Raising the Bar with Metinee (May) Kongsrivilai
HRNI talks to Metinee (May) Kongsrivilai, a former winner of Bacardi Legacy and now UK brand ambassador for Bacardí Rums, about her rise in the drinks trade
Metinee (May) Kongsrivilai, UK brand ambassador for Bacardí Rums
HOW DID YOU START OUT IN THE BAR TRADE?
It was all by accident. I had finished university in Bristol and decided that I didn’t want to compete in the world of graduates in London, so I randomly chose to move to Edinburgh. My flat mate at the time put me in touch with the guys at Dragonfly for a bartending job just to get some money through as I was looking for a ‘proper’ job. It turns out that I fit in pretty well within hospitality and I have never looked back since. I ended up opening up and managing The Bon Vivant and The Bon Vivian’s Companion before moving down to London to work at Hawksmoor Spitalfields and White Lyan alongside my ambassador role.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
My peers within this industry. This branches out from old mentors to work colleagues and my bartending friends. The array of talent and intellects beside me is just incredible. I learn so much from those around me.
WHO DO YOU ADMIRE IN THE BAR TRADE?
I admire the individuals who are behind the sticks hours on end every day, and who are still smiling by the end of the week. The ones that do it because it’s their passion and it’s truly something that they love to do.
WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED IN YOUR CAREER?
Self doubt. At one point I didn’t think that I had enough talent, confidence or knowledge to compete amongst my peers, but then I realised everyone contributes to the industry in their own way. I learnt that what makes a great bartender isn’t the amount that you know… it’s about how you tend the bar itself. Tend it well and you will be known for it.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A BAR PERSON WITH ASPIRATIONS?
Believe in yourself and just go for it. No one is there to shoot you down and stop comparing yourself to others. Just focus on yourself and your team.
WHERE DO YOU HOPE TO GO FROM HERE?
Who knows… this industry is full of surprises and many different paths that can be potentially taken. I’ll just go with the flow and hopefully pick the right one to walk down on.
50ml BACARDÍ Carta Blanca
12.5ml Martini Rosso
12.5ml lemon juice
12.5ml Vanilla sugar syrup
20ml egg white
3-4 fresh Kaffir leaves
• Shake vigorously, double strain and serve straight up
• Garnish with one Kaffir leaf
If you’ve enjoyed this article and currently don’t subscribe to Hospitality Review NI, please contact us or fill in our online subscription form