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April 2012

Developing premium bar excellence

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A backlash is taking place in Britain’s bars: sweet, creamy cocktails are returning in force to drinks menus. Things turned sour a few years back as bartenders explored the fascinating world of classic and vintage cocktails, preferring a bit of Hanky Panky above a White Russian. While this trend remains, an increasing number of bars are finding that cocktails inspired by sweets and desserts are proving a hit. From chains such as The Living Room to individual bars including Après and Volupté in London, sweet cocktail lists have been introduced, so in this issue, we look at the opportunities for bars to offer “pudding cocktails”. We also look at ideas for using the growing range of flavoured vodkas, such as the newest flavours Absolut White Tea and Stolichnaya Chocolat Razberi, plus how flavours continue to drive interest in the cider market alongside craft and premium styles. But serving great drinks is only one part of running a bar, and in this issue we look at a range of different business issues facing owners of bars, pubs and clubs, from controlling costs to cutting utility bills. Hopefully, the experts will provide some tips to help operators weather the economic storms.

Mark Ludmon Editor Cover ad: Hi-Spirits has introduced the first draught vodka. See page 6.



14 Regulars 05 Industry news 66 Barhopper diary Profiles 08 Baffito’s, Warrington 10 52º North, London 12 Bohemia, Brighton 14 Galante, London 16 Dabbous, London 18 Adventure Bars

EDITOR Mark Ludmon • Tel 020 7627 4506 PUBLICATION MANAGER Manjeet Griffiths • Tel 01795 509109 Fax 01795 591065 ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Jamie Watkins • Tel 01795 509109 Fax 01795 591065

CHIEF EXECUTIVE John Denning • STUDIO MANAGER Paula Smith • DESIGN & PRODUCTION Grant Waters • James Taylor • ACCOUNTS Vickie Crawford • Tel 01795 509103

39 Drink 21 Drinks news 27 Flavoured vodka 32 Mixology 35 Water 39 Dessert cocktails 43 Cider Features 47 Furniture 53 Business planning 59 Signage and display © 2012 CIM Online Limited, The Goods Shed, Jubilee Way, Whitstable Road, Faversham, Kent, ME13 8GD. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form – electronic, mechanical or physical – without express prior permission and written consent of the publisher. Contributions are invited and when not accepted will be returned only if accompanied by a fully stamped and addressed envelope. Manuscripts should be type written. No responsibility can be taken for drawings, photographs or literary contributions during transmission or in the editor’s hands. In the absence of an agreement the copyright of all contributions, literary, photographic or artistic, belongs to CIM Online Limited. The publisher accepts no responsibility in respect of advertisements appearing in the magazine and the opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views of the Publisher. The Publisher cannot accept liability for any loss arising from the late appearance or non Cert no. TT-COC-2200 publication of any advertisement. |3

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Soft drinks decline in bars despite energy boost

Bomb serves are driving an upturn in energy drinks in the UK on-trade despite an overall decline in soft drinks sales in bars, pubs and clubs. Value sales of energy drinks in the on-trade rose by 16 per cent in 2011 while volumes were up by nine per cent, according to the new annual Soft Drinks Report from soft drinks group Britvic. Red Bull, Monster and Relentless led the increase. “The bomb trend helped turn the energy sector back to growth in on-premise,” said customer management director Murray Harris, referring to the combination of energy drinks with products such as Jägermeister and La Fée NV absinthe. Overall, the report revealed that soft drinks in bars, pubs and clubs were down by one

per cent in value and four per cent in volume, hit by the economic downturn and increased unemployment. Total soft drinks sales saw a value increase of four per cent to £9.7billion. Pure juice and fruit-flavoured carbonates saw the biggest falls, but juice drinks such as Appletiser and Britvic 55 were in growth. Also in growth in on-premise were colas, with Pepsi holding the number-one spot. Traditional mixers were up by four per cent in both value and volume which, Harris said, was down to “the resurgence in the popularity of spirits”. He said 2012 continued to be tough for the on-trade generally due to economic pressures, although he predicted that the government’s new alcohol strategy – due to be published in late March – might lead to more people turning to soft drinks.

