For this Mixologist's Diary feature we caught up with The Pig's award-winning Head Bartender, Gabor Molnar to see what this stunning and sustainable hotel offers.
Gabor began his mixology journey in his home country of Hungary, where at 18 years old he worked in the hospoitality industry whilst studying and playing football. Moving to London and behind the bar in 2015 catapulted Gabor into the magical world of mixology, beginning his career at Boisdale under the careful eye of Joe Boxall who taught him a lot and how to fall in love with whisky!
For two years Gabor worked at the historical Quaglino's in Mayfair where Davide Arcucci and Marco Sangion helped him to hone his craft, producing quality drinks in a high volume. This year, Gabor took a step out of the city, to the New Forest to join the team at The Pig, stepping out of his comfort zone but also on to a winner as he was crowned 2019's winner of the Winchester Cup.
"Anyone who knows me, knows I love competitions, I love being part of that community, seeing creative people and their drinks. I love spending time competing but also sharing our knowledge and passion with one another. The win is the cherry on the top!" says Gabor.
What's happening at The Pig?
The Pig is a growing place, a restaurant with rooms as they call it.
Home-grown and locally sourced products are used to highlight the ingredients and seasonality. Just as the kitchen at the Pig does, the bar works with the gardeners so that interesting ingredients are used in creating drinks at the bar.
Drinks are created and stay on the menu for as long as they stay in season. The Pig's specialty is their Garden Infusions Display. Working closely with Chase Distillery Gabor and his team infuse many of their Pig-grown herbs, fruits and vegetables with Chase vodkas and gins, customers can even personalise an infusion for their own tastebuds!
Why not try the Flavour of the Month menu, where Gabor's drinks offer something a little different each month?!
The Trending Pig
As Gabor emphasised to us, sustainability and resourcefulness isn't necessarily just a trend nowadays, it's become something that is more long lasting to help protect our planet. The team are always looking for ways to reduce their footprint, care for and protect the environment and give back to the communities they are a part of.
It's all about the low abv drinks as well at the moment, with a desire for simple flavours and a drinking experience rather than just appearance. "I like serving people high quality drinks and an experience, whilst still being responsible and guiding them, showing them techniques which they can use at home without spending a huge amount of money for different equipment," explained Gabor.
The Pig's Cocktail: Forager's Highball
Gabor's choice of cocktail is their modern twist on a classic highball cocktail, their Forager's Highball. Using New Forest apples and the Pig's Garden herbs this is heartwarming and uplifting.