‘Take your time. Don’t try and rush into it.’ Rachael Merritt on bartending

Rachael Merritt

Kings Cross can claim Jangling Jack’s as its own neighbourhood bar — offering a respite from some of the excess and neon — and behind the bar you’ll find Rachael Merritt. She’s got six years in cocktail bars under her belt, is handy with a drink (the Nice Guy Eddie is her recipe, and it’s a drink we’d definitely recommend), she’s zen in the eye of a customer storm, and is just the kind of bartender we want to hear more from.

As told to Sam Bygrave
Photograph by Christopher Pearce

I started as a waitress first, worked in a few venues around Edinburgh, everything from massive, huge, high-volume restaurants to fine dining. I moved into a management position, as a floor manager running big events and weddings, and from there used to help out behind the bar every now and then. The company I worked for moved me to one of their nightclubs where they had a cocktail bar, which is where I started to get interested in what was going on behind the bar — rather than chasing around after drunk students.