Meet the Bartender: Jonathan Beresford, Crumpet

Jonathan Beresford began bartending at 19, in a small bar in Khandallah, Wellington.

“At the time, it was just a job to earn some money over the summer. It quickly became a job that I really enjoy.”

Beresford now works at Crumpet, a Central Wellington cocktail bar. The quaint café/bar on Manners Street offers delicious custom-made cocktails, jazz music, vintage-fashion tablecloths, candlelight and, of course, crumpets. Interesting flavours both savoury and sweet top the bar snack - try crumpets with hazelnut, apricot and baked camembert or poppy seed ice cream with lemon coulis and meringue - alongside the classics like jam and butter. The bar definitely transports its visitors to a mood both classical and foreign, looking out to the hustle and bustle of Manners.

At Crumpet, Beresford and the team create an atmosphere for customers to relax. Serving classics mixed with the unique and unusual, Beresford wants customers to feel comfortable sitting down for a drink. 

For the bartender, a great drink should have balance and flavour with a nice lingering aftertaste and a beautiful colour. In his time in the industry, Beresford has found reward in learning more and more about the fun and funky worlds of spirits and liqueur. His favourite drink to make is a Bywater, a cocktail based on an aged rum. 

“That drink is absolutely phenomenal - it needs to be celebrated!”

He also loves serving a Black Manhattan - rye whiskey with averna, cafe liq and cacao bitters - as it introduces its drinker to “awesome” ingredients. If a drink calls for it, a complimentary garnish tops off the best cocktail. 

Beresford is excited for the up-and-coming Whiskey scene developing here in New Zealand, but personally, his go-to is a French 75 on a sunny summer day. The cocktail is made from gin, champagne, lemon juice, and sugar.

“Honestly, a French 75 is amazing. I can never get over how well balanced that drink is.”

When not bartending, Beresford enjoys grabbing coffee with friends, or working at his acting side-jobs. He encourages people to take care of themselves, staying active by playing football and rock-climbing in his own spare time.