Mojo Record Bar
73 York Street, Sydney
If you’ve ever been to Sydney’s Mojo Record Bar, you know they know how to have a good time. For this month’s Introducing profile, we asked new Mojo recruit, Stephanie Haile, all the usual questions — and she came back with some unusual answers. Guess that’s why she’s working at Mojo, and why we like that bar so damn much.
How long have you been bartending?
About three years now.
Where have you worked previously?
Café Lounge and the Hard Rock Café.
Before you were bartending what were you doing with yourself?
I worked in various bars and pubs while studying a degree in Fashion Design before moving to Sydney in 2010.
What is your proudest moment behind the bar?
Getting hired at Mojo by someone that I’ve always looked up to (and not just because he’s very tall!).
And the most embarrassing?
There have been a few, I’m quite clumsy…
How do you keep the ‘chat’ up while you’re at work?
I love talking to people so don’t find it that hard, just read the customer, try and establish a rapport with them, and take the banter to the level I think they will enjoy.
What advice would you give a rookie bartender?
Although I still consider myself a bit of a rookie in this industry, I would say that being prepared to work hard, never thinking that you are above doing any job, asking all the questions and using your initiative are very important. Be prepared for the other bartenders to ask you to do things like borrow a bucket of steam! We’ve all been there.
What’s been your favourite bar to work in?
Mojo Record Bar.
What’s your favourite bar gadget?
A nice sharp bar knife!
What’s your favourite joke?
What do you call a blind dinosaur?
A Doyouthinkhesaurus! I know its terrible but it works for me.
What’s your favourite movie?
Anything by Tarantino, The Fifth Element and the Labyrinth. David Bowie in those tights… what more can you say?
What’s your favourite song?
There are so many for different feelings, people and places. My current favourite to wiggle my hips to while at work is ‘Little Green Bag’ by the George Baker Selection. I also have a secret obsession with ‘You’re the Voice’ by John Farnham.
What’s your favourite sport?
What’s your favourite cocktail?
It changes all the time, at the moment it’s a Hanky Panky – Equal parts gin and sweet vermouth, 2 dashes of Fernet Branca, stirred down and strained into a cocktail glass with an orange twist. Damn tasty and created by one of the original female bartenders, Ada Coleman.
What should people be drinking more of?
Mezcal! And White Russians! But not at the same time.
Last drink ever – what would it be?
A huge daiquiri. HUGE!
Can you tell us some of your favourite bars to drink at?
Low 302, Shady Pines and Hello Sailor as they are my locals. Of course Mojo but also Grandma’s, Hinky Dinks and the Gin Palace in Melbourne.
What is your favourite product to work with at the moment and why?
I love the West Winds Cutlass gin. It’s amazing in a martini.
What is the weirdest or strangest drink you’ve ever had?
I still find meat-washed booze really strange. I tried some chorizo washed bourbon a while ago… my mouth didn’t know what to think. Also, bone luging was pretty strange. I think the other diners thought I was disgusting.
What’s the most enjoyable occasion to have a drink?
At the end of a long busy shift. And on my day off with good friends.
What do you drink to…
Unwind after a long shift?
Gin and Tonic.
Impress a date?
I’d probably drink a Mezcal Negroni … if I ever went on a date that is!
If you could have a drink with one person (alive or dead) who would it be and why?
My family, who are back home in England so I never get to have a drink with them. Or David Attenborough.
Rye whiskey or Tequila?
I love them both equally.
What was the last book you bought?
Delta of Venus by Anais Nin, which is spectacular.
What drink trends are popular at the moment?
Old Fashioneds and sours still. Also apéritifs and digestifs.
If you could have a superhuman power what would it be – why?
To read minds… the potential for banter over the bar would be amazing!
If you were to be something other than a bartender, what would it be and why?
I have no idea! I’d probably be gallivanting around the world looking for the answer to that question. And then I’d still probably end up being a bartender.
Who’s your hero?
The bride from Kill Bill.
What products do you think will be popular over the coming months?
Cognac and Mezcal, there are a lot of really great ones available here now.
Where do you see yourself in 20 years time?
Somewhere hot with a beautiful beach, teaching people to dive by day and running a bar by night.