What's your desert island drink & why?
It'd have to be a Bramble, one of the few concoctions that properly hits the spot on a sunny day. Also it's English heritage would remind me of home to keep me sane.
We have many different favourite bars in Chester depending on the occasion. What's your favourite experience?
Everytime my buddies recommend a few tequilas and tacos at the Market’s Death By Tacos, I still struggle to contain my excitement every time! Also the female companion and I have found a second home in Shrub, perfect for Sunday lounging lunch bites ..AND DONUTS!
Which drinks industry heros (in Chester?) have inspired you & how?
Wow, where to start! Hospitality is such a kind-hearted industry, the job role is to look after people. Therefore staff obviously look after staff! Other than my veteran peers at The 'burbs, I must mention Prohibition's Josh Parmar for literally being the first person to provide me that mind-boggling exceptional service that keeps you smiling for hours! ..and of course, Calum Adams for always being an uncountable amount of steps ahead, but yet keeps the doors to his knowledge wide open to any of my continuing questions.
If you were a cocktail which would you be and why?
In my time I have worked with a good bunch of "Explosive/Rockstar/Party" bartenders which have unintentionally paved my personality, Their yin to their yang. I’d have to go with something Low-ABV, like a Garibaldi (Soft and fluffy) haha, to express my thoughtful and cool-headed approach to service. ..P.S. I do still love a tequila or nine
What's your favourite non-hospitality business based in Chester and why?
The university brings back so many fond memories of friends and my music studies, a major part of why I chose Chester to develop my career in hospitality. Probably not the business you’re meaning, however I have never been able to turn down a trip to the Museum or Whitewall Galleries in the Grosvenor Shopping Centre!
What's your favourite cocktail ingredient? How did you fall in love with it?
Sherry, as a modifier has always been a massive creative eye-opener, even throwing it in a place it doesn’t belong can blow my mind with its capabilities! Same goes for Bitters, they stretch so much further than Orange and Angostura, even with such a small amount,they can turn a no-go drink into “I want another!!!”
Do you have a preferred mixer / soft drink / non-alcoholic option and why?
Recently I’ve been really interested in Sodas, Seltzers, Mineral Waters, basically carbonation. It's so easy to forget how important H2O is for ice, spirit making, beer etc. What’s better than a highball of soda over a tube of clear ice? ..maybe a splash of scotch in it.
What's your favourite food to pair with drinks?
To say I don’t think I have much of a sweet tooth, desserts are so much fun to pair with from Rum to Beers, I love cola bottle sweets, chunky fudge cake, the lot! The rich indulgent flavours bring out the best and unexpected in some of my favourites.
How did you get into the hospitality industry?
Transferring from the music industry to the hospitality industry with similar properties in lifestyle, I was able to convert with ease. Being surrounded by such a wonderful bunch of co-workers, I just couldn’t turn back!
What do you love most about your job?
Is this where I’m supposed to say Kingdom? haha ..He’s tough, but fair! I can’t deny he’s been an absolute ROCK for myself personally and all of us (throughout lockdown especially) in one way or another! He’s made soooo many friends on his travels, the majority of them have become locals and friends of mine too! Being able to meet new guests and share stories (especially when there’s bevs about). It doesn’t get much better than that.
And the worst bits?
Blimey, where to start!? ..But I’m sure it began with the Races!
If you could share a cocktail with anyone who would it be and why?
Like a Scorpion Bowl? Anyone at all? Easy! Keith Richards ..Probably not the best idea with all this ‘rona kicking about though.
Do you have any recommended reads for booze lovers?
Anything by Tristan Stevenson, “Drinks” by Tony Conigliaro, “Drunken Botanist” by Amy Stewart and I also love the collection from Dead Rabbit in NYC (If you’re into Irish Bars) DM me and I’ll bore your socks off with recommendations!
What are your Chester Cocktail Week goals?
A constant flow of £5 cocktails you say!? ..I’m sure my goal will be exactly the same as everyone else's.
What advice do you have for aspiring Hospitality professionals?
Smiles and speed! ..If you can efficiently crack on and do it with joy, you’re a winner!
What's your favourite event in Chester?
17th October the Cheshire Farmers Market is coming back! Whether its cheese or crafts, getting an insight of the wonders we have on our doorstep is so motivating.
What have you taken from Chester's response to COVID?
Funnily enough, not much. I think we can forget how phenomenal Chester’s service standards and choice is in the city! Establishments have had to adapt so quickly and have progressed so naturally. That seamless transition has got to be the most impressive response we could ask for from Chester.
Any other pearls of wisdom or hospitality rants?
Get off your phone, plant a seed, have uncomfortable conversations with your mates, pet your dog, concentrate and start prepping for Christmas, it’s COMING!
Where can we send our readers to find you online? (weblink or social media?)
Insta - @CarlosJones92