Byron adds new craft beers

The former Royal Well Tavern in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, has been transformed into a new bar and restaurant, The Tavern, by Sam and Georgie Pearman, who also own the Wheatsheaf Inn in nearby Northleach. Inspired by bars and restaurants in New York, Paris and London, they have introduced bold, uncluttered interiors across the two floors, with a 10-metre bar, midnight-blue velvet banquette seating and bare brick walls on the ground floor. It specialises in European and modern British cuisine, craft beers and wines.

Bibendum adds spirits course Wine and spirits supplier Bibendum has extended its on-trade training programme to include spirits for the first time. The “Spirits: Distilled” course is based on the firm’s long-running Wine Champions programme. It covers distillation, category overviews such as gin and rum, food and digestif matching, identifying sales opportunities and how to advise consumers about spirits. Bibendum is also launching a campaign to promote English products to the on-trade. It has added wines from a’Beckett’s in Wiltshire, Furleigh Estate in Dorset and Nyetimber in West Sussex to its portfolio alongside Kent producers Chapel Down and Hush Heath Estate. New spirits and beers include Portobello Road Gin No 171 from London, Somerset Brandy Company and Curious Brew beers from Chapel Down.

Burger restaurant group Byron has introduced a new craft beer list including the addition of an ale made exclusively by the Camden Town Brewery. Byron Pale Ale has a bright golden colour and aromas of citrus and tropical fruit and a dry finish, available in all the restaurants for £4.25 per 330ml bottle. Byron founder Tom Byng said: “As lovers of craft beer, we’ve always harboured a secret desire to create a beer which would complement our hamburgers perfectly.” The new list retains popular beers such as Brooklyn Lager, Kernel IPA and Camden Hells and adds others not widely available in the UK including Ska Steel Toe Stout from Colorado, Organic Wyld Extra Pale Ale from Utah, and Coronado Islander IPA and Stone Pale Ale from California – plus Dark Arts stout from Huddersfield’s Magic Rock Brewing.

A new “intelligent wholesale” business, Ooberstock, has been launched to revolutionise the way drinks are distributed to the licensed trade. It promises greater transparency, lower prices, improved customer choice and more flexibility on drinks ranges and delivery times. It was founded by Arran Heal, a former Coca-Cola Enterprises sales and marketing executive with 17 years’ experience in the FMCG market.

The Whiski Rooms (pictured) in North Bank Street, Edinburgh, has become the first bar and restaurant in the UK to be declared an ontrade Ardbeg Embassy. The Islay distiller awarded the accolade for the bar’s “passionate and loyal” support of the whiskies. New initiatives include an Ardbeginspired menu for diners. Miller Brands UK is running an outdoor poster campaign that directs consumers to specific bars and pubs where they can enjoy Czech beer Kozel. Bespoke posters, featuring pictures of an outlet and its address, have been put up near on-trade accounts in London, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Leeds, Glasgow and Manchester. Miller Brands UK has joined forces with Best Bar None, the initiative aimed at reducing alcohol-related crime and disorder in town centres. It is sponsoring the Best Bar None scheme in Woking, Surrey, including its annual awards for the best bars, pubs and clubs. Bar and pub operator Bitters ‘n’ Twisted Venues is close to taking on its sixth site in an unnamed location in Birmingham for a new steakhouse concept. Its other sites in the city include gin pub The Jekyll & Hyde, Bodega Bar & Canteen and Punch Taverns’ Rose Villa Tavern. |5

news Mojo bars in Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool have added American craft beer Samuel Adams Boston Lager, from the Boston Beer Company, to their lists. It follows a line-up of interesting world beers stocked in the bars such as Alhambra Reserva from Spain and Cusqueña from Peru. Scottish brewer BrewDog is to open its sixth BrewDog bar in Newcastle upon Tyne in the former site of cocktail bar Hoko 10. It follows BrewDog bars in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Nottingham and Camden, north London. The leasehold was brokered by property agent Christie & Co.

