Top bartenders reveal their memorable holiday drinks

What do the world’s top bartenders do when they take time off work? Drink, of course. Here, six of the best tell us about their most memorable vacation tipples.

Sam Ameye

Bartender at Swift, London

I went to Toronto and didn’t know much about the city so I asked around for places to visit, a place called The Shameful Tiki Room popped up. What followed when I visited was one of the best bar experiences I’ve ever had.

When I went into The Shameful Tiki Room, I saw probably the single best example of kitsch done right. There were glowing pufferfish with nets over them and palm trees. I went in on a Tuesday in February and it was pretty quiet, as you’d expect. However, the bartender, called Bosko, pointed out that he had a hidden button on his bar station, I asked what it was for and he replied with: “you’ll see”.

Soon, a table ordered something called the Volcano Punch, which came served in a miniature volcano. As soon as the punch hit the table, Bosko pressed the button, making all the lights in the room change red, smoke started billowing from the walls and the speakers cut from normal music to the word, ‘volcane’.

During all of this, Bosko was just leaning on the backbar, grinning. Over the course of the night, he pressed that button three times and he was grinning the whole way through. He’s been there for four years.