Words by: Difford's Guide
A chance conversation over dinner and cocktails with Craig Robertson, Bar Manager at Lincoln's Strait and Narrow, during which he sang the praises of his all female bar team made us want to find out more! We spent a day with Beckie, Sevi and Eniko talking to them about their drinks menu, bartending skills and creative inspiration.
"I have been cocktail bartender for just under 3 years and have thrown myself head first in to this crazy industry and found one hell of a passion for it. I started bartending five years ago in a huge night club and it wasn't until I started working for my current bar, The Strait and Narrow, that I really began to understand the complexity of the drinking culture.
After the first year of getting to grips with making drinks and understanding flavours I gave my first competition a go, soon realising that there is so much more to competition bartending than pairing a few flavours. Safe to say I fell very ungracefully on my arse. After the first terrible attempt I upped my game and entered Sailor Jerry's Beat it Rummy competition and was placed 2nd. I then won a Campari competition followed by entering Patrón Perfectionists 2016 where I placed 3rd in the northern regional.
This has inspired me to dive further into the industry to see how far I can get and how much knowledge I can acquire."
"I was drawn to bartending as soon as I was able to buy alcohol. The differential of drinking for pleasure, and drinking for physical effect was fascinating to me - particularly since I was so used to the drinking culture of students.
I was keen to learn how to make drinks to enjoy and savour - working at the Strait gave me the freedom to experiment with these, thus drawing me fully to bars and 'bartending'. It's a unique profession: social, fast-paced and creative, yet challenging at the best and worst times. As an individual who thrives off this, it became an unavoidable fascination. The only shame is that you need to wait for 18 years to fully discover it."
"I was born in Hungary and lived there until my family moved to England in 2011. I got my first job as a waitress in a hotel restaurant where I discovered my love for the numerous tastes and textures that different food and drink combinations can offer. But it was the bar, its atmosphere, the people and the beverages that fascinated me.
So soon after, I started my journey of learning in this area. Once I moved to Lincoln to study at the university I also started my search for jobs. That's when I came across The Strait and Narrow. Here the bartenders not only serve a drink but a presentation, a feeling and a good conversation. I saw a team that I wanted to be a part of, learn the art they were creating and put my stamp on it.
I started as a glass collector then moved on to bar back where I learnt so much about the bar, the way the team works and moves and also the beverages we serve. With the help of the others and my managers I soon found myself working on the bar, creating cocktails that I had once admired. I then went on to enter competitions, such as Cherry Herring and Southern Comfort. The learning never stops, the experimenting has only just begun and I cannot wait to see where it takes me."