Name: Alan Sherwood
Job title: Bartender and glass washer
Favourite drink: Of ours: Moro Margarita, elsewhere, Silverleaf Verbena/Olive Oil
Awards & accolades: 25th Best Bar UK, Most Sustainable Bar UK, Most Creative Menu London, Worlds Top 50 Bars with Scout
Key skills: Polishing glasses, talking too much, awkwardness
What got you into cocktail bars?
I left my previous career as a web developer when I sold my shares of my first business. After that I knew I wanted to work in hospitality but I wasn’t sure how, so I started cleaning glasses at Hawksmoor and it spiralled from that.
How many years have you worked in the industry?
Currently 7 years, 2 with Matt Whiley, 1 with the Venning brothers and the rest at Mercies.
What makes a great cocktail bar?
People. The guests, we are there for them, and the service that makes their experience fun.
What do you enjoy most about the industry?
The diversity, through and through it’s the sheer scope of people and ideas that keeps everything moving and exciting. Peoples stories, ideas, histories, it’s the most important element and the most surprising.
What’s a signature drink of yours?
The Kiwi Gimlet, Moro Margarita or Snickers Old Fashioned.
Favourite post-shift meal?
Anything Nick Clifford wants to cook me
What does being a Top 50 Cocktail Bar mean to you?
The recognition of what we are doing is amazing, especially for a bar that’s not in the centre of London, and takes a bit of getting to for people. We didn’t open the bar to try and win awards, otherwise opening in Crouch End would have been stupid. But having people see and enjoy what we do enough to recognise it, that’s beautiful.
What is the best cocktail bar you’ve ever visited?
Line in Athens has to be up there, the space, the design, the drinks and the Why-in’s and food, it’s 100% one of the best all round.
What do you enjoy most about working at Little Mercies?
I love the energy of the team and the guests, on chill nights it’s a lovely place to relax and catch up, and when it’s busy the vibe feels totally different and that change is amazing.
Least favourite ingredient?
What does the future hold for Little Mercies?
I think the next year is focused on growing the new team, and trying to raise awareness of what we do. We are super excited to have a lot of guest shifts organised, even more so to be able to take our food with us as well.