Introducing: Ian Riley

 Ian Riley at his post at the Millswyn, Melbourne

Ian was featured in the April edition of Bartender magazine

The Millswyn + Bar 132
131-133 Domain Road, South Yarra
Melbourne, Victoria
03 9866 5627


How long have you been bartending?


Coming on for 13 years now

What is your proudest moment behind the bar?

My first area manager back in the day, a gentleman called Nick Henderson, came into my first venue as a general manager and got served his drink perfectly without me telling the bartender how he’d want it. It was a proud moment for him too.

And most embarrassing?

Haha…serving Pamela Anderson and trying not to get distracted!


What’s been your favourite bar to work in?

Any ‘guest session’ shift. Nothing beats working behind your mates bar, not knowing their crowd, but wanting to prove yourself anyway. Fun times!

What’s your favourite bar gadget?

Probably my nitrous charger… Fast infusions, foams and balloons of fun!

What’s your favourite city to visit?

I’d still have to say Manchester, UK. Mainly because of the diverse bar scene there, and amazing hidden gems.

What’s your favourite movie?

Not sure on an exact favourite, but the movie I’ve probably seen the most would be  True Romance.

What’s your favourite song?

Two choices… Could Be Real by Sub: Focus (D&B remix) or… Rolling with the Punches by B-Complex ft. I’m a full on D&B head…what can I say!


What’s your favourite cocktail?

Pink 47 Gin Martini with a Grapefruit Twist.

Describe your fantasy bar.

Big enough for about 20 people, a creative bartender or two, a massive back bar, a microbrewery onsite and plenty of banter!

What is your favourite product to work with at the moment and why?

I don’t really have a favourite product just now; I’m more enjoying the fact that there is so much good quality fresh produce available to us in Melbourne right now.

What products do you think will be hot over the coming year?

I’m loving that the old school bitters are being researched and put into action. I think that over the next year or so, we’ll really start to see a crossover between old school knowledge and new school technique.

What do you drink to…

Quench your thirst? Proper English cider…naturally

Unwind after a long shift?

Biggest coldest pint……. And a Fernet Branca

If you could have a drink with one person (alive or dead) who would it be and why?

Winston Churchill. The man had a custom-made suitcase…velvet lined, just for making martini’s! Gin, of course.

Can you tell us some of your favourite bars to visit?

Vox Bar, Huddersfield, UK; Jake’s Bar & Grill, Leeds UK; Mo’s, Auckland, NZ; and Murmur, Melbourne, Australia.

Other Stuff:

Can you juggle, perform any magic tricks or have any other unusual talents?

I can fold my tongue if that counts…

What was the last book you bought?

I keep up with Gen Y by only buying e-books of course. The last one was, Roo’d by this amazing person who I don’t remember the name of now…hmmm…I’m quite into my cyber punk at the minute.

If you could have a superhuman power what would it be?

To be honest, I’ve not missed an episode of Heroes and I still couldn’t answer that!

If you were to be something other than a bartender, what would it be and why?

Something involving Virtual Reality because then I might actually be using my degree! (BSc Virtual Reality Systems)

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