“The foundations of any cocktail are to make something taste delicious. Once you have established the building blocks of flavour you can flirt with boundaries. I like to showcase how diverse and unusual flavours usually found in a kitchen can equally be delivered behind the bar. It is my experiential approach that enhances a multisensory experience allowing cocktails to live outside the glass.”
Under the creative leadership of award-winning Head of Spirit and Cocktail Development Rich Woods, Duck & Waffle Local’s unique ‘Taps & Tails’ cocktail menu features a diverse selection of cocktails and an avant-garde approach to mixology. Since joining Orange Brands Management (OBM) in 2012, Rich has spearheaded and overseen the direction of beverage programme at Duck & Waffle as well as at SUSHISAMBA locations across the globe in New York, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Las Vegas and London.
Impressing critics, connoisseurs and media alike, in 2014 he earned first place in the UK and Ireland Bombay Sapphire’s “World’s Most Imaginative Bartender Competition” followed by second place in the world finals. He also contributed to the Duck & Waffle’s cookbook: Duck & Waffle: Recipes and Stories, sharing a selection of his iconoclastic recipes with the world. In 2015, he received the honour of being the first bartender to participate in the prestigious “Who’s Cooking Dinner?”. Under his direction, Duck & Waffle was short-listed as a top 10 finalist in the “Best International Restaurant Bar” category for the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards, and he was named one of Evening Standard’s “1,000 Most Influential People.” Rich has made numerous radio and TV appearances on such esteemed shows as the UK’s Channel 4 Sunday Brunch.
At OBM, Rich has the ability to work with a myriad of spirits, satisfying his passion for inventiveness and exploration. His creativity shines in his new approach at Duck & Waffle Local with the inventive Taps & Tails menu serving all cocktails, beer and wines direct from taps. From the grapefruit and burnt toast-infused Breakfast Fizz to its rum punch, the Duck & Stormy, Rich’s wants guests walking away saying “That was a great drink, and it came from a tap!!”
Rich is a pioneer in the industry. He has raised the ‘bar’ for his contemporaries by distilling his own flavours and aromas, experimenting with intricate methodologies and incorporating diverse and unusual ingredients to transform the cocktailing experience.