After working behind bars in Ireland, Texas and Ibiza, Adam Garton now creates and serves funky cocktails in Aberdeen’s Paramount.
Adam, who works as an assistant manager in the popular city centre venue, started as a bartender while studying maths at Aberdeen University.
He said: “I really like the atmosphere in Paramount.
“I came in for a couple of nights out before I started working here. I just liked the vibe of the place. The bar always seemed to have a decent atmosphere, friendly staff and good music.”
In recent weeks Adam’s been very busy coming up with ideas for Paramount’s new cocktail menu which will launch in the next few weeks. He said: “We’re just about to launch our new menu. We usually try to swap out the whole menu once a year, but we’ll do rotating ones throughout as well. We’ll have a Christmas, spring-time and summer slush menu as well and we also do weekly offers.”
Featuring 12 new tasty cocktails as well as popular older creations, Adam is certain the new menu will offer something for everyone.
He said: “We tried to be a lot more innovative with this menu. We’re making a lot of cocktails that customers have to interact with as well. I don’t want to give too much away, but, for example, there may be an extra step a customer needs to do. They may have to pour in something from one glass to another and then something happens with the drink.
“We’re working a lot of with dry ice at the moment. It’s just fun and it makes the cocktail a bit different.
“We always encourage people to take pictures and shout about it. It’s great for us, but I think it’s also fun for people as well.
“It’s nice just sitting down with a gin and tonic, but if you have something that’s more interactive you can enjoy with your pals and everyone’s trying different things and everyone’s looking at it, it kind of makes it a talking point for your night.”
From the new menu, Adam would recommend a cocktail called A Bare Faced Lie.
He said: “It’s quite sweet and it’s definitely a year-round drink. It’s refreshing for summer, but I can see it being popular in the winter as well.”
But even if customers can’t find something that takes their fancy on the menu, Adam and his team of talented bartenders are more than happy to come up with new cocktail creations on the spot.
Adam said: “We pride ourselves on the fact we can try to make whatever a customer wants. We like to be innovative on the spot. If someone comes in and says ‘I like sweeter drinks and I want it in a tall glass,’ then we can go from there and create something special for the customer.”
Adam said the most-ordered cocktail in Paramount is the popular pornstar martini. He said: “I would say it is the same in almost all other cocktail bars. It’s just taken off the last few years. Pornstar martini cocktails are everywhere now and it kind of came out of nowhere. They’re really tasty and anyone can drink them. I’ll happily drink one too. We noticed a massive influx them so we developed our pornstar martini trees and we also do an XL version too. It’s a sharing cocktail for four people. It’s fun and interactive – you’re not just sitting with one glass for the whole night. It’s something big in the middle of your table for you and your friends.
“You don’t need to pre-order these, just pop in.”
During the summer months, Paramount offers a range of fun frozen cocktails including Solero ice-cream, Irn Bru, Hpnotiq and Hooch-flavoured slushies.
Adam said: “Our Irn Bru daiquiri is probably the most popular one. It’s been on our menus on and off for maybe three years. We put it on social media and it snowballed after that, which was really good. Now, maybe two months after, people still come in and ask for it. “We just try to mix it up every week. We have staff trying to come up with their own drinks which we can promote for the week.”
Adam always tries to encourage all of Paramount’s bar staff to get involved in the cocktail creation process.
He said: “We really encourage younger staff to get involved because I think it’s motivating as a bartender for you to see a cocktail you created go on a menu, be included on a promotion or even posted on a social media.
“We do little sessions now and then when we sit around and talk about new products we have and what we can do with them. It works well when everyone has an input.”
Adam and the Paramount staff are very passionate about supporting north-east drinks producers.
He said: “We love to support local companies. “Especially with this new menu, we used a lot of local brands. For example, Porter’s Gin is always massively popular. We also stock House of Botanicals’ gins and their bitters, too.
“We try to see how local we can get with whiskies too by putting local whiskies in cocktails so people who don’t like it or don’t think they like whisky, can try it. I think there’s a way to drink every spirit for everyone out there.
“And I think it’s great when you can tell people who may not have been in Aberdeen before stories of local drinks brands.
“We’re good friends with the owners of Porter’s Gin. We’re all from the same friend circle.
“I think Aberdeen has a really good bartending community. It’s probably overlooked at times, but everyone helps everyone in Aberdeen, which I think it’s good to shout about. It’s good to promote local brands and other local bars as well.”
One of the things Adam likes most about his job at the busy venue is its diverse clientele.
He said: “You could be here on a Wednesday night and there could be more than 200 students celebrating exams or something like that. And then on Friday, you’ve got people coming in for a chilled out drink after work. We’ve got a quite decent clientele flip and it makes work more interesting. We definitely have loyal customers and see familiar faces every week.” The city centre bar is known for hosting popular music-themed nights and other funky events. And in addition to that, it also offers cocktail masterclasses.
Adam said: “We usually host at least one or two every weekend.
“It’s really popular during Christmas time and for staff parties. It’s fun and involving.
“We try to teach people small things which they can do at home that they didn’t think they could do when making drinks.
“It’s a fun day out for all.”
Adam thinks Paramount is a very quirky venue because “everything stands out”.
He said: “We’ve got a lot of neon signs at the back of the bar which are all over Instagram.
“The throne booths and animal heads on the wall are always popular spots for people to take pictures. “It just makes it kind of fun as well.
“I’ve worked here for two years and I still find things in the building I never knew they were there.”
Visit www.paramountbar.co.uk for more information and the full drinks menus