Draught vodka ‘speeds serve and cuts wastage’ The first draught vodka has been introduced into the UK after trials in bars have shown it increases sales and reduces wastage. The Vodka One font, launched by leading drinks company Hi-Spirits, delivers a certified measure of 25ml or 35ml at a perfectly chilled one degree Centigrade within one second. It is supported by built-in software that allows licensees to cross-reference with epos and manual stock takes. Hi-Spirits chairman Jeremy Hill said: “The benefits are numerous and include zero product waste, fast serve speed, reduced packaging and in-built stock control software.” Vodka One is crafted and five-times distilled in the US, and the dispense technology was developed by Texas-based dispense specialist

Lancer. Jeremy added: “Vodka One has been trialled at a well-known highstreet operator and it’s been shown to dramatically reduce serve time to the customer, not least because it’s a single-handed operation, allowing mixers to be added at the same time. A lot of time, and often product, is wasted at the moment as staff switch over bottles of vodka on Optics.” It comes in a five-litre PET container that weighs one-fiftieth of the equivalent number of bottles required to serve the same amount of vodka, making it more environmentally friendly.

Intertain has continued its investment programme in the Walkabout chain with a £250,000 refurbishment of its venue in Hanley in Stoke-on-Trent, and a £500,000 revamp in Watford (pictured). Designed by Play Design Consultants, both incorporate a new contemporary “wave design” main bar.

Hawksmoor unveils new bar Miguel Smith (pictured), whose background includes bartending at London venues Mahiki and Brompton Club, has been appointed European brand ambassador for Mount Gay Rum. With over 15 years’ experience in the UK and Barbados drinks industries, he will help to build the range which is distributed by First Drinks Brands. Based in London, he will run marketing initiatives including training for bar staff. Accolade Wines has gained a listing with Marston’s for Banrock Station Light – its 5.5 per cent ABV wine that contains only 60 calories per 125ml glass. Marston’s is listing it at over 400 of its outlets across its managed, free trade and tenanted estates.


Ceviche champions pisco drinks Original and classic pisco cocktails feature on the menu at new Peruvian restaurant Ceviche in Soho, London, which boasts its own Pisco Bar. As well as classic Pisco Sours and Duncan Nicol’s Pisco Punch, new cocktails include the Sifia Del Mar Punch made with physalisinfused pisco, apricot brandy, pineapple, lime and coconut milk with a dark rum and allspice crown. The drinks were developed by mixologist Julian Bayuni and restaurateur Martin Morales, who opened Ceviche with chef Alejandro Bello. Shelves are lined with jars of pisco infused with different ingredients such as kumquat, cherry, apricot, lemongrass, cinnamon, ginger and the hot limo ají chilli. Ceviche was designed by Morales with Jack Schneider of Schneider Designers, inspired by Lima’s bomehian Barranco neighbourhood.

A new bar has opened in a former strip club in the basement below London restaurant Hawksmoor Spitalfields. Like Hawksmoor’s other sites, the 60-cover bar was designed by interior architects Macaulay Sinclair, using reclaimed materials. These include a polished brass wall made from Art Deco lift doors and blue-patterned mirrors, all salvaged from a 1920s building. It also features Victorian glazed bricks, weathered brass caged ship lights, a copper bar top, peacock-blue walls and dark wooden table tops made from old chemistry lab tops. The 10-strong cocktail list features five core drinks such as the Marmalade Cocktail, the Nuclear Banana Daiquiri and a Tobacco Old Fashioned, plus another five that will change monthly.

