James "Rusty" Russell, Bar Manager
Here at Spiegelau, we want you to raise the bar.
Our Perfect Serve Collection is all about drinking well, staying classy and having a good time doing it. To celebrate this, we've asked six bars across the country to each spend one weekend with us for the next six months. They'll be taking over our Instagram from Thursday to Saturday, and showing us how it's done here in Australia.
Next up, we'll be spending a few days with The Barber Shop in the Sydney CBD, this coming Thursday 6 to Saturday 8 July.
This incredibly unique bar is one of the few genuine small bars in Sydney, and is fronted by a genuine barber shop for the modern gentleman. They describe it as a "hidden treasure with a nod to vintage British style", and have a slew of accolades under their belt, including Bartender Magazine's Gin Bar of the Year in 2016. But don't be intimidated - their seriously knowledgeable bartenders will make you feel right at home as they mix you something unexpected and delicious.
We chatted to Bar Manager James "Rusty" Russell to find out more about the bar's style.
by Erin Ogilvie
How did you become a bartender and how long have you been doing it?
After completing a degree in Theatre and Film, I fell for the always ever-changing and entertaining industry of hospitality.
What do you love most about your job?
When guests come especially to our bar, for us and what we love doing! We are always aiming to create a perfect experience for every guest with perfect drinks, music, lights and entertaining banter.
Describe your bar in three words.
Alluring, elegant, and juniper!
What's your signature cocktail?
We love our Martinis at The Barber Shop, and use tailored tinctures to explore all the different elements, botanicals, intricacies and paramounts of Gin.
We don't have a signature cocktail as such, but one of my favourites is Smoke and Bandages. It's a Gin-inspired variation of a classic, with toasted rosemary adding a creative aesthetic and aromatic experience.
What’s your favourite spirit to mix cocktails with, and why?
GIN. Being the Bar Manager at an Award Winning Gin Bar, I love guests leaving with a new perspective on our favourite spirit.
What do you think is the key to a great cocktail?
A great cocktail should ignite all the senses.
Our motto is to “Raise the Bar”: what’s your #1 tip for a cocktail lover?
Trust your bartender, but don’t let them take themselves too seriously.
What’s your favourite thing about the Australian bar scene?
Constant exploration and incredible hospitality.
The Barber Shop
89 York Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000
The Barber Shop are taking over Spiegelau's Instagram from Thursday 6 to Saturday 8 July.