About UK Bartenders Guild
In 1934, a time of great uncertainty and volatility, a group of established bartenders from some of London’s most beloved venues, convened to form the first council of the United Kingdom Bartenders Guild. It was to be an association of professionals, providing training and education; setting standards for the British bar industry; a repository of official beverage and cocktail recipes; and providing a space for its members to convene.
Almost a century later, the UKBG has been through many changes, with its members witnessing history being made – and in many instances, being part of it. As a founding member of the prestigious International Bartenders Association, the UKBG continues to stand alongside 59 other member states, representing the interests of the British bar industry on the international stage.
As an IBA Founder Member, we organise competitions at National and International levels, help set professionally-recognised qualifications recognised globally, and are the registering body for new cocktail recipes and beverage categories.
The UKBG is run by a team of trade professionals, with the common goal of representing the interests of all bartenders working in the UK – through our common work, we find unity, and in our unity we find our strength.
The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged our industry, and the UKBG has a role, responsibility and moral obligation to help build it back – brick by brick. We are achieving this by providing the services and ambition set by our founders nearly one hundred years ago, partnering with industry leaders and uniting our diverse community.
Meet the UKBG Team
Claudia Carrozziis the first woman to helm the Guild.
Claudia brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, passion and drive to the position. As Head Mixologist for the Cunard fleet, she developed the White Star Service bar training program and has been serving the Guild since 2013 – first as a London council member, going on to establish the Maritime division in 2018 to represent the interests and development of bar workers and operators at sea. From her Tuscan Italian roots, she has spent a career spanning two decades and multiple countries, working in both independent and corporate hospitality. She is a WSET Spirits Educator and former associate educator at the Shaker Bar School and The Spirit Lab Bar Academy, and has worked as a beverage consultant in London working with unique and diverse spirits brands.
Declan McGurk is the reigning Commercial Director of The Boatyard Distillery in Ireland. This follows a seven-year tenure as the Director of Bars at the historic Savoy, London. The Savoy bars are comprised of both the Beaufort Bar and the American Bar, the latter having previously won World’s Best Bar in 2017, Worlds 50 best; and World’s Best Bar, Spirited Awards 2018.
Declan discovered the bar World in 1999 whilst studying Geological Sciences at the University of Leeds and working part time in a busy cocktail bar. Quickly time spent at the University library was exchanged with practicing flair moves and seeking out any opportunity to learn more about the bar industry.
After 3 years of University studies and making cocktails it was clear to Declan that his future would be working within the bar trade. This was confirmed when his employers Scottish and Newcastle awarded him as, the National Bar Tender of the year in 2002.
After success in multiple regional bartending competitions the opportunity to become the bar manager of Trio Bar and Grill in Leeds presented itself in 2003. This suburban Leeds venue quickly grew in stature and under the leadership of Declan the bar was crowned Class Magazine Best Night Out in 2005. Due to such success a promotion quickly followed, seeing Declan takeover as Bar Development Manager for Arc Inspirations LLP the owner operators of Trio Bar and Grill. At this stage there were only four venues within the portfolio but in the following years they were to develop into one of the most respected multiple operators in the North of England. During this period Declan received recognition nationally for his efforts with twice being nominated as Class Magazine bartender of the year and also finally victorious in 2007 by being named Class Magazine National Bar Manager of the Year. Arc Inspirations were also in 2009 named the Theme Magazine National Multiple Operator of the Year.
After nearly a decade at the helm of Arc Inspirations a move to London beckoned with a brand role opportunity at Speciality Brands, concentrating on working within the European launch of Diplomatico Rum. This gave great exposure to this market and also the opportunity to understand brand building. During this period the highlights were his numerous visits to distilleries, and the chance to learn about spirits and cultures that have inspired their creation.
Declan then decided to fulfill a career long ambition and took over as the Bar Manager of The American Bar, The Savoy in early 2013. Having first visited the bar 12 years previously and being inspired by Peter Dorelli it became very clear that there was no other bar like this. Working very closely with the team the ambition was very much to honour the heritage of this great bar, whilst keeping a contemporary edge so that it remains at the peak of the industry! This spirit continues in the bar that never stays still yet always remains present.
From great success at the American Bar, Declan was then promoted in 2018 to the role of Director of Bars overseeing the Savoy’s bar offering. In 2019 Declan was then once more crowned Class Magazine Bar Manager of the Year.