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Baffito’s A new bar has a mission to be the best for drinks in the Cheshire town of Warrington


new bar and pizzeria concept has arrived in the UK – and it has its first outing in Warrington in Cheshire. Alongside freshly cooked Italian food, Baffito’s serves up an extensive range of cocktails, beers, spirits and wines in stylish Italian-inspired surroundings. Another 10 sites are planned over the next three years, but managing director Peter Thompson says they started by looking specifically at Cheshire towns. “Once we have proven the concept and have significant pilot results, we will expand our horizons and look to enter bigger cities and roll out further afield. Rather than starting in London and then rolling out, we plan to do it the other way round.” Baffito’s Bar & Pizzeria has been created in the former site of Bar Tempo in the centre of Warrington, designed by R2 Architecture whose extensive portfolio includes Alma de Cuba, The Noble House and Leaf in Liverpool. It is divided into two elements, Frank’s Bar and Alessia’s Kitchen, based on a romantic story of an English bartender, Frank, and his Italian wife, Alessia – all cooked up as part of the brand with agency SB Studio. The interior fit-out was carried out by hospitality specialist Dawnvale. The interior design was inspired by traditional Italian “culture” rather than traditional Italian design, according to R2 Architecture’s director Richard Eastwood. “Through the interior, we set out to capture the gregarious public life of an Italian family, hence the decision to divide the space up into a range of clearly defined zones, each


with their own character and sense of place.” The romantic indoor Garden zone has booth seating framed with a pergola dressed with potted floral displays and trailing ivy, while the Piazza area mixes farmhouse-style furniture with zesty bright colours, laid out on a floor with a checker board design. The large-scale hand-drawn illustrations on the wall tell the Baffito’s brand story alongside inner-city graffiti from Naples. The laid-back Café area has caged light bulbs, customised chairs and olive leather booths, away from the bustle of the Trattoria where communal benchstyle seating, on a glistening quartz terrazzo floor, encourages shared dining. Customers can also eat sitting on high stools at a bar counter made of distressed steel, with views into the kitchen with its stone hearth oven. Peter says they are attracting customers who are looking just for a drink as well as diners. “The clever zoning means you will find somewhere to enjoy a romantic dinner for two, a meal with mates, a party, or even a lads or girls night-out. Some of our customers choose to eat, others just want a good night-out in our sophisticated bar.” He says the mission is to be the beststocked bar in Warrington, led by general manager Craig McGarvie and bar manager Jake Davidson. The signature cocktails are the Salerno Sunset, made with limoncello, gold tequila, pineapple juice and grenadine, and the Vesuvio, an extra-hot Bloody Mary with plenty of Tabasco. “We use a thicker Mediterranean tomato juice with herbs

Where to find it 14 Bank Street Warrington Cheshire WA1 2AR Tel: 01925 657221

Who did it Interior: R2 Architecture Contractor: Dawnvale Branding: SB Studio Electrical installation: Barrow Electrical Terrazzo tiles: Porcelanosa Signage: Absolute Signs Roof-tile lampshades: Andy Thornton giving the impression of molten lava over the crushed ice, seasoned with cracked pepper to represent the volcanic ash,” Peter says. “The logic behind these two cocktails is that Mount Vesuvius is located in Campania the home of pizza, and of course our own Alessia is from outside Salerno which is also in Campania.” The bar also has a comprehensive selection of spirits and liqueurs, with Italian wines dominating a list that stretches across Europe and the New World. There are six beers on draught, ranging from Peroni Nastro Azzurro to Boddingtons, with more in bottles including Birra Moretti. “Frank’s Bar is all about giving people a great nightout, serving the coolest cocktails, coldest beers and widest range of spirits,” Peter adds.

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venue profile

52ºNorth The owners of London’s Match Bar have created a new bar and restaurant in the heart of Soho


