Why do you think the London cocktail scene is so strong currently?
Dzelzainis: That’s an interesting question. I think it’s quite a mixed bag, to be honest. There is some great stuff out there that doesn’t get the recognition it necessarily deserves, and some really average stuff that gets a lot of attention. I think a lot of people are reacting to that, and deciding to do things their way, industry recognition or not. To sum it up: Everyone wants to be a jazz musician, but no one wants to learn the blues.
Where do you think drinks are headed in London in terms of trends, tastes, and designs?
Dzelzainis: I think London’s key strength is how multicultural it is, and that makes it very unpredictable and interesting. It’s really hard to predict trends, and also I try not to pay too much attention because I don’t want to get caught up in it. Guest reaction and feedback is always the best gauge for what works and doesn’t. I like people who go completely off-piste but are somehow still in tune with the zeitgeist. The only things I would commit to saying are trends would be sustainability and zero waste. Regardless of what I think about drinks and the people behind them, these are both incredibly important topics we as an industry need to tackle collectively.