On the Road to Russia: Local bartender set to shake up St Petersburg bar scene with Möet Hennessy
Michael Patterson, Food & Beverage Manager at Belfast hotel, Bullitt is preparing to depart for a jam-packed two night stint at Moscow Bar Show in Saint Petersburg, Russia from 4-6 September as part of the Moët Hennessy Assemblage Programme
Pictured (L-R) Michael Patterson, Food & Beverage Manager at Bullitt Belfast and Laura Shiels, Brand Manager for Moët Hennessy at Dillon Bass. Michael Patterson is preparing to depart for a jam-packed two night stint at Moscow Bar Show in Saint Petersburg, Russia from 4-6 September as part of the Moët Hennessy Assemblage Programme.
Michael Patterson's cocktail creation, ‘Jas & Ginger’, named after the famous Jas Hennessy.
A local bartender is getting set to join some of the world’s top talent for a career-enhancing trip of a lifetime. Michael Patterson, Food & Beverage Manager at Belfast hotel, Bullitt, departs for a jam-packed two night stint at Moscow Bar Show in Saint Petersburg, Russia from 4-6 September as part of the Moët Hennessy Assemblage Programme.
The Moët Hennessy Assemblage Programme sought to bring 40 of the world’s best bartenders together in a year-long programme. Beginning with a three-day immersive experience of Moët Hennessy in Champagne, the programme culminates with a visit to one of eight high-profile European bar trade shows, where the bartenders will represent the portfolio on a world stage. The portfolio includes world-class brands such as Hennessy, Möet & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, and Belvedere vodka.
Michael, who works in Belvedere flagship bar, Babel Rooftop Bar & Garden, was handpicked by Dillon Bass – owners of the Moët Hennessy portfolio in Northern Ireland – to be part of this exciting initiative. Over the course of the year, he has developed his knowledge skills in preparation for the Moscow Bar Show, where he will not only act as an ambassador for Moët Hennessy, but also showcase his own cocktail creation, named ‘Jas & Ginger’ after the famous Jas Hennessy.
A modern take on the classic sidecar, this sharp and sour mix of Hennessy VS, Cointreau and lemon juice, with ginger extract and a Sauternes reduction, can be savoured in the chic surroundings of Babel.
Michael’s journey to Moscow began in the luxurious location of Champagne, home to the Moët Hennessy portfolio. Among the highlights of this trip were a hot air balloon ride over the forests of Ardennes; harvesting grapes in the vineyards of Hautvillers; a full-day tasting session of the entire Moët Hennessy portfolio; and an evening of hospitality at Hôtel du Marc, the private hotel of Veuve Clicquot, where the bartenders’ own creations were brought to life and served throughout the course of the evening.
For Michael, the highlight of the trip was the opportunity to taste Moët Hennessy’s extensive spirit portfolio. He said: “Never in my life have I had the opportunity to taste such an extensive portfolio in one sitting – it gave me the chance to taste things that I had never tasted before, even on distillery visits.”
However, one of the most significant parts of the trip was when the bartenders came together in Moët & Chandon’s Résidence De Trianon. Here, their mixology skills were put to the test with an afternoon workshop, challenging them to create the unique cocktails that they would go on to serve at their chosen European bar show.
Laura Shiels, Brand Manager for Moët Hennessy at Dillon Bass said: “The intention behind the Moët Hennessy Assemblage programme was to bring the best bartenders in the world together to share skills, develop ideas and network with each other, as well as creating knowledgeable ambassadors for the Moët Hennessy portfolio.
“It is so rewarding to have the opportunity to develop our local bartending scene and enhance their career opportunities. We are delighted to have been able to extend this opportunity to Michael and look forward to hearing about his experiences in St Petersburg.”
Speaking about what he has gained from his experience, Michael said: “It’s great to have the opportunity to come together with peers from so many parts of the world, as we all come from different backgrounds and there is so much to be learned from one another.
“The trip with Moët Hennessy has introduced me to people that I have read about online, or whose bars I have visited in the past, but to meet them in a scenario outside of the bar environment and talk to them about different techniques, trends, products that we’re using and where we see the industry going in the coming years has been fascinating.
“I am really looking forward to seeing what the bar scene is like in St Petersburg, as a city on the edge of Europe. Certain cities and countries are famed for their own unique bartending style, but I have no idea what to expect from St Petersburg. I am really excited to find out what the city has to offer.”