26 October 2011
the cocktail creative: james hall
Every cocktail barman has a story or two about his time behind the bar.
Masters of the fine art of liquour collaborations, a great cocktail barman takes the creation of your well earned libation very seriously. With their intimate knowledge of life’s social barometer, they bear witness to some of life’s more shameful moments on an all too regular basis. We catch up with James Hall of SPQR fame to ask him a question or two.
What is your signature cocktail?
The famous SPQR Espresso Martini.
The worst cocktail someone can order is?
Piña Colada – or a Harvey Wallbanger. The cliché old cocktails. Screwdrivers are okay, people still order them but they just don’t tend to call them Screwdrivers anymore.
Who is your ideal customer?
The polite one. The one that says please and thank you. Someone who really appreciates a good drink, and good service.
Who is the most impressive person that you’ve ever served?
Whoopi Goldberg and Tina Turner – not at the same time though.
What’s the best story you’ve heard across the bar that you shouldn’t have?
You get a lot of personal information after a few drinks – people tend to spill the beans. You hear it but you don’t. It’s not like you’re eavesdropping, you just let it slip by and don’t really retain it. But you can pick up on some pretty interesting things though – like boob jobs and Brazilian waxes. SPQR has been an institution since day one, for famous people, not so famous people, TV personalities and celebrities. They know that they are going to be quite safe here. People know that they can come here and sit in a dark corner and snuggle and it’s not going to end up on the front page. Privacy is something that we hold quite close to us. Not a lot of people get to deal with such a variety of clientele. You get all extremes. It’s a very interesting place to work from that perspective.