From burnt toast cocktails to an unexpected twist on the G&T, we can't stop scrolling through the mouth-watering feed of our Best Social And Drinks Influencer winner (in association with Cointreau). He is...
The Cocktail Guy
Rich Woods’ Twitter bio reads ‘Game changer, rule breaker, cocktail maker’, and we couldn’t have summed him up better ourselves. This award-winning bartender knocks up the coolest cocktails we’re ever seen - burnt toast infusion, anyone? While Rich’s Pine Needle Highballs and Padron Pepper Caipirinhas sound insanely tasty, it’s all about the experience when it comes to these pimped up cocktails; foraged birch bark and frozen avocado stones are as important as the drink. You’ll never look at cocktails in the same way again.
How did @thecocktailguy come about?
I can genuinely say that I know where I was when I set up my Instagram and Twitter accounts. I was the UK and Ireland representative in the global final of a cocktail competition and we were given some seminars; one was the importance of social media. As they were telling us ‘it’s important to recognise yourself as a brand’, I thought I needed to think of something that tells a story of who I am. It doesn’t have to be Rich Woods, but surely I’ve got to be a wine guy or a drinks guy or a cocktail guy. And that was it.
What is the weirdest cocktail you’ve ever made?
I don’t think they’re weird! I adopt a method called flavour bouncing where I start off with an ingredient on a blank page and then I think of ingredients that play off that flavour. The weirdest would probably be a blue cheese and chocolate Martini - completely clarified, completely clear. Try putting some blue cheese and some chocolate digestives in the fridge for a bit, then put a knob of blue cheese on the top of a digestive biscuit. That is how that drink was created. But however crazy the drinks are you’ve got to present them in a way that people appreciate what you’re trying to do. Shock and awe but not shock and gore.
What ingredients should we always have in our cupboards to make last minute cocktails?
A base spirit like gin or vodka is a good start - keep it in the fridge. A liqueur to mix, so Cointreau or a fruit liqueur. Citrus is incredibly important – lemon, lime, grapefruit. I would always keep sugar to hand and ice. Nothing can be without ice.
What time is it acceptable to start drinking?
It’s always beer o’clock somewhere in the world but be responsible about it. When I’m out drinking I always start with a gin and tonic and I always mentally check out on a Martini.
And your top hangover cure?
Eat before you go to bed; not straight before bedtime, but always eat because the alcohol is absorbed somewhere, either into your stomach into the food or into your bloodstream. Saying that, I don’t do hangovers.
I thought you might say that!
To see all the Project 13 winners, click here
Images: LUKE + NIK