Starting his own eco-friendly accessories business in Aberdeen was the driving factor which led Ignas Gutauskas back behind the bar.
Relocating back to Aberdeen from Edinburgh where he moved to make a career for himself, it was only natural Ignas – also known as Iggy – took up the opportunity to work for his former bosses.
Returning to Miro’s Bar, which is located under sister venue Granite Park in Golden Square, it didn’t take long for the enthusiastic head bartender to get back into the swing of things.
He said: “I’ve worked at Miro’s again since June but I used to work here when I was a student at the University of Aberdeen, so I guess I’ve now worked here for a few years in total. I started my own business, Odds & Woods, and took on a part-time role here which allows me to develop that and earn an income.”
Having dabbled in a career as an office manager and a recruiter, the creative soul was delighted to make his comeback doing what he loves most – slinging cocktails and chatting with guests.
“I worked as an office manager and a recruiter for a while but I’m quite an energetic and creative person so I decided to start my own business and come back to Aberdeen and work in Miro’s,” said Iggy.
“I love working here, it’s a real family feel and definitely more suited to me. I worked here when I was studying business and international relations at the University of Aberdeen and loved it so it’s great to be back.”
But it was seeing his creations still taking pride and place on the cocktail menu that made his return much sweeter.
He said: “I couldn’t believe that a few of my drinks were still there. They’ve clearly made a big impact and are definitely favourites with the customers.
“I enjoy seeing the reaction on people’s faces when they enjoy a drink – it’s really satisfying knowing you’ve made them something they
like. We’ve recently launched a new cocktail menu and the vibe of Miro’s is very much relaxed and social. With the cocktails we need to accommodate all tastes – we focus on short and longer drinks. There will be some Tiki-inspired rum cocktails and fruity drinks, but there will also be some seasonal drinks too.”
Extending the menu size, the new offering will also feature unusual twists on classics.
“We like being creative with the drinks,” said Iggy.
“Right now we’ve got a Cosmopolitan with a twist, which is using gin and blue Curaco instead of vodka – it ends up being a blue gin cocktail rather than a pink vodka drink.
“Although we’ve got a menu, it really is just there for guidance for those who aren’t sure about what they want. We can pretty much make anything we have ingredients for. The menu is there to encourage people to try something new – our weekend special always goes down really well.”
Specialising in rum cocktails, Iggy relishes the opportunity to introduce customers to his new rum inspirations which he experiments with on a regular basis.
He said: “My specialty is rum, and Miro – the owner – is a huge gin fan so he’s always creating new gin drinks. Our bartender Adam has also fed in some drinks to the new menu too. Miro’s is all about embracing creativity and because we’re independent our bartenders can really be creative and tailor drinks to everyone.”
But it’s not just the bartenders that get to be creative. The chefs at Granite Park push the boundaries just as much and, in turn, can also influence drinks that make the menu.
“The chefs get the chance to be creative so it’s good as we collaborate on a lot of different things,” said Iggy.
“Chef has made stuff like rhubarb jelly before and I’ve used it in drinks and used the cuttings to make syrups – it works really well.
“There’s a lot of collaboration between us all and the cocktails in the restaurant are also made by the bartenders at Miro’s.”