As the Bar Supervisor at Lobby Bar, JD Fitzgerald mans the magenta marble tops like the seasoned veteran he is. But did you know, JD started out wanting to be a chef? After a few years in his chef apprenticeship, JD fell into his first role at a hotel where he fell in love with front of house. From here, he moved up to Brisbane, and immediately started cocktail bartending. Using his culinary background, JD immediately began experimenting with the classics as well as diving into science behind cocktails. FDM caught up with JD before he started whipping up some cocktail magic for the day.
FDM: What’s your favourite part about the bar industry?
JD: The community! I think everyone, regardless of which bar they work in is connected to each other. The sharing of ideas in terms of management styles and cocktails is really cool.
FDM: If you weren’t bartending, what would you be doing?
JD: There are two avenues I would’ve gone in. One would be acting because I love being in front of people, and the other would be some sort of scientific research because I like the analytical side of what we do.
FDM: What’s your favourite drink these days?
JD: The Southside or a drink a friend of mine introduced me to called the Dirty Uncle. It’s a twist on a Negroni, but it’s got a smokey whiskey instead of gin. He described it as being a little bit smokey, a little bit bitter, but touches you in all the right places… like a dirty uncle.
FDM: If you’re going out for a drink in Brisbane, where are you going?
JD: I like going to King Lear’s, it’s an awesome privately owned and operated small bar. I’ll also head up to Saville Row or Finney Isley!
FDM: If you could eliminate on cocktail from bar menus worldwide, what would it be?
JD: It would have to be the Espresso Martini only because it has been done to death. It doesn’t need to be on a list anymore because people know what it is, just get rid of it!
FDM: What’s your most underrated drinking city?
JD: Helsinki, I had a very brief experience over there on a layover, and I though it was fantastic. I went to a cocktail little bar on my eight hour stopover, and thought it was an amazing city. Hospitality there was a little bit different. Helsinki was a little warmer I guess, and more hospitable to put it bluntly. I’ve been finding lately that some of the trends seem to be moving towards a bartender centric viewpoint.
FDM: If you’re stuck on an island and you can only drink one thing, what is it?
JD: Coconut water, it’s great for hydration and really quite good for you. I mean, if you really wanted alcohol, you can ferment it into a coconut wine.
FDM: Now that’s a hell of an answer! We should end on that.