Name: Mark Bradbury
Venue: The Bicycle Thief
1.Where are you from?
2. How long have you been a bartender and how did you get into bartending?
I’ve been bartending for the better part of about 6 years, I first got into it just as a promotion from bussing tables and realized how much I loved it.
3. Where/when was your first gig? How many bartending jobs have you had?
My first bartending job was at The Five Fishermen Restaurant about 6 years ago, The Bicycle Thief is my third and I’ve been there for 2 and a half years.
4. How did you get involved with your venue?
I was working the bar at a sister restaurant when the position at The Bicycle Thief opened up, luckily I was approached to be the replacement.
5. What kind of cocktails do you serve at your bar/restaurant? What cocktails are your favorites?
We serve a little bit of everything from classics to more modern styles, the goal is to have something for everybody. Personally, I love spirit forward cocktails and my favorite has always been the Manhattan.
6. What turns you on about bartending, what are the new trends that are exciting you?
I love the creativity that comes along with it, but also the history of cocktails. I love the idea that we’re still drinking many of the same cocktails people were drinking 100+ years ago. I love the trend of spirits and ingredients being rediscovered and being challenged to use them in today’s cocktail scene.
7. What’s your cocktail-making style? What are some of your favorite cocktails to make?
I’m not sure I have a specific style, it depends entirely on what is available seasonally and who I’m making a cocktail for. My goal is always to make something balanced and approachable.
8. What spirit is sexiest to you? Why?
I would have to say whisky. So many variations and so versatile for cocktails either for something stirred and strong or shaken and refreshing.
9. What do you drink as a shot?
I’m not too picky, but Bourbon is my go to.
10. What are some of your favorite ingredients to work with?
Whatever is fresh and in the season, I’m a big fan of the emergence of shrubs in cocktails as well, they add such and interesting layer.
11. Which bartenders have been inspirations for you?
Jeff Van Horne and Matt Boyle are two that I’ve had the pleasure of working with, and I owe them so much for the influence they’ve had on me.
12. If you could work in any bar in the world for one night where would it be?
Death and Co. would be my choice, their creativity and passion are so inspiring.
13. Where do you head on your night off?
Usually Stillwell, a local craft beer bar or just entertaining friends at my home bar.
14. What’s your favorite cocktail to order at a bar?
Rye Manhattan’s are my favorite, but I’m always open to whatever the bartender suggests.
15. What is the most ridiculous cocktail request you had?
Too many to remember specifically, usually something involving an embarrassing birthday drink.
16. What got you into MADE WITH LOVE and how do you feel about the National Finals?
I’ve always attended the event since it came to Halifax and I first started competing in 2015. Once I started at The Bicycle Thief I followed in Jeff Van Horne and Matt Boyle’s footsteps and entered the competition. I’m excited about the National Finals this year, I had such a great experience going last year and I’m hoping to build on that this time around.