Our Story

Candra is a site for anyone wanting to make better drinks with or without alcohol, we simplify confusing terminology and complex techniques using fun and educational tools to unlock the magic of cocktails for all.

We are a small team of international drinks experts who have held a wide range of positions within the hospitality and drinks world. We have built and operated award winning bars, successfully led iconic and innovative brands, written books and educated drinks professionals globally. Blah, blah, blah… Don’t want to sound too pretentious… but the reason we mention this, is to assure you that the information you find on Candra hasn’t been pulled out of thin air… these are techniques we have been using, perfecting and teaching for yeeeeears!

We are the people who get text messages and calls when our friends and family… or even when their friends and family… are attempting to make drinks:

  • Yo, what’s your Margarita recipe? And how do I make enough for 20 people?
  • Remember that drink they used to serve at that bar?… I want to make that! 
  • What in heaven’s name is a Hawthorne strainer? – do I need one?
  • I have lime, whiskey, rum, milk, honey and 10 people at my house! What can I make?!
  • Mmmmm why is it called a twist if it isn’t twisted?

Meet the Team

We strongly believe drinks should be fun and accessible which is why we created Candra. We want to share our passion and experience to help guide you through the misconceptions and complexities of making and understanding great cocktails.

Andy Shannon

Highly skilled in creating visual language and brand identities through graphic design. Internationally acclaimed for running luxury Lifestyle bars, developing global activations, Advocacy and Education.

Andy began his career as a freelance graphic designer, developing brand identities for small and medium sized businesses. He transitioned into the food and drink industry, where combining his design and hospitality skills lead him to work at East London’s award winning bar, Callooh Callay.

Moving to Ian Schrager’s luxury lifestyle EDITION hotels, he spent six years running their London bars, and under his management, they won several prestigious national and international awards.

Andy developed activations and bar takeovers in city’s such as Singapore, Paris and Miami, and delivered the global advocacy and education programme ‘Punch on the road’, at key industry gatherings like Bar Convent Berlin, the Mexico Bar Show, and in iconic bars like NYC’s Dead Rabbit.

 

He is an expert in cocktail creation, techniques and history, as well as building successful teams and brand identities. His work launching the Sanya EDITION (China), would lead him to opening the highly regarded West Hollywood EDITION in Los Angeles, as the GM for The Roof Bar, Restaurant and Pool.

Outside work, Andy loves reading, all things art & design, and fitness. Then duly undoes it all with a pizza and a glass of Whiskey. 

Sebastian Hamilton-Mudge​​

World renowned spirits and cocktail expert specialising in writing and designing engagement platforms, drink strategies, innovative POS, marketing strategies and operations.

Seb began his career as a professional bartender in mid-90s England, and was a part of the modern cocktail renaissance. Becoming an independent consultant for the next 13 years, he worked with world renowned spirit brands to deliver innovative drink strategies and education platforms. He also opened and ran his own successful establishments and wrote an award winning college course in Professional Bartending. 

Chosen to be the Global Ambassador for iconic Beefeater and Plymouth Gin, he began a prestigious role that would take him around the world for nearly 9 years. Regularly speaking at high profile conferences, judging the world’s best bartenders in competitions, and sharing his knowledge of cocktails, spirits and hospitality.

He has written educational materials, engagement platforms, drink strategies and books on cocktail culture past and present, as well as developing unique POS. 

Along this journey, he has also discovered and shaped a number of today’s top industry professionals. Seb then relocated to Los Angeles, California to head up US operations and marketing for Plymouth Gin.

Seb enjoys surfing, cooking, rock climbing and a Dry Martini…with his wife, but without a garnish.

Natalia Garcia Bourke​​

Accomplished brand builder, skilled in developing strategic links between operations, marketing and communications. Bilingual creative innovator with a talent for forming unique and meaningful partnerships. 

Natalia is a creative innovator, skilled in building and accelerating brands. After working in hospitality in NYC to sustain her fashion internships, she began her career in distilled spirits, working for the world leading Irish Whiskey brand, Jameson. Her success and bilingual capabilities took her from Europe to Mexico, and then the US, to drive growth, events, partnerships and advocacy for the Pernod Ricard Irish Whiskey brands. 

Drawn into the startup world, Natalia was an integral part of building the Mezcal El Silencio brand from the ground up. She shaped the team and strategy, which positioned them as one of the mezcal industry’s defining brands and leader in the category.

During her time as Brand Director, the brand secured a substantial capital investment from Constellation Brands, a Fortune 500 company. 

Natalia specializes in forming a unique link between operations, marketing and communications with a passion for sustainability, design and social responsibility.

You will often find her at museums or photographing street art. Dumplings and whiskey bring a smile to her face and she won’t turn down a good daiquiri. 

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