Behind every great bar is a great team! The team at The Hive is no different, with humour and enticing drinks, FDM sat down with Nikki (Events Manager/Director) and Alisdair (drink slinger extraordinaire) to talk everything drinks. It may have been a rainy day outside, but there was nothing but sunshine, Negroni, and rainbows at The Hive Bar. Sipping on a few of their signature cocktails sure didn’t hurt either!
FDM: So How did you get your start in bartending Nikki?
Nikki: I always worked in hospitality on the side. When I studied at uni I worked in a pub, and then when I went overseas I worked in a nice little cocktail bar. It always just seemed like a good thing to do while I was doing other things. I ended up just really liking it, it’s great! Then I came here to work as a casual, and then just worked my way up! My first bar job was at Star Bar when I was 18, and it was wild. It was funny being so fresh in the industry and working in a big bistro during the day, and a club at night. I remember being so confused at what most of the drinks were because the backbar was so massive, and everyone orders with lingo. Like CC and dry, what the hell is that?
Alisdair: I had to teach one of the new guys that the other day actually.
FDM: What’s your favourite cocktail?
Nikki: Ohhhh that’s hard! The one I drink the most of is a Margarita, just because I’m a Tequila girl. I love a Spicy Margarita. I think everyone that works here is just obsessed with Tequila.
Alisdair: I really like the Daddy Cool. It’s just like a traditional Mescal Daiquiri! It’s a good way to introduce that smokey flavour to someone, it’s tasty!
FDM: If you were stuck on an island, what would be your one drink of choice?
Alisdair: I’d maybe want an Espresso Martini. I’ve got a better chance of getting off that island if I’m alert! Or finding the treasure on there if I’m alert. Nothing with a salt rim because it would make me freak out a bit. I’m surrounded by salt water and I don’t know if I could do the Margarita then and there!
Nikki: I think you’d want something super boozy though. Maybe like a coffee based Negroni.
FDM: I know you’ve mentioned your number one love is Tequila, is the Tequila cocktail on your menu your favourite?
Nikki: Tequila is my number one love, but I would have to say my Tequila based drink on the menu isn’t my favourite. It would be the Brewhattan, it’s actually appeared on the menu a few times now. It’s delicious and it’s a nice take on a Manhattan. We use locally sourced cold brew!
FDM: What’s the strangest drink request you’ve gotten?
Alisdair: I’ve gotten some weird ones.
Nikki: The decaf Espresso Martini was a weird one. Back when we had a coffee machine and could make espresso.
Alisdair: I hate that customer so much.
Nikki: I remember making it for her because we had a little bit of decaf. It didn’t froth, and she wasn’t overly happy with it either. It was stupid! We don’t tend to get too many weird ones here though!
Alisdair: The weird ones for us are the super sickly sweet ones that we don’t really do. Stuff with Grenadine and etc…
Nikki: Ohhhhh that reminds me, remember that guy who came in and he ordered a Mojito, but he wanted a chilli passionfruit Mojito with three different types of Rum. It was so insane, and he told me he was a bartender, and he had that spiel of I know so much about the booze. It was a little bit embarrassing, but I was able to make him a Chilli Mojito.
FDM: What do you think the next big trend in bartending will be?
Nikki: I think we are starting to move away from Gin now.
Nikki: I agree! I really think Rum is on the up! Actually, I reckon Amaro is on the up as well.
Alisdair: Yeah, people are now more into bitter stuff.
FDM: When you’re not drinking at The Hive, where are you drinking?
Nikki: I’m always drinking at The Hive. It’s the worst thing I do is that I don’t have much of a life other than here because it’s just so easy. You finish work, you sit down here and have a drink. It’s so easy! But, a really standout venue that I’ve just discovered is Cottonmouth. They’re so cool, and have really exceeded my expectations I think. The do similar stuff that we do like craft beer, small batch spirits, vinyl, and we actually share a lot of our DJs. The owners of Cottonmouth hang here sometimes!
FDM: If you could eliminate one cocktail from menus worldwide, what would it be?
Nikki: I’d have to say the Mojito, and I know it’s delicious and why people order it. It’s just probably the most annoying drink to make, and it’s the one that slows down service every time. There are so many variables that you have to be on top of. There is just a lot that goes into it. If we could just replace it with another sweet Rum based drink we’d be okay. There are other drinks that are better!
Keen for a dynamite drink? Head to The Hive Bar, they’ve got you covered!