About the 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 Carrozzi

UKBG President

Claudia Carrozzi is the first woman to helm the Guild. ...

 

Claudia Carrozzi

Position: UKBG President
Email: claudia@ukbartendersguild.co.uk

Claudia Carrozzi is the first woman to helm the Guild. 

Claudia brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, passion and drive to the position. She has joined the Cunard fleet as Head Mixologist, where she has developed the White Star Service bar training program, and recently moved onto managing the beverage development for the entire fleet 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 the bar community 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 a former associate educator at the Shaker Bar School. She has also been involved in judging national and global cocktail and spirits competitions, as well as collaborating with unique and diverse spirits brands as a beverage consultant.

Adamo Varbaro

Head of Events

Adamo started his career back in the early ’90s in...

 

Adamo Varbaro

Position: Head of Events

Adamo started his career back in the early ’90s in Italy where he attended the Hospitality Management school. After several years working in bars and restaurants, he decided to move to London in early 2000 to strengthen his knowledge and experience of the industry.  He worked in a variety of venues, hosted private & corporate events and consulted for various companies until finding his place within ItalSpirits, where he expanded his knowledge in marketing, events and brand activation.

He now runs his solo business of events, consultancy and brand building while supporting the UKBG as the Operations & Logistics Director

Daisy Whitehouse

PR & Marketing Director

Daisy has 23 years of PR experience working with some...

 

Daisy Whitehouse

Position: PR & Marketing Director
Daisy has 23 years of PR experience working with some of the UK’s biggest brands.
 
As MD of Down at the Social she specialises in food and drink, leisure and destination, travel and hospitality PR and social media. 
 
Her first ever alcohol client was Lambrini – creating the search for the Lambrini girl and many other infamous campaigns for the OG Halewood brand.
 
Over its eleven years trading, DATS has worked with brands including Didsbury Gin, Manchester Gin, VK, Kick Energy, Zymurgorium, Crazy Pedro’s, Shoryu Ramen, Chopstix, Maya Manchester/ Isobel Mayfair, Vapiano, Merlin Entertainments, Peru Perdu, Best Western Hotels, HRH Hotel Group, Locke/ Edyn and more.
 
DATS prides itself on its audience first approach which connects growing brands with their audiences – driving word of mouth and helping them thrive.  
 
The DATS team combines INTELLIGENCE, IDEAS and INFLUENCE to drive IMPACT.  
 
www.downatthesocial.co.uk
 
Daisy also runs Social Rebuild – a business consultancy that works with senior leaders to develop their teams, internal policies and growth strategies.  The business focusses on equality, diversity and inclusion, ESG, retail, customer experience and marketing.
 
www.socialrebuild.co.uk 
Luca Rapetti

Passionate about history and always looking to find new additions...

 

Luca Rapetti

Position: Curator
Email: luca@ukbartendersguild.co.uk

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, L’oscar London and Shangri-La The Shard, where he was managing Gong bar, the highest cocktail bar in Western Europe.

His current role is Prestige Development Manage at The Lakes, award winning English whisky distillery.

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.

Lawrence started his bartending career at 19 in a beach...

 

Lawrence Woodrow-Smith

Position: Northen Chair

Lawrence started his bartending career at 19 in a beach shack in Spain, since then he has travelled the world helping to manage high end cocktails. He joined the Palagander team as a bartender at The Domino Club, Leeds, climbing the ranks until recently becoming the brand ambassador for their newly launched gin brand Wolfe Bros. After winning the UKBG national cocktail competition in 2019 he was appointed the first ever northern UKBG chair. He has represented the UKBG in the IBA world cocktail competition in November 2022

Adam Mclellan

Adam Mclellan

Glasgow & West Coast of Scotland Chair

From humble beginnings spinning tins at TGI’S, Adam has amassed...

 

Adam Mclellan

Position: Glasgow & West Coast of Scotland Chair
Email: adam@ukbartendersguild.co.uk

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.

Nicolas Medicamento

Nicolas Medicamento

Events and Digital Executive

As the Founder and Owner of Doctor Cocktail, I combine my...

 

Nicolas Medicamento

Position: Events and Digital Executive
Email: nicolas@ukbartendersguild.co.uk

As the Founder and Owner of Doctor Cocktail, I combine my passion for Cooking & Bartending with years of experience and knowledge from working in the Hospitality & Events industry to create unique cocktail concoctions and flavour profiles.

I have had the pleasure of working in some of the world’s most well-renowned Bars such as Boro Egnazia in Italy and The American Bar at The Savoy, London; creating and delivering innovative, first to market cocktails to high profile clientele and customers.

Doctor Cocktail offers a range of services and packages from fun and engaging private cocktail making classes, brand training, corporate events and group workshops.

So whether your looking to host a private event with your friends or for a team building event, look no further than Doctor Cocktail.

Declan McGurk

UKBG Honorary Vice President

Declan McGurk is the reigning Commercial Director of The Boatyard...

 

Declan McGurk

Position: UKBG Honorary Vice President
Email: declan@ukbartendersguild.co.uk

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.

Salvatore Damiano

Salvatore Damiano

UKBG Honorary Past president

Born in Palermo Sicily on the 06 of July 1975...

 

Salvatore Damiano

Position: UKBG Honorary Past president
Email: salvatore@ukbartendersguild.co.uk

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.

Peter Dorelli

Peter Dorelli

International Ambassador

Born in Rome, Italy in 1940 and came to England...

 

Peter Dorelli

Position: International Ambassador
Email: peter@@ukbartendersguild.co.uk

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.