At the 2019 FOOD AND WINE Awards in association with Rémy Martin, Alan McGillivary from Dublin's The Market Bar was named Best Restaurant Bartender.
Known for its delicious, inventive cocktails, The Market Bar is a busy spot in the city centre. Due to the popularity of the cocktail menu, the bar team have to be on top form at all times, which is where Alan McGillivary comes in.
Alan's fingerprints can be seen throughout the restaurant's creative cocktail menu, which features classics drinks like mojitos and espresso martinis, as well as unique offerings like Cameron's Kick, which is made with Method & Madness Single Malt, Monkey Shoulder, orgeat and lemon, or the Madam Go Go made with Connemara Whiskey, hibiscus, orange blossom water, passion fruit and lime.
After the awards, Alan told us how it felt to be recognised for his work.
How did it feel to win?
"I’m not big into winning personal awards as my main focus is developing great bars and teams. While it’s always humbling to accept an award like that, I attribute it equally to the effort of the bar team. To me, receiving an award is like getting a pat on the back for a job well done. Not everyone sees the time and effort that goes into developing a great menu or training program so when recognition comes around, it should always be well received."
Tell us about some of your signature drinks or creations.
"I always aim for my drinks to be accessible to all but also unique and complex. Whether it’s a (far from the original) twist on a classic or utilising modern culinary techniques to extract unique flavours, the drink should always strike someone’s curiosity.
One of my favourites is The Bulldozer from my last menu. Browned butter, fat washed redbreast 12yr with homemade orgeat, spiced pineapple juice, cherry heering, lemon juice, burlesque bitters and egg whites."
What can we expect to see from you and the bar over the next year?
"I’ve just started my new role as beverage manager in The Market Bar where I’m tasked with the redevelopment of the beverage and training programmes. While we are still in the conceptual stage, there will be some cool things on the way. One thing I’ve been working on lately which we will likely see in my next menu is an large inclusion of flavours enhanced with bacteria and alternate forms of fermentation. I don’t want to give away too much just yet."
What do you think will be the next big thing in the Irish drinks industry?
"The Irish drinks industry, unfortunately, does not circulate new trends very well. While we may see more people talking about the latest trends in drinking which have taken hold over other cities with more diverse drinking culture, our beverage industry and licensing laws, along with some monopolisation of the cocktail scene by large corporate companies, we are very restricted with our level of creativity. This leads to most bars “playing it safe”. So the trends we do see picking up are of the ones pushed on us by the usual big players in the spirits world ie. Gin is the new vodka and the recent growth in people drinking whiskey. However, there are a couple of owner-operated spots breaking the mould, like 1661 (a poitín bar by Dave Mulligan) and The Virgin Mary (A non-alcoholic cocktail bar by Oisin Davis)."
Click here for more info about The Market Bar.