AUSSIE COCKTAIL GURU CROSSING BORDERS
An adventurous spirit drove Ryan Gavin to the end of the world and back in order to move peoples minds with memorable cocktails. After working behind bars in London, Dublin and Rome he found his way home and ended up in Sydney as the National Bar Manager of Rockpool Dining Group in Australia.
– I have always loved travelling and all the great experiences that come from sharing hospitality. Now I have the opportunity to make memorable cocktails and beverage experiences for our guests all over the country, says Ryan.
Travelling and bartending can both very much about creating new memories. Maybe that’s the secret of Ryan’s success. His keen interest in history and science offer him interesting insights into the world of spirits. A combination that helps him expand the boundaries, develope new concepts and flavors for the Rockpool Dining Group and also competing in in cocktail competitions such as World Class, Bacardi Capital Cocktail, Woodford Cocktail Classic and 42below cocktail World Cup.
LOOKING AFTER THE GUEST’S NEEDS AND DESIRES
Ryan is grateful to have the opportunity to be part of a growing culture of cocktails in an environment that is inspiring and supportive.
– I try to surround myself with people that inspire and challenge me. That helps me to keep on moving and developing. And I’m so grateful for the number of mentors and trainers that have helped me get to where I am now. Now I find myself wanting to giving back and mentoring people myself, reflects Ryan.
And giving is one of the things that Ryan really loves the most in his profession. Giving hospitality, experiences and memories.
– It’s about looking after a guest’s needs and desires. If I can make something memorable through cocktails or beverage experiences that’s what makes the long hours and late nights worthwhile.
FIRST OUT TO TRY HERNÖ GIN IN AUSTRALIA
Ryan was one of the first to try Hernö Gin when the first samples came to Australia through Vanguard Luxury Brands, sole importer of Hernö Gin in the country. From that point he has supported the brand and when the opportunity arrose to go over to Sweden to visit the distillery he didn’t think twice.
– “ A no brainer”. So in a few short weeks I was heading over to distil, forage, bottle and mix up cocktails in some renowned bars around Sweden.
STRONG IMPRESSIONS TO PRESERVE
The intoxicating aroma of the small distillery is Ryan’s strongest impression of visiting Hernö Gin. Expecting to see a full industrial distillery that was constantly busy and frantic he experienced a relaxed family run company with a strong sense of hospitality giving time for casual lunches together and of course the Swedish fika.
– I saw a Swedish culture of patience and humility that permeates daily life and learnt the importance of foraging to the process of making Hernö Gin. I also leant about all manner of botanicals I had never heard of, tells Ryan.
– The memory I will treasure the most is foraging for juniper berries in the High Coast. Not only my first foraging expedition but also my first ever sighting of a juniper bush, remembers Ryan.
RICH COCKTAILS WITH HERNÖ GIN
Distinguishing for Hernö Gin is the rich flavours and a unique herbaceous element. According to Ryan this works greatly when contrasted with other fruity and herbaceous flavours.
– We currently have a cocktail on the menu at Rockpool Bar & Grill Sydney that mixes native Australian river mint, pickled watermelon, lemon and Hernö Gin, tells Ryan.
– The robust flavour of Hernö Gin is the biggest challenge. A fortunate challenge really, because it has a delicious taste. Mixing with Hernö Gin requires big contrasting flavours to get the best out of it. If your complimentary flavours are not strong enough they wont shine through beyond the gin and can get lost. It just means that the final cocktails are rich, full flavoured and have a strong signature Hernö Gin flavor, ends Ryan.
DO’S IN SWEDEN ACCORDING TO RYAN
• Learn some jokes about Norwegians.
• Know the population of the country and city you live in. Swedes all seem to be obsessed with statistics.
• Learn how to say hello, please and thank you in Swedish. This always goes a long way.
DON’T’S IN SWEDEN ACCORDING TO RYAN
• Send photos of how much fun you’re having to your colleagues.
• Make muppet jokes about Swedish chef.
• Be impatient or rude when waiting at the bar.
HERNÖ’S HER NAME
50 ml Hernö Gin
20 ml Watermelon Pickle*
15 ml lime
10 ml sugar
sml bunch River Mint
• Shake and strain into nick & nora glass.
• Garnish with fancy mint, pegs.
* WATERMELON PICKLE:
500 g Sugar
500 ml White wine vinegar
500 ml water
1 Star Anise
6 blade Mace
1 Cinnamon stick
300g sliced watermelon
• Bring sugar, vinegar and water to simmer then add spices.
• Simmer for 10 min.
• Pour liquid over sliced watermelon (rind included) into non-reactive container or vacuum bag.
• Cover container/Seal vacuum bag.
• Leave for 3–4 days in cool place.
• Strain and bottle.
Cocktail creator: Ryan Gavin.