ver the past six months, London’s bar and club scene has welcomed a major new player, Alula Leisure. Headed by leisure entrepreneurs Tim Lalic and Vahram Papazyan, it has taken on two legendary venues in the capital: Jonathan Downey’s Match Bar off Oxford Street and music club Scotch of St James.Their newest venture is 52ºNorth Bar & Kitchen, which serves up cocktails and British cuisine in a relaxed wood-lined “home from home”. They have brought on board an experienced operations team who also run a separate but equally successful business, the Penny Black restaurant in Chelsea. At the helm is operations manager Tony Ho whose background includes several years working at Oliver Peyton’s restaurants, including the Atlantic Bar & Grill. 52ºNorth has been created in the premises of the former Amuse Bouche champagne bar in Soho, which has been reborn with a warmer and lighter interior through design company 44th Hill. It is spread across two floors, with a large bar, long sharing tables and a lounge area with a fireplace on the ground floor plus a more intimate “speakeasy-style” basement bar. “52ºNorth is a ‘home from home’ based in the heart of Soho,” says Stuart Taylor, creative director of 44th Hill. “The relaxed atmosphere and touches of classic Eames furniture give the feel of comfort and luxury.” He and his two partners have worked on other bars including Match as well as Graphic and Alice House in London and Amelie and Friends in Chichester. As you enter, you are guided down the centre to the bar at the back by 600 light bulbs in the ceiling which, Stuart says, “give the bar and restaurant the creativity and uniqueness that Soho deserves”. The walls have a feather-like design of wood panels, while the furniture is a mix of wooden chairs and leather Chesterfields. The wall on the stairs to the basement bar is covered in striking graphic imagery based on the bar’s name. 52ºNorth is run as a separate business to Match Bar – and the link is not being promoted to consumers – but it still has a strong cocktail menu. It offers classics and original drinks created by Tony and the bar


Where to find it 21-22 Poland Street London W1F 8QG Tel: 020 7287 1661

Who did it Design: 44th Hill Contractor: M&L Page Construction Furniture: T&T Rustic, Milan Direct, Modern Furniture Direct team, including head bartender Damian Brum, previously at Match Bar and Trailer Happiness in London. Cocktails include Damian’s recipe, Jamaican Kiss, made with Wray & Nephew Overproof rum, Briottet raspberry liqueur, fresh raspberries, lemon juice,Velvet Falurnum, apple juice and pineapple juice. 52ºNorth has a good wine list, including English wines such as Chapel Down, Nyetimber and Tenterden, plus a laudable selection from British brewers including Innis & Gunn and Harviestoun in Scotland. This fits in with the food menu, developed by head chef Fraser Scott, which uses only ingredients sourced in the UK such as Gloucester Old Spot pork chops and Arbroath Smokies fish cakes. “The way the economy is, it is important to support Britain itself,” Tony says. “Supporting British produce is more expensive, but the menu is very good value as the standard of food goes beyond the price.” However, the drinks list is not exclusively British, ranging from Austrian beer Stiegl Goldbräu to plenty of European and New World wines. Tony adds that 52ºNorth is likely to become a centre

for bartender training in areas such as craft beers, complementing the cocktail training now run by Soulshakers at Match Bar. Tim adds that more bars, restaurants or clubs are on the cards for Alula Leisure, both in London and overseas. “We are being very particular about what we want but we are definitely interested in growing further,” he says. “52ºNorth is a brand that we are looking to develop and, if we feel it is strong, we will replicate it.”

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venue profile


A stunning new bar has been created in the heart of Brighton’s Lanes


ith their extensive background in running and designing bars, it is no surprise that Paul and Verity Craig’s latest venture aims high with creativity and innovation in both drinks and décor.They have created Bohemia in the heart of the Lanes in Brighton, completely transforming the former club Ink into a cool and laid-back bar and lounge. Many of the 19th-century building’s original features have been restored, with the addition of elements salvaged from the city’s ruined West Pier. Paul and Verity designed and built the venue themselves, drawing on the expertise of their company Showtec, which provides interior design and build services for clubs, bars and restaurants. They have also run eight other bars themselves in the past, including the award-winning Karma in Brighton Marina, which closed in December. As well as running events, the couple are also behind lifestyle magazine Absolute Brighton. After a £400,000 refurbishment, Bohemia is made up of several different sections. The Grand Café, on the ground and lower floors, opens all day, seven days a week, serving breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea through to cocktails in the evening. Areas range from the library room to the central island bar downstairs, with interesting features such as an original 1980s Pac Man table and Beatles-decorated bentwood stools lining the bar. On the first floor is the Late Lounge


