Venue: The Alchemist
ADDRESS: 361 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, VIC.
PHONE: 03 94198250
Fraser Campbell can be found tending bar at the Fitzroy hanut, The Alchemist. If he’s not there he might be refining his bottle opening technique, watching The Lost Boys or reading tips for the modern man in Man Up: Skills for the Modern Guy. If you catch him on his break, he’ll appreciate a pint of Negroni. If you get the chance too, then check out The Alchemist’s sweet website, it’s certainly worth a look.
How long have you been bartending?
“I’ve worked every weekend and some, more or less since I was eighteen.”
Before you were bartending what were you doing with yourself?
“Getting over puberty.”
What is your proudest moment behind the bar?
“Any time a customer goes out of their way to shake my hand before they leave, a true sign of appreciation.”
And most embarrassing?
“The one that sticks in my head is a poorly executed uncorking of a bottle of red, resulting in a female customer who entered wearing a white dress, leaving looking like a Dalmatian.”
How do you prepare yourself for success in a cocktail competition?
“Determine what type of comp it is, either about the drink or the brand. Find out who the judges are, and bribe them. Failing that, find out what they like drinking.”
Where have you worked previously?
“First job in Oz was at Kit and Kaboodle, Sydney. Then first job in Melbourne was at Kitten Club (the non-stripping one) . . . well, depending which nights Andy Young was working.”
What’s your advice for a young aspiring bartender?
“Work as many different hospitality roles as possible. If you can make kick-ass drinks and work the floor like a premium product pimp, you’ll double your chances of getting a job, and get extra shifts.”
What’s been your favourite bar to work in?
“Worked in a bar called Beluga in Aberdeen, Scotland with a bunch of my mates and my sister. We used to play the Cocktail soundtrack at weekends and we all had mullets in various colours . . . (See Fantasy Bar.)”
What’s your favourite city to visit?
“Can’t wait to go back to Barcelona, Gaudi was a crazy mad genius of architect.”
What’s your favourite movie?
The Lost Boys
What’s your favourite song?
“As a travelling man, it’s got to be Ramble On by Led Zeppelin.
What’s your favourite sport?
“Punning. I’m going to campaign for a new Olympic category.”
What’s your favourite cocktail?
30ml Blanco Tequila
30ml Punt e Mes,
A healthy dash of Rhubarb Bitters.
*Add all to a cocktail shaker, shake and strain over ice chunks.
Describe your fantasy bar.
“A bar in which nothing that was created past the 1980s exists. That means if you bring in a mobile phone, it better weigh 20kg and be attached to a red Porsche.”
What do you drink to…
Unwind after a long shift?
“A pint of Negroni.”
Impress a lady?
“A Wacky-Backy Malibukakke Rakis Daiquiri.”
If you could have a drink with one person (alive or dead) who would it be and why?
“My granda who passed away 4 years ago, the longest serving firefighter in UK history.”
What was the last book you bought?
“Man Up by Paul O’Donnell. Including useful tips such as how to throw a punch and hold a baby. (Separately, of course.)”
If you could have a superhuman power what would it be – why?
“Teleporting things anywhere by looking at them. Useful for heavy lifting and transporting any unwelcome and irritating punters into a pit full of angry badgers.”
Last drink ever – what would it be?
“There is nothing a cup of tea cannot fix. And hopefully that would include whatever incident was about to make it my last drink ever…”