Max Macauley, 31, started working in hospitality while studying sound design at university.
He thought the job would be temporary but after graduating realised he had a knack for mixing drinks and chatting with the public.
He currently oversees operations at Charing Cross bar The Locale and West Side Tavern in the West End.
He said: “I think in Glasgow people view bartending as a stop-gap. They go to university, they get a job in a bar, and then they go on to something else.
“I’ve heard people say that it’s not a real job, but it’s actually what you put into something that makes it a career or not.”
Over lockdown, Max started experimenting with different ingredients and mixing methods.
He said: “During lockdown, I started taking the drinks side of things more seriously, reading lots of books.
“I took a CO2 tank home and started carbonating and fermenting different things.”
Max went on to compete in the global competition Patron Perfectionists and was crowned runner-up in the final held in Jalisco, Mexico in April.
Since the competition, he has been invited to work incredible events including the Formula 1 Aramco British Grand Prix 2023 at Silverstone.
He said: “Doing competitions gets you recognised. Now with Patron, I’ve just gone to New Orleans for a week, I was working at the F1, and judging competitions.
“It’s all paid work, and that’s good money on the side.
“You also have other opportunities to do guest pop-ups and travel. It can widen your horizons a lot.”
He added: “This is not the end of it. What I’ve learned is you have to create a role for yourself. No one is going to hand you something.
“You have to go, this is what I’m really good at, this is what I need help with, and that’s how you start progressing.
“Find what you’re good at and really push it.
“It’s still pretty surreal, but it’s good fun though. It’s very motivating when people tell you you’re good at something.
“You think okay, I’m doing the right thing. I’m not just in a bar job.”
Max is releasing a new cocktail menu for West Side Tavern this weekend, inspired by New York icons like Samantha Jones and Jean Michel Basquiat.
He said: “It’s the people, places, and characters that define New York.
“We did research into them and have taken the things we think represent them the best and created a drink around it.”
The new menu launches on August 6 at 6pm at West Side Tavern. Anyone who registers by emailing [email protected] ahead of the event will receive a token for one free cocktail.