From glass collecting to master of mixology, Ross Miller’s a magician when it comes to mixing concoctions.
“I moved to Newcastle three years ago and since then my love for the industry has grown into something I could never leave. I am so lucky to be around like a like-minded community of career bartenders where we all learn from each other and support each other in a way that I’ve never experienced,” said Ross, who crafts cocktails at Hibou Blanc in Newcastle.
“I have travelled the UK entering cocktail competitions in places like Edinburgh and Dundee. I’ve met bartenders from amazing cities such as Leeds, York, and Manchester. Throughout my time in the industry I have been lucky enough to taste and experiment with some of the most incredible spirits in the world,” said Ross, who is also a qualified whisky ambassador and has extensive knowledge of flavour profiles and molecular mixology methods, making mists, clarifying drinks, and fat washing spirits.
“I was once told that cocktail bartenders are rock stars that don’t play instruments and I completely agree with this. I love what I do because making the drinks is almost a performance. We get to put on a show in liquid form, from making bright and colourful drinks to crafting the perfect martini. The years of late nights, research, effort and serious hangovers pay off when you slide a drink over the bar that you’ve worked on and watch the customers face light up.”
Tasty Drink It has to be a Negroni. This should always be at a 1:1:1 ratio of Gin, Campari and sweet Vermouth. The sweetness of the vermouth is perfectly balanced with the bitterness of the Campari and then the flavour of the gin is subtly in the background.
Tasty Snack I think it completely depends on what you are drinking. But probably a cheese board with a large glass of Malbec. There should always be Brie, stilton, cheddar and goats’ cheese on a cheese board.
Tasty Restaurant– Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. I am lucky enough to work in a venue where the food is absolutely beautiful. The chateaubriand is sensational.
Tasty Experience The time I had a nine-course meal with wine pairing at a training session at Rockliffe Hall. It was my first ever experience of fine dining and I was absolutely blown away. To have all of the flavours explained and why they all work together was incredible. It is also what I try to incorporate into how I make my drinks for customers. I get to give them an understanding of why what we do is an art and not just a vocation.
Taste of Happiness It’s the taste of Laphroaig Lore (whisky) this is my favourite whisky ever. The peatiness gives you a really deep smoky flavour and because it has been aged in a mixture of PX sherry, bourbon and quarter casks gives off subtle caramel and woody notes followed by rich dark fruit bitterness. The way I drink it is straight up and a very generous measure in a very heavy whisky tumbler. This makes me feel like that I have really earned it.