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Interview: Jenna Hemsworth of Black Pearl, Melbourne

A food and beverage industry fan, Jenna Hemsworth, bartender at Black Pearl in Fitzroy, Melbourne, loves mixing up cocktails with liqueurs, vermouth and fortifieds, and has a penchant for making and introducing people to Manhattans.

A food and beverage industry fan, Jenna Hemsworth, bartender at Black Pearl in Fitzroy, Melbourne, loves mixing up cocktails with liqueurs, vermouth and fortifieds, and has a penchant for making and introducing people to Manhattans.
At what stage did you know you were going to be involved in the F&B Industry?
That’s a hard question to answer, as the hospitality industry was only ever a back thought in my mind and a source of reliable income until I finished my degree. However, I graduated four years ago and am still really loving being a part of this industry and see it as a part of my life for the foreseeable future.
How do you see the F&B market develop in the coming years? What trends can we expect to see in the future?
People drinking lower alcohol drinks are still a massive trend I don’t see going anywhere. I see liqueurs becoming cool again (maybe that’s just me hoping that cassis makes a comeback! Seriously, it’s awesome) and cocktails utilising vermouth or fortifieds as their base rather than the supporting act in the cocktail becoming more popular.
You’re an inspiration to many in the industry, what advice can you give to anyone looking at joining the industry as a profession?
Lose the ego. Don’t be a d**k. Take every opportunity to learn and always maintain a positive and healthy work ethic.
If you could do one guest shift with anyone in the world, where would it be and whom would it be with?
It would be with my old friend (Hendrick’s Brand Ambassador for South East Asia) Tasha Lu. Doesn’t matter where it was, I have the most fun wreaking havoc with her and can’t wait to get behind the bar with her again!
Who has been your biggest influence in the industry?
So many people have influenced me; it would be unfair to single anyone out. I try to draw inspiration from everyone in the industry, whether it is his or her work ethic, how he or she talks to people or how not to do your job. Anything can be inspiring with the right outlook.
What’s your go-to drink after a long shift?
I usually don’t drink after shift as I drive to work most days, but on the odd occasion that I might give it a nudge nothing beats a good, cold pot of tap beer with some sangrita in it (a kind of cheat’s michelada). That’s my go-to at the moment.