Top 50 Cocktail Bars

Get to know: Alex Palumbo

The mastermind behind Edinburgh's Hey Palu

Charli Tomney | 19/06/2022

Name: Alex Palumbo

Nicknames: Palu

Pronouns: He/Him

Job title: Bar Owner

When did Hey Palu open: September 2019

Favourite drink: you can’t beat a Mezcal Margarita.

Awards & accolades: most recently being part of the Top 50 Cocktail bars, a definite highlight was placing third in the world for the Havana

Key skills: being a hard worker, determination & I would like to think I have a pretty balanced palate

What got you into cocktail bars?

I just loved the environment, the people you meet and the fun to be had, especially back in the early noughties in London!

How many years have you worked in the industry?

My first shift behind a bar was in the summer of 2000 in London. I was just 16.

What makes a great cocktail bar?

Everything.  Drinks, people, music, lights. Most of all, a good cocktail bar is made by creating a great atmosphere and place where people feel welcomed.

What do you enjoy most about the industry?

Since I started it has completely evolved in the way we make drinks, techniques and technologies, but the base is the same…take good care of people and do it with a smile.

What’s a signature drink of yours?

My Wild Strawberry Negroni, Gin, strawberry vermouth and white bitters. It’s a light, fruiter version of a classic Negroni...and my Midori Sour. Seems like has a bit of a cult following in Edinburgh now.

Favourite post-shift meal?

Beer! Very cold beer.

What does being a Top 50 Cocktail Bar mean to you? 

It means a lot, a lot of work and passion went into Hey Palu, and we love to share it with everyone.

What is the best cocktail bar you’ve ever visited?

The first time in Employees Only in New York in 2012. Was an absolute blast!

What do you enjoy most about working at Hey Palu?

Our regulars, and all the Amari available to play with.

Least favourite ingredient?

Kiwi...I’m allergic.

What does the future hold for Hey Palu?

Not sure, More Palu???