The Rookie Programme 2019

date published



Edrington-Beam Suntory


On trade

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David Miles, our senior whisky specialist, tells us a bit more about the The Rookie Programme:

“In 2016, our brand ambassador Amanda Humphrey and our Whisky Specialists joined forces with online trade publication BarLifeUK to create The Rookie Programme, an exciting initiative designed to support bartenders who are just starting out with ambitions to build a solid career in the industry. 

“This year-long training programme is aimed at bartenders with less than 18 months experience in a cocktail bar setting. Across the course of the year, the successful trainees will come together once a month to take part in informative and practical workshops hosted by renowned experts from across the industry.

“Entries for 2019 opened in April and from those initial nominations, the final 14 have now been chosen to begin this year's programme. 

“We kicked off last week over two intensive days that included sessions on “How to taste” by Hannah Lanfear from WSET, “How to win cocktail competitions” by Andy Ives, one of the founders of BarLifeUK and author of a book of the same name, a session on sherry (and how wonderful it is) by Simon Webster, the other founder of BarLifeUK and co-creator of the Rookie Programme, presentations on “Fermentation and distillation” and also a vodka session - hosted by yours truly.

“It is a privilege to work with and guide a new group of bartenders as they navigate their way through this exciting, fast-paced and often challenging industry. Previous alumni have gone on to open their own venues, work in the world's best bars and move into brand ambassadorship roles.”

Keep an eye on our social media pages for updates from The Rookie Programme 2019.