All images by Kerry and Ivy Knight
Name/alias: Christina Kuypers, mostly Kuypers or Kuyps to my bar family and old friends
Current bar: Ursa
How long in the business: 12 years
First drink/drunk: Black Russians with my pops
What influences me: Culinary crossover has been a big source of inspiration over the past few years. Techniques, ingredients, flavour composition, etc. Most of all I love when a chef throws me an herb, a fruit, a sauce, some random ingredient, or a vessel, a tool, an abstract idea, and we run with it. I say “we” because it’s all about collaboration. I’ve been lucky to be doing this with Nick Liu (GwaiLo) for a while, and more recently with Jacob Sharkey-Pearce (URSA). Taste is subjective, method is not. It’s amazing to learn both from each other. There’s always a better way to get something done.
Best barfly: It used to be that guests were the greatest (mostly inadvertent) source of comedy. More recently I’d say the perversion of mixology has become funnier still. Listening to someone go on for 23 minutes about a spoon, deride a liqueur or extol the virtues of the dimensions of an ice cube…now that’s funny shit. Those are champagne (oh wait, sorry, in-house carbonated) problems.
Cinematic bartender: Woody Boyd, Cheers. “Do you want the cucumber bruised?”
Rules: Guest: know what you want, if you don’t, ask. Bartender: don’t presume to know what the guest wants, ask. And if it is a cosmo, make ’em the best damn one you can. Period.
Celebrity experiences: I’ve lost count. Discretion is key.
Morning after: My local, 3 Speed.
Best /worst tip: It’s a batting average.
Favourite cocktail/beer/wine right now: A Martinez, a hoppy beer, and a rye whiskey or cognac. Thank you Simon Ogden.