Booze Can Be Serious Stuff

Jamie Terrell proves that bartending isn’t just for aspiring actors

Text by Kiira Mancasola

Jamie Terrell might not have known what life would serve up when he started his bartending career in the Canary Islands in 1993—but he’s pretty happy with the outcome. Since island life, Terrell has worked at some of the most influential cocktail bars and restaurants in his home city, including the Atlantic Bar and Grill (which he considers to be the archetype of the legendary London cocktail scene) and SoHo’s notorious LAB Bar.
The international language of liquor offered Terrell the opportunity to travel widely. Taking his expertise out from behind the bar, Terrell helped to open new venues around the world—creating cocktail lists and training bar staffs in the U.S., Spain, Sweden, South Africa, Dubai, Kuwait, Morocco and Russia. “You can take your knowledge to all corners of the world and into many different career opportunities,” he says of his bartending experience.

In 2004, Terrell got his first corporate gig when Plymouth Gin asked him along with a group of other well-respected London bartenders to spearhead the re-launch of Plymouth Gin in the U.S. The group of swank Brits brought the London style of bartending to cocktail parties across New York, Washington, DC and Boston. Plymouth was impressed with Terrell’s expertise and inventive cocktail creation and brought him on board as one of two Global Ambassadors for the brand.

In 2007, Terrell made the transition from traditional to cutting-edge when asked to be the U.S. Brand Manager for the premier international cachaça sprit company, Sagatiba. Terrell’s international exposure is the perfect fit for Sagatiba, who is bringing the historical tradition of Brazilian cachaça to the finest bars and restaurants around the world. Although Sagatiba is already prominent throughout Europe, it is Terrell’s job to introduce this previously obscure spirit to the U.S. (something that, based on his enthusiasm, shouldn’t be hard to do). “[Cachaça] has an amazing and colorful history with over 400 years of heritage in Brazil… [It’s] the third largest consumed spirit in the world…but it’s still relatively unheard of here in the U.S.,” he says. “The most exciting part is sharing the true spirit of Brazil.”
While it might seem like Terrell has left his pouring days behind—he still gets a chance to utilize his expert mixology, creating signature cocktails for Sagatiba. His latest concoction, the Autumn Breeze, is a seasonally inspired drink that combines the flavors of Sagatiba Pura, apples, cinnamon, cranberry and lime. “I created the Autumn Breeze because the balance of ingredients compliment Sagatiba and they are flavors that I love,” he says.

While Terrell couldn’t have predicted where his career would take him, he is glad the he always followed his passion. “Choose a career that you really love,” he says. “If you do, every day will be fun and rewarding.” His advice to aspiring mixologists? “Be honest, work hard, always use fresh ingredients and the best spirits available—but most of all, have fun.”

Autumn Breeze
By Jamie Terrell

I created the Autumn Breeze, as the flavors
of apple and cranberry compliment the delicate flavor profile of Sagatiba Pura.
It is a refreshing fall cocktail.

glass: Hi-ball
garnish: Apple fan and cinnamon stick
2 ounces, Sagatiba Pura
¼ ounce cinnamon liquor
1 ½ ounces apple cider
1 ½ ounces cranberry juice
dash of lime juice
method: Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake and serve over cubed ice.