Edgar Serra Pou began learning his craft in a small Italian restaurant and bar in Mayfair, later going on to run the bar there. Now, Edgar is the Head Barman at The Terrace Bar in The Chesterfield Mayfair, where he uses his cocktail-making skills to provide hotel guests with both classic pours and more contemporary cocktails. We caught up with Edgar for a behind the scenes look at The Terrace Bar and his latest cocktail creations.
What attracted you to The Chesterfield Mayfair and what do you like most about being there?
“The hotel bar’s manager dined regularly at the Italian restaurant I was working at before, so when an opportunity to work behind the bar at The Chesterfield Mayfair came up, he offered me an interview. It was the perfect next step for me, so I didn’t have any doubt whether I wanted the opportunity. I have now been here for three years, with a great team and a beautiful working environment.”
What do you enjoy most about being a barman?
“I love creating new cocktails and giving guests an amazing experience. I love it when they come to us asking for a cocktail that we don’t get asked to make very often.”
What do you think makes an exceptional barman?
“A dedicated, hard-working and passionate person makes the best barman. They need to be a person who wants to provide the best service to guests, and someone who is always willing to improve. As well as being a skilful bartender, they should always be optimistic and a team player.”
Have there been any especially memorable moments during your time as a barman?
“I believe the most outstanding moment for me here has been the creation of the Gin & Tonic Experience at The Terrace Bar. It had to meet the high standards of Red Carnation Hotels, but once it had been launched, its success was even greater than expected. What I enjoyed most was seeing how a young and shy bartender grew in confidence as he guided guests through their gin and tonic experience, until they were all clapping for him at the end. Seeing our team grow and enjoying their work is a great satisfaction.”
What’s your favourite cocktail?
“At the Chesterfield we are proud to have our own signature cocktails, but I am a classic person, so my favourite cocktail is the Whisky Sour.”
What signature drinks can people try at The Terrace Bar?
“Lately we have changed the menu at the Terrace Bar to include all of our signature cocktails. One of our most popular drinks has been the Mayfair Gem. It is a fresh, summery cocktail presented on a black slate with a hollow ice sphere filled with vodka, limoncello, apple juice, blackberry liquor and passion fruit. To release the cocktail into the glass the guest must break the ice sphere using a small hammer.”
Have you created any of your own cocktails?
“Over the past few years, I have created many of my own cocktails. And lately, I have been working on molecular cocktails, following techniques used by Ferran Adria and Jose Andres, who were pioneers in using scientific equipment for food and drink. The team at The Terrace Bar has been working hard and we now have molecular cocktails on the menu. Moreover, we are currently working with the hotel’s Executive Chef Ben Kelliher to come up with more unique ideas. So far we have launched an Eton Mess cocktail, and we are now working on more ideas for the autumn season.”
Try one of these signature cocktails at The Terrace Bar and soak up the intimate atmosphere The Chesterfield Mayfair provides, in the company of this hotel’s passionate barmen.
All images © Red Carnation Hotels.