THE TEAM AT THE HOUSE OF BOTANICALS
ADAM ELAN-ELMEGIRAB [FOUNDER & DIRECTOR]
Adam left his mark on the cocktail world when, in 2009 after 18 months of research, he reformulated Boker’s Bitters a century after they had disappeared. The passing of both Johann Gottlieb Boker and his son-in-law Louis Funke Jr., original custodians of the Boker’s brand, coupled with the ravages of Prohibition and the Pure Food & Drug act of 1906, meant that one of the finest bitters of the first Golden Age of the cocktail were lost to the sands of time.
Originally released in 1828 Boker’s Bitters gained fame as the favoured choice of Professor Jerry Thomas, author of the world’s first cocktail guide, ‘How to Mix Drinks or The Bon Vivant’s Companion’ printed in 1862. Following the closure of the company and the scarcity of discovering bottles, Boker’s became a Holy Grail for bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts, so it’s easy to understand how news of Elan-Elmegirab’s reformulation swiftly garnered global acclaim.
Starting his career in the drinks industry as a bartender toward the end of 2001, Adam spent the next decade working for and with a host of bars in Aberdeen, and around Scotland, where the potential to grow cocktail culture in his hometown superseded proposed moves to Edinburgh, London and New Orleans. Bartending provided the perfect arena to pursue his passion for food, drink and travel, heavily influenced by his upbringing and mixed background with Scottish, Libyan and Italian roots.
His work in consultancy, training and events went hand-in-hand with his primary role as a bartender, and first made the industry sit up and take notice before an unheralded run of local, national and international cocktail competition successes covering a three year period firmly put his name on the map. During this period Adam was also busy working on The Jerry Thomas Project, recreating all the drinks from Professor Thomas’ seminal tome. It was this venture which conceived the reformulation of Boker’s Bitters, and later Dr. Adam Elmegirab’s Bitters Ltd; now trading as The House of Botanicals.
When not shocking his palate with intensely bitter liquid, Adam travels extensively, writes for a number of drinks media publications, is the author of the Book of Bitters published in October 2017, has been a judge for Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards, Drink International’s World’s 50 Best Bars awards, as well as being a panelist for the CLASS Bar Awards, preaches the virtues of the power of collaboration as seen with his work alongside a number of world famous bars and brands, and regularly presents seminars and tastings at national and international cocktail events such as Boutique Bar Show, Whisky Live Paris, Whisky Live Dublin, Prague Bar Show, London Cocktail Week and Tales of the Cocktail.
STEFFIE ELAN-ELMEGIRAB [EVENTS & TOUR MANAGER]
Following over a decade in the food & drinks industry where she worked in a variety of roles in restaurants, casinos and bars, Steffie Elan-Elmegirab joined the team at The House of Botanicals in May 2019 ahead of the opening of our on-site tasting room, The Library, where she oversees the running of our tastings and tours when the site opened to the public in January 2020.
Latterly working as Assistant General Manager in DogTap – situated at BrewDog’s headquarters in Ellon – Steffie brings first-hand experience of working for growing independent businesses and brings a skillset to align and enhance what is already present at The House of Botanicals.
With previous experience working at a range of House of Botanicals events, as well as being married to our founder, Steffie’s awareness, knowledge and insight into how we operate will greatly assist the company moving forwards.
Whilst Steffie’s main role will be organising and curating a range of events as well as organising our on-site tours, she will also be helping to promote the brand through a range of on & off trade activities; so expect to find Steffie alongside Adam at festivals, bar takeovers, collaborations, and events near you as we continue to grow The House of Botanicals brand at home and around the world.
MARGAUX [DISTILLERY DOG]
Natural daughter of Willow the French Bulldog and Lincoln the Pug. Following her birth in October, and after being adopted by Adam & Steffie, Margaux joined the team at The House of Botanicals in December 2018.
As the first non-human team member at The House of Botanicals, Margaux is the mascot of our manufactory; joining us at pop-ups, takeovers and festivals, as well as organising her own dog-friendly events such as The Hounds of Botanicals Bar & BBQ in July 2019.
Whilst she generally naps on the job in her custom whisky-barrel dog bed, Margaux supervises all production runs from her Office viewing panel, welcomes all visitors, samples our lunches for quality assurance, and keeps delivery drivers in check, as well as ensuring we step away from our desks to stretch our legs and get fresh air when we take her out for walks.
Margaux is a permanent fixture of our on-site tastings and trainings in The Library at The House of Botanicals which opened in January 2020.