I first fell in love with spirits and beer while working as a barman in Aspen, Colorado aged 21. Later on, with the nightclub Woody’s, I worked with London cocktail legend Ben Reed and we brought good drinks to W9 for the first time.
Since then it has been all craft beer mania with the build-out of the Draft House across five locations in London. But now, with the launch of Bump Caves, I am reconnecting with the aetherial world of spirits.
Max Chater, who will be Bump Chemist, Distiller and Rectifier, came to a year ago me with the idea for Bump and creating our own mind-blowing spirits using the Rotary Evaporator and other bits of pharmaceutical equipment. I told him to get lost and sell some more good beer. But he is persistent and passionate- and has an incredible nose and palate. While being the boss at our Charlotte Street pub he invented the Beer & A Bump (contrasting beer & spirit pairings) and blew many happy customers’ minds with outrageous flavour combinations. The Bump Caves is an extension of that beautiful thing.
What has been blowing my mind is how the pharmaceutical and kitchen equipment openly available now allows us flavour freaks to capture any aroma or taste in spirit form. This is surely a massive break-through for cooks and bar-keeps and one that lies at the heart of the trip which is Bump Caves. It also allows us to be needle-precise withflavour pairings and combining – as realised in our Beer & Bumps and House Cocktails.
On the cast list are some of the crazy people past and present who have inspired us as we built this idea. As you can see it’s anyone who pushing the limits of sensual experience – taking it ‘FURTHUR’ – the wrongly- spelled destination sign on the Merry Pranksters’ bus.