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Meet Your Host Hannah Lanfear

We catch up with Hannah, the hostess with the mostest, who has been helping run The Cocktail Experiments since the beginning!

If you've been to one of our Cocktail Experiments before, then you've most likely met Hannah. She's the lovely lady who knows all there is to know about spirits and the amazing cocktails you can whizz up with them.

Hannah helped us to launch our very own masterclasses, The Cocktail Experiments, last year and lucky for us is continuing to do so for this year! We wanted to find out a little bit more about this clever lady, so we got chatting...

What do you do for work?
Hello! I work at the WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) as their Spirits Educator, and additionally have my own company which takes WSET Spirits education around the world, among many other spirits-based activities! I am super enthusiastic about using spirits education to encourage more people to enjoy cocktails and spirits, as well as encouraging young people into the hospitality industry. It’s a job I love very much, I’ve never been happier. 

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself
I am an obsessive and nerdy character and very enthusiastic about a several (possibly quite boring) hobbies. I love baking bread, gardening, bicycles, rock climbing, and right now in particular I am wresting with a problematically expensive fascination with hi-fidelity audio equipment. I also love cats and rowing boats.

Where’s your favourite spot for a tipple in London?
How it’s possible to choose only one place I don’t know. Happiness Forgets though, with a special mention for Bar Three. Every drink I’ve ever had in Happiness just blows my mind, it’s the one place I would send any cocktail tourist without fail.

What would be your desert island drink and meal of choice?
My favourite would have to be a big bowl of Pho. I could eat that from breakfast, lunch and dinner for the rest of my life. And since it would be hopefully hot and sunny I reckon a delicious Piña Colada or a banana Daiquiri with a blend of tasty Jamaica rums would go down a treat. 

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever put in your mouth?
I took a scuba holiday on my own in the Philippines once and had been on a boat for a week which meant a touch of cabin fever and an urge to go 'Out Out' by the time we got back to land. I went to the Hard Rock Cafe with the boat crew, which, in a rural fishing village is actually some kind of very rustic go-go bar. I danced on the earth floor (badly) with the in-house dance troupe and was generally having the most excellent time, it’s a truly great memory. I was keen to try the local delicacy, Balut, and found a toothless old lady hawking an enormous cauldron of them so plucked up the courage to give it a whirl. It’s definitely not for the faint hearted - Balut is a hard boiled egg with a duckling embryo inside. Tastes exactly like a cross between duck and hard boiled egg. I had to get a good five beers in me before I was brave enough to crack on. You are supposed to slurp up the amniotic fluid first before crunching through the duckling but I gave that part a hard pass. 

What celeb would you most like to go on a bar crawl with and why?
If we can include the deceased then Prince. I don’t think he drank very much more than a small glass of red wine but I’m certain we’d have a good time, and if he started up a jam session I’d get to play back-up on the shaky egg. 

If you could open a proper London boozer what would you call it?
The Cat’s Whiskers. Although there’s a running joke in my household that when we open a bar it’ll be called Cheer Up Janet. I actually can’t tell you why or I’ll get in trouble.

What’s your go to cocktail to make at parties?
We have a little bar in our house and anyone that comes over for dinner will get a classic martini with a little trio of garnishes of an Gordal olive, a lemon twist and an silver skin onion. It’s a given.

If you were a drink what would you be?
A Jungle Bird. A little bitter and a little weird but irresistible nonetheless.