Trip of a lifetime: local bartender mixes it up at Moscow Bar Show
Bullitt Food Beverage Manager Michael Patterson prepares a ‘Jas & Ginger’ cocktail at the Moscow Bar Show.
Bullitt Food & Beverage Manager Michael Patterson and fellow Moët Hennessy Assemblage bartenders outside the Moët Hennessy stand at the Moscow Bar Show.
Local bartender Michael Patterson has returned to Belfast after shaking up the St Petersburg bar scene alongside some of the industry’s top talent.
As part of the Moët Hennessy Assemblage Programme, the Food & Beverage Manager at Belfast hotel, Bullitt, journeyed to the Moscow Bar Show from 4-6 September for an unforgettable, career-enhancing trip.
The inaugural Moët Hennessy Assemblage Programme brought 40 of the world’s top bartenders together in a year-long programme, beginning with a three-day immersive experience of Moët Hennessy in Champagne and culminating with a visit to one of eight high-profile European bar trade shows.
Michael, who works in Belfast’s Belvedere flagship account 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. He was one of seven bartenders chosen to attend the Moscow Bar Show, during which he had the opportunity to represent the Moët Hennessy portfolio on a world stage, which includes brands such as Hennessy, Möet & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, and Belvedere vodka.
After a year spent developing his knowledge and skills in preparation for the Moscow Bar Show, Michael boarded the plane to St Petersburg, ready to present Moët Hennessy to a new market. Throughout the course of the trip, Michael acted as an ambassador for Moët Hennessy, showcasing the brand to a capitvated audience of around 2000 people per day, hailing from locations including Russia, China and Eastern Europe.
Alongside his fellow bartenders, he revealed his own cocktail creation – a modern take on the classic Sidecar, named ‘Jas & Ginger’ after the famous Jas Hennessy – and presented and attended a number of industry seminars, ranging from finding the perfect balance of flavour to the challenge of setting up a family business.
By night, the atmosphere of the bar show continued as the city came alive with a varied itinerary of bars, all hosting international talent throughout the course of the event and giving Michael the chance to soak up the St Petersburg bar scene and even take on a guest bartending stint at local cocktail bar, Bar 812.
Speaking about the trip, Michael commented:
“The entire experience was unbelievable. It has opened so many doors in my career by exposing me to people that I would never otherwise have the opportunity to network with, especially outside of the bar environment. To be able to share ideas with like-minded individuals in the way that the Moet Hennessy Assemblage programme encouraged is so unusual and I am thrilled to have been a part of it.
“Normally, connections like these would be made in a competitive setting, where the sharing of ideas would never happen. However, this programme took the opposite approach, and encouraged us to come together with our ideas, share our skills and build upon each other’s knowledge, which is something that I will always value.”
Laura Shiels, Brand Manager for Moët Hennessy at Dillon Bass said: “We are thrilled with the success of the Moët Hennessy Assemblage programme, and especially pleased to see how much Michael has gained from the opportunity.
“The intention behind the programme was to allow the best bartenders in the world to network with each other, share their knowledge and develop ideas, as well as increasing their knowledge of the Moët Hennessy portfolio. Projects like these are one of the many benefits of having a global portfolio of brands at Dillon Bass – it gives us the chance to connect with the global bar scene and give bartenders, like Michael, opportunities to develop.