Swaran – Bartender, LHR Clubhouse
Favourite cocktail to drink: Vodka Bramble
- 1 Part Absolut Vodka
- ⅔ Part Lemon Juice
- ⅓ Part Simple Syrup
- ⅓ Part Créme de Mure
Favourite cocktail to mix: Pretty much anything as it’s always fun mixing and shaking drinks although I do love to make a mojito
- 1 1/2 oz White rum
- 6 leaves of Mint
- Soda Water
- 1 oz Fresh lime juice
- 2 teaspoons Sugar
The one bar tool you can’t live without: A Boston glass for me is a must and a good bar spoon always helps for stirring a classic drink
Best destination to travel to: Vancouver
Swaran was working over at Queens Building at London Heathrow back in 2000 whilst studying for a degree in Business & Finance when she was approached by Virgin Atlantic to work in The Clubhouse.
She had been thinking about moving into Investment Banking following her degree course but following a years placement in the Clubhouse during University her career path changed. That was 17 years ago and she hasn’t looked back!
‘The shift pattern really works for me’ says Swaran who has to get up at 4am when on an early shift to get to work for a 6am start. She’s full time so she currently covers 4 days on the early shift followed by 2 days rest and then 4 days on the late shifts which start at 1.30pm.
‘When we arrive at work we have a briefing and then when on the early shift the first thing we do is set up the bar so it is ready in time for our first customers arriving at 6.30am. The mornings are a really busy time for us as there’s usually a flight departing every 20 minutes so The Clubhouse has a real buzz to it during this time.
‘There’s a real family feel around working in The Clubhouse says Swaran ‘ I know it sounds cliché but it is like being part of one big happy family’.
She says the team also has part time opportunities where you can opt to cover permanent early or permanent late shifts which creates flexibility for people and there is also the chance to swap shifts if needed.
Uniqueness of working in the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse
‘One of the highlights of working here is that you get to take part in in competitions to create your own cocktails. During my time at Virgin Atlantic I have been lucky enough to create 4 different cocktails which have then featured on the cocktail menu and we also get a lot of people blogging about our drinks.
So what’s the cocktail she’s most proud of we asked? ‘I named one of mine ‘Indian Summer’ and it consisted of ginger infused vodka, pineapple puree, fresh lime, almond syrup, coriander all shaken and served in a martini glass! But having my cocktail displayed in ‘Harrods’ has to be the ultimate accolade’.
‘We also get some fantastic training from ‘Grey Goose ‘ vodka ambassadors coming into The Clubhouse to spend time with us, through to off site visits where we get to visit the distilleries to learn more about their products. Some of our bartenders have also studied to be ‘Sommeliers’ and as a result have had the opportunity to choose the new wines for the menus, not something that you would ordinarily have a chance to do. Recently one of our bartenders was lucky enough to get a job as a mixologist on Necker Island so is just about to move out there!’
‘When we were setting up our Clubhouses over in New York I was fortunate to get the chance to go out there to train up the new team at JFK & Newark and introduce them to Virgin and our product which was a real honour. But I think the real highlight for me about working here is that I have made friends for life. Over the years I have made friends from all around the world that I’m still in touch with and that’s not just colleagues but also some of our customers. The concessions are also amazing so you get to travel to some fantastic places.
When I started out I didn’t have any knowledge of cocktails so really didn’t know what to expect but the support from the team here was fantastic.
These days it is a lot busier than when I joined as the service has evolved but it is still a fun place to work and you meet some amazing people. I would definitely advise anyone who is thinking of applying for a job with us to just go for it as you never know where it may lead!’
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