Interview with Jameson Ambassador Ronan Collins

Beat Geek

Ronan Collins joins the BEAT to spread the good word of Irish Whiskey. To welcome him to the team, our Monkey 47 brand ambassador Mike Foster sat down with him for a chat and a Jameson to find out a little bit more about his journey from theatre school, to surf instructor, to working in Dandelyan @ The Mondrian Hotel – ‘The world’s best bar’ as voted by Tales of the Cocktail 2017. 

You’re based in London. What’s different about the bar scene, compared to the other places you’ve lived in? I have bartended in Cape Town, Belfast, Dublin, New York and Amsterdam. But London is the most complete city for drinks in the world. It has levels from gastro pubs & boozers, high volume high street cocktail bars (usually priced in an appealing way), a strong 8/10 level of every range of bar, the best hotel bars in the world and finally the most elite innovative cocktail bars in the world. Having that range is not something I have come across anywhere else. They usually have maybe 2 or 3 out of that list.

What’s your current favourite summer cocktail? 
Can anything really beat a mojito? Some banging crisp green fragrant mint, splash of fresh lime and sugar and a sexy white rum over crushed ice. Yummy! But to be honest I could drink stout and a whiskey on the side in a sauna, so that too.

What’s one thing everyone should try at least once?
Surfing. It will change your life.
What was it like working with Ryan Cheti and the guys at Dandelyan?
The team is by far the best team I have ever come across! Every single person pulls their weight so that each of our personal qualities were allowed to shine through and that created a very special environment to be a part of and hopefully this impacted on guest experience. Ryan is one of the nicest guys I have ever met. I don’t know when he sleeps, he is constantly working and then at a moments notice will give anyone the time for a chat. It was a pleasure being a Lyan for 15 months. Words cannot describe how much I learnt and owe to every single person I met during it. 
Who are your heroes?
I don’t really have any. I more admire people. Mary McAleese, George Best, Cillian Murphy, CJ Stander and any play write, poet and artist. They really make the planet a much richer place than anyone.

Which three words describe you?
Committed. Caring. Spicy. 

What is it about bartending that has you hooked?

I love looking back at how history was formed through drinks and being a small part of trying to change the way people perceive drinking. It is also class craic and I love chatting to people. 
What’s your one biggest pet peeve, in life or in bars?
Anyone being condescending. 
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
It’ll be grand.
What’s on your bucket list?
Summit Mount Everest. 
What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?
How important knowing other languages would be in my life..
What makes you smile?
Animals. They are just so strange just doing their own thing – all of them are class.
Where’s the best place to sip Jameson?
After coming in from a surf.
Shaken or stirred?
What drinks trends should we be looking out for?
Guests relating and ordering their spirit from the cask its been aged in rather than age statement – thus influencing their choice of garnish and serve.

Oh and Irish Whiskey...obvs. 

Beat Geek
I’Ve bartended in Cape Town, Belfast, Dublin, New York and Amsterdam…

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