2020 saw the move to the Boatyard Distillery which was founded in 2016 by Joe McGirr in County Fermanagh, N. Ireland. The distillery focuses on crafting premium spirits that combine quality with provenance and heritage. Its core range includes: Boatyard Double Gin, Boatyard Vodka and Boatyard Old Tom Gin. Based in the UK, Declan is responsible for the global development of The Boatyard Distillery whilst also strengthening its local base and adding his expertise to liquid innovation. In joining the team, Declan also revisits his Irish roots as his family live only just a short distance from the distillery.
Born in Palermo Sicily on the 06 of July 1975 from a family of lemon growers where he learnt the value of family, respect for nature, hard work and passion for fresh products. During his humanistic and scientific studies in Italy, he discovered his passion for Bars, Events, and hospitality in General.
Moved to the beautiful town in Mantua where he worked as porter and rooms attendant in the city center Hotel San Lorenzo. During this time, he attended the AIBES courses to aspire to become a professional barman. He had the pleasure to serve famous people as such Umberto Eco, Irwin Wells,
Ken Follet that was populating the lounge during the famous festival of literature.
After achieving few good results with AIBES Competitions he moved to the United Kingdom in 2005 and became a member of the UKBG. Salvatore was nominated best cocktail bartender in the UKBG South area in 2006, became the same area Chairman in 2015 and national President in 2018.
Amit Sood is currently the Sales and Brand Ambassador for the Sanghera Rum Company where he looks after Fivers Rivers Indian Spiced Rum in the UK. He also works conducts beverage consultancy projects, training and education programmes and events for several agencies and companies.
His professional career spans 25 years and he has worked in a combination of UK drinks companies, Michelin starred kitchens, International Hospitality, Training and Consultancy agencies and operated and managed bars in leading hotels, independents, national groups and event agencies in the UK such as Morgan’s Hotel Group, Ricker Restaurants, Maxwell’s Restaurant group, TGI Fridays, Living Ventures.
He is the former Senior Whisky Specialist and Senior Whisky Academy Manager for Edrington – Beam Suntory UK Ltd and where he is worked on delivering a companywide Whisky education programme that placed them at the fore front of Whisky leadership and expertise. He began his career with Edrington – Beam Suntory UK in January 2017 as the Senior Manager of the MIXXIT team and oversaw the transition of the team to become the Whisky Specialists (a team of Whisky focused portfolio Ambassadors working across the key cities in the UK). The role was focused on Ambassador Team leadership and management as well development of brand education and advocacy. During his time in the role Amit opened the new Macallan Distillery in 2018 and led education programmes across the leading portfolio that included Suntory, Macallan, Highland Park, Laphroaig, Jim Beam, Makers Mark, Bowmore and Auchentoshan.
From 2009 – 2016 Amit was Director of training and consultancy at Shaker UK Ltd where he delivered international beverage and bar consultancy, beverage and bartender training in two UK schools, WSET courses, spirit brand education, brand communication, spirit category training, beverage programme development for customers such as Speakeasy Entertainment, Edwardian Hotels, Hyatt Churchill Regency, Inventive Leisure, Genting’s Casinos, Blue Water yachting, William Grant and sons, LVMH, Global brands, Morrison Bowmore, Cellar trends and West Indies Rum and Spirit producers association.
He is the former UK panel member for Authentic Caribbean Rum where he represented a portfolio of 20 Caribbean Rums. He educated 600 bartenders over a 2-year programme that saw him travel to and across the UK, EU, USA and Caribbean.
Amit is a passionate and focused professional who has always been at the heart of food and drink in one way or another. He graduated from Westminster Kingsway College London with a Professional Chef’s Diploma.
Amit is dedicated to the development and education of all hospitality professionals and has a long history of working alongside the UKBG. This is his first official post, and he can’t wait to bring in a new era for the world’s oldest Bartending Guild.
Formerly Director of Digital at THTC Clothing, Ashwin is a digital marketing professional with two decades of experience in the field of digital and social marketing – from managing bands, to working in publishing and technology. While many years removed from his old bar work positions, he still knows how to pour a whiskey sour to spec, and do a proper closedown that doesn’t annoy the morning shift.
Nicolas was born and raised in the Hospitality industry. He has developed his experience across the entire industry, beginning his career as a pizza chef, moving on the floor in a variety of roles including Chef de Rang at a Michelin-starred restaurant, before moving into the Bar industry.
He has worked at some of the most prestigious hotel bars in the world – Borgo Egnazia and the American Bar at The Savoy in London – both life-changing experiences that informed Nicolas of the potential of what an experience could be like.
As founder and owner of Doctor Cocktail Ltd, Nic has been able to hone and develop his natural skill innovating in flavours, linking his culinary and bar experience to create unique cocktails. He also has an active life outside of hospitality – as a volunteer at a local greenhouse, a football coach, Salsa teacher and public speaker – all of which very much influence the many services he provides as a bar ops consultant and mixologist.
