Bartenders’ tips and tricks from Megaro’s Ben Clark



Australian-born Ben arrived in the UK as a fresh-faced 21-year-old, with the intention of doing a short stint in the bar-trade before returning home. Seven years later, with a career that’s taken in Rockwell Bar (now Vista), Soho House Group, Bistro Bruno Loubet and Zetter Townhouse, he is now the man behind the bar at Megaro, serving “sexy basement cocktails” in the heart of King’s Cross.

What’s your post-shift drink? B&B: Brooklyn Beer and 15-year-old Bowmore whisky in Megaro at 6am, for a deep and meaningful talk with head bartender, Nico Piazza.

Are there any big drinks trends emerging at the moment? Pre-bottled and batch cocktails are everywhere just now, that ready to serve idea for speed of service and consistency of the drink. Megaro currently pre-bottles and labels its Bloody Marys, both for the bar and the upstairs restaurant, as they fly out during weekend brunch. There may be more to come with bars such as White Lyan leading the way.

What piece of equipment would it be impossible to live without? An ice machine. No one likes warm drinks. But ideally, I’d have Nico, so that I never have to make my own martinis.

Have you got any tips for making cocktails at home? Here are my top two: think about how the ingredients that are going into the glass; do the flavours match? Make sure you’re mixing the drinks your guest really want to drink, (not what you want).

Where did the inspiration come from for the “questions and answers” that are on the coasters, and the “book of answers” you use to present bills? Sitting in a restaurant in Italy with Nico, we were talking about ideas for the bar, and saw the books on the shelves in Italian. In Megaro, 90 percent of the bar’s customers love it, 10 percent ask “what is the question?”

Best bar in the UK? Happiness Forgets for the atmosphere, the people and, of course, the drinks.

What about internationally? Candelabra in Paris (52 Rue de Saintonge). Great atmosphere, great people and great drinks = good times.

To try Ben’s drinks, head to Megaro (23-27 Euston Road, London).