents? My cat is called Pusser’s Kropotkitty (named after Piotr Kropotkin, the Russian anarchist, and, well, you know what else). I also make the best home-made pizza sauce of all time.
9. How can people learn more about you? (Social media handles, website, place of work etc.) Come and chat to me about rum in Disrepute, or find me on Facebook, or go around London looking for someone in a tiki shirt, waving a bottle of Guyanese rum about.