Essence of Harrogate | Premium Beverage Importer APAC

Mike Agudelo

Essence of Harrogate catches up with Social Media Mixologist Mike Agudelo also known as @cocktails_with_mike to discover where his inspiration comes from for whipping up incredible drinks. 

Tell us more about yourself, and where you are from?
A bit of an interesting story as to how I landed here in Melbourne. I’m originally from Providence, Rhode Island, smallest state in the U.S if you guessed it. Family is all from Colombia, in South America. At 26 I decided to quit my career in Coca-Cola and travel to the other side of the world… 6 years later here I am and enjoying every bit of it.

Your drinks always have so many interesting details, when did first learn how to make cocktails?
Well, that’s an awesome compliment and I’ll take it and run.  For me I think presentation is what attracts the eye first, we all drink and eat with our eyes, lets be real. So dressing up a cocktail is highly important and its setting, like props and etc..
When I arrived in Melbourne I was really amazed as to how good the cocktail scene was. Some of the best cocktail bars in the world, were here in Melbourne. I had no knowledge on proper mixology, just basic mixing, so I never tried working in one of those fancy bars. Then I decided to give it a go and work for a cocktail bar. It was a nice rooftop bar in the heart of the CBD where I started as a BarBack, working there most weekends overlooking how hard and well talented theses bartenders worked was slowly inspiring me. The way they create these drinks that almost look like you don’t even want to touch it, that’s how pretty they looked. Then my bar manager came up to me and said I looked very interested and I should really start practicing technique first and then classic recipes, from then on I kept reading, researching, tasting, mixing, failing and trying again. Still to this day I’m learning but surely improving.

Where do you get your inspiration from for each drink?
Inspiration definitely comes from some of the most amazing Cocktail Instagrammers I’ve seen just producing killer content. Also, some of the greatest bars in the world like Death & CO. What keeps me inspired and engaged is to buy cocktail books and reading them. Also, YouTube is another great platform I use, especially during all the lockdowns we had. 

What are your cocktail hacks or tips?
Cocktail hacks..hmmmmm should I say? Haha! What I will say is a well-balanced cocktail starts off with a few fundamental ingredients: Alcohol, sugar, and acidity. Using the right proportions will make or break your cocktail.

Good quality ice is also important and please be heavy on the ice. If a drink in a collins glass calls for ice cubes or crushed ice, make sure you fill the glass to the top. The more ice the longer your drink stays cold, the less ice the quicker your drink dilutes.  

Favorite drink?
Well this is not fair haha, I have many favorite drinks.. But If I was to chose, I would go with the Mai Tai. I’m crazy for anything Tiki style. Something tropical and refreshing is just right.  

What can we expect to see in the future from you?
In content making I would like to slowly progress into making reels and moving into the YouTube world, that’s where the fame is. As for myself and my career, I would really just love to own a Cocktail Van and just create cocktails and also provide food, like Tacos.