Born in Italy, Tuscany, in 1987. Influenced by her family heritage and work career, she got her diploma in Hospitality School foreign languages at Pisa University. Her work life started pretty early, at age of 15. After gaining her high school degree she was gifted by her family of 1° and 2° level bartender course by AIBES (Italian bartender association). This is definitely help to defined and increased her passion for the bartending.
Lucia began her career in Viareggio, Italy, at The Club American bar and The Best Western Grand Hotel Royal in 2004, working seasonally at each establishment until 2012. At The Club American Bar, Lucia worked as a bartender and restaurant supervisor, and at The Best Western Grand Hotel Royal, she rose through the ranks from chef du rang to head bartender.
In 2013 she to Florence at the Westin Excelsior Hotel hotel with the bartender position for almost two years before coming to London in 2014. She was part of the bartender team at St James’ Hotel and Club 5* hotel in the heart of St. James. In August 2014 she joined the team at The Dorchester Bar as a waiter. Lucia was quickly promoted to bartender in April 2015 and, finally, head bartender in 2017, the only female Head bartender who has ever worked behind THE BAR at the Dorchester hotel.
Her career has been characterised by the participation at many cocktail competitions.
From 2011 to 2016 she hold her title of Best Regional Young Regional Bartender by AIBES.
In 2015 UK Winner of “Calvados Nouvelle vogue” and WINNER of UK Best Bartender of the year;
In 2016 she awarded as Best Young National Bartender of the year at the National Competition by AIBES;
2016 she represents UK at the World final cocktail competition by IBA in Tokyo where she gain the GOLD MEDAL in the “Sparkling cocktail category”, and the BRONZE MEDAL at the Super final.
In 2017 winner of UK National final “Tio pepe the challenge” and on the same year she represents Italy at the “IBA – The Elite Bartenders Course – JWC 2017 “ in Singapore winning the Best student award.
In 2019 she won respectively the UK National and the WORLD championship title of “Beluga Signature Bartender program” making her the ambassador for the Beluga signature program of 2020/2021.
Now in her 17th year in hospitality, Sam spent 12 of those years working for high profile bar group, MOJO, working her way from bartender to General Manager to Operations Manager at that time. Sam now spends her time running Rolling Social, an events company that focuses on food, drink and lifestyle experiences.
Alongside Rolling Social Events, Sam is Head of Commercial & Visitor Experience at The Tetley, an award winning contemporary Art Gallery with a bar, kitchen and multiple event spaces, based in the Art Deco former headquarters of The Tetley Brewery in Leeds.
Sam has won many industry awards including, Best Bartender, Best Manager, Best Bar and Best Goodtime Bar.
Passionate about history and always looking to find new additions for his Vintage cocktail book collection, in 2014 Luca moved to London from Italy to continue his hospitality journey; taking him to prestigious hotels such as Ritz, The Lanesborough, Brown’s Hotel and L’oscar London. Currently Assistant Bar Manager at Shangri-La Hotel At The Shard, in charge of the beverage program for Gong Bar, the highest cocktail bar in Western Europe.
Since 2015 he has contributed as columnist for BarTales, Italian bartending magazine, focusing on bartending history and classic cocktail research. In recent years he is on judging panel for London Spirit Competition.
From humble beginnings spinning tins at TGI’S, Adam has amassed twenty years behind the stick gaining invaluable knowledge and expertise. Having gained WSET qualifications in spirits, wine, & sake. Adam uses his knowledge to train bartenders and guests alike. During his time bartending aboard the Cunard Queen Victoria has developed a brand new gin tasting master class which has now become the standard aboard all other vessels in the fleet. He has focused his attention more recently on the gin boom and has begun setting up his own brand.
Born in Rome, Italy in 1940 and came to England when he was 18. Peter worked in hotels around the country and eventually in 1963 joined the Savoy Group at Stones Chop House in London as Head Barman of the Pebble Bar where he worked until 1981. When the Company sold the restaurant he moved to the American Bar of the Savoy Hotel itself as Assistant Head Barman, becoming Head Barman/Bar Manager in 1984 and remaining until I retired in 2003 at the age of 63.
Peter has been a member of the United Kingdom Bartenders Guild for 50 years and was President from 1997-2004. Following this, he was Education Secretary and involved with running their training courses. Peter has always been delighted to see the enthusiasm and energy of today’s young bartenders and is keen to ensure that they are given every opportunity not only to succeed but also to enjoy working in the cocktail world. Peter is currently the International Ambassador for the Guild and has been instrumental in helping to revitalise and update the structure and operation of the Guild over the last few years.