Clinton Weir to Host Free Trade Masterclass
Words by Jane Ryan
Photography by Supplied
Clinton Weir has been part of the international bartending community for over 20 years. From South Africa to Australia via the UK, he’s now running his own bartending, events and creative consultancy called Pineapple Jam where he’s passing on his skills to a new generation. On Monday 21st December 2020 Clinton is running a free virtual masterclass for the trade to share this wealth of experience.
If you’re unfamiliar with Clinton, he’s based in Melbourne’s Bayside where he runs Pineapple Jam. Before Covid this business was all about getting great drinks and bartenders out to events across the country but the pandemic saw the business move online, where Clinton was able to keep locked-down Australians busy in their own kitchens with his delicious recipes and masterclasses.
Clinton started his career out in South Africa, first as a waiter and then moving behind the bar. He quickly picked up an interest in flair, learning from the likes of Dave Lombard and was influenced by Nic St Jean who toured South Africa in 2002 and 2003 with his unique flair-style bartending. In London he was a teacher at Shaker Bar School and was even asked to work Kate and Will’s post-wedding bash at Buckingham Palace in 2011.
Arriving in Australia with a small collection of bottles in a suitcase, he's grown that into a phenomenal home bar, which is really where his business here started. Having a wide array of purpose-built syrups, shrubs and other ingredients has allowed Clinton to start educating others on his findings and running masterclasses with his own twisted drinks. "I suppose the most valuable items in the collection would be all the experiments I've done with infusions and testing my sugars, salts and dehydrated fruits. From there I've managed to produce my cocktail ingredients while building a collection of homemade infusions which I use for educational purposes," says Clinton.
His masterclass will run from 3pm to 4.30pm on Monday 21st and you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to secure your spot – there’s just 30 spaces so get in quickly. Clinton will be running you through four drinks and how he twists them up with replicable homemade ingredients.
“My main message I always have is to be creative with ingredients,” says Clinton. “I’d also love to teach aspiring bartenders and home-cocktail makers that classic recipes or recipes that are known are not the only way to make drinks, the most important thing that a lot of bartenders have forgotten is that if a customer likes your recipe then it is the right recipe.”
As a long-term teacher in the industry, Clinton says of all his influencers, mentors and inspiration it has been all the younger bartenders he’s trained over the years that has kept him engaged, and the more he teaches the more he keeps motivated to stay in the industry he loves. “Plus I love making people smile, which is pretty easy to do with cocktails,” he says.
With his strong flair background Clinton has been running Australia’s flair club for nine years. “There will always be a place for flair, however it’s all up to the people who drive it, flair in Australia is the youngest, but globally we are a very close family which connects most countries. I have always provided a flair club in Australia to bring people together, welcome new comers from other countries and push flair in the right direction,” says Clinton.
Apart from flair and his masterclasses, Clinton has been busy working on a project to bring better drinks into the everyday life of Australian consumers. “MasterChef and home cooking shows have been a real push into matching food and drinks so it has grown a lot over the last two to three years but with COVID everyone is learning and buying more. Now is the time of cocktail cocooning.
"We will always push good home bartending to not only the home consumer but to bartenders and all hospitality staff to be healthier and more creative at home. We are working on a small media project to push more home-making style videos which is a project I have been working on for many years and now we have the right video guys support and creative minds working together.”
Join Clinton for his free masterclass on Monday 21st December, details below.
Online Cocktail Masterclass with Clinton Weir
1.5 hour session
3pm to 4:30pm Monday
Limited to 30 spots
Smoked Old Fashioned
If you want to follow along with the drinks guests will need to provide their own ingredients, ice and glassware.