Meet the Bartender: Taite Maltby, Deadshot

Born and raised in Auckland, Taite Maltby entered the hospitality industry at the fresh age of 15. He soon fell in love with the bartending industry after he was thrown behind a bar at 16.

Although his plans to move to London in 2020 were cancelled by Covid-19, this disruption turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Maltby as it led him to working at Deadshot, his favourite bar in Auckland. 

The sister joint of Caretaker, Deadshot is an intimate speakeasy style cocktail bar in Ponsonby that serves drinks off-menu, where bartenders make tailored concoctions in accordance to the guests’ requests. This unique style of bar allows customers to be introduced to new spirits and flavours that they would not usually order, which is a fun experience for its bartenders.

While Maltby said that his favourite drink depends on a number of factors like the weather or his mood, he tends to like more spirit-forward style drinks, such as a Little Italy or a Sweet Vermouth and Cynar. 

For Maltby, the perfect drink comes down to balance, temperature and dilution. 

“But at the end of the day, a good drink is whatever you think is a good drink. I think people should be able to drink whatever they want as long as they enjoy it!”

He has noticed that more Kiwis are gravitating to drinking better rather than drinking more. 

“There are quite a few low alcohol negroni and martini options in the bar that sub out spirits for sherries and vermouths”. 

Maltby also notes that Tik Tok has also impacted the way that customers order. 

“We have definitely seen more people than ever asking for negroni sbagliatos with prosecco”, a reference to the viral Tik Tok meme featuring actor Emma D’Arcy speaking about their favourite drink. 

When Maltby is not working, he can be found listening to records at home or hanging out with his fellow bartender friends.