specialising in champagne, which opens Fridays and Saturdays till late, with DJs and a Funktion One sound system. It is an opulent space, with framed champagne bottle images on the ceiling and booth seating covered in crystal-embossed black faux leather crocodile skin. As well as offering table service and a cigar menu, it includes the Barman’s Table where groups can learn about different spirits or champagne. “We are making it fun but also trying to educate people in spirits, wines and cocktails,” Paul says. The Veuve Clicquot Champagne Roof Garden, open seven days a week, is a beautiful glass-walled garden featuring Astroturf flooring and giant sun umbrellas. At the front of the venue is a terrace where people can enjoy food and drinks amid the bustle of the Lanes. On Thursday evenings, Bohemia hosts the Jazz Lounge, with live jazz, candlelit tables and table service. Paul says they stripped the interior back to its original brickwork, which dates from when it was a paper warehouse in the 19th century. “We wanted to give it back some of its soul and history.” On top of this, the West Pier Trust provided them with salvaged fragments from the now-ruined West Pier which also dates back to the mid-19th century. These include two old balustrades hanging on the wall and two sections of the promenade that now hold up the bar. Bringing the venue right up to date is an innovative projection system which beams

Where to find it 54-55 Meeting House Lane, Brighton BN1 1HB Tel: 01273 777770

Who did it Design, build, sound, lighting, flooring: Showtec Furniture: Classic Furniture, WVM Furniture Bar systems: IMC Sound system: Funktion One Website: Click Trick Media special effects onto the front of the building. Using a technique known for one-off lighting displays, Showtec has had the façade videomapped, allowing for digital projection of images such as fireworks, flames or cocktails, using 6,000-watt projectors on the roof of the building opposite. An extensive cocktail list, with a strong molecular element, has been created with help from Brighton Mixology School and presided over by bar manager Lee Pitman and general manager Sebastien Gay, formerly of Havana in Brighton and Havana Spoon in Hove. Alongside original cocktails and twists on the classics, there are drinks made with foam, dry ice and airs. A Tommy’s Margarita, made with Patrón Silver, agave syrup and fresh lime juice is transformed by the addition of a light bubbly sea salt air. The Mozart’s Chocolate Tonic combines Red Label Tonic Wine, crème de fraise and Mozart Chocolate Bitters, served as a julep with a mint and berry garnish and dry ice. “The idea is to try to push people to try different cocktails rather than everyone just having another Mojito,” Paul says. “We are trying to educate people and take them on a journey through an interesting cocktail experience.” |13

venue profile

Galante Restaurant group Gaucho has unveiled a glittering new bar that evokes classic Argentine hotel bars


antiago Policastro, or Pichin, is the master mixologist of Argentine cocktail culture. From the 1930s until his death in 2010, he was renowned throughout Latin America for his remarkable drinks, earning the nickname of “El Barman Galante”.This has inspired Gaucho restaurant group to create Galante bar next to its existing site in South Kensington.This glittering classicstyle bar serves up a selection of authentic cocktails from the 1930s and 1940s alongside contemporary new drinks created by the Gaucho’s consultant Buenos Aires-based mixologist Tato Giovanonni and bar director Lance Perkins. The Art Deco-influenced bar, created on the site of the once-legendary Jimmy’z Bar, aims to evoke the glamour of the heyday of cocktail culture in the hotel bars of 1930s and 1940s Buenos Aires. Designer Patsy Godik, chief executive of Conceptualise Design, explains: “The inspiration for Galante combines the essence of oldworld glamour with contemporary glitz.” The curved pale green Lalique-esque sides of the bar are highlighted by LED lighting, with a mercury-silvered moonscape bartop. “It is a fizzing cocktail of a room with the added sparkle and glitter of a resin floor,” Patsy adds. “Mirrored faceted surfaces, inset between cocooning padded leather, create a myriad of reflections, enhancing the feeling of being inside a twinkling jewel box.” The


tables and chairs extend the elegant playful theme as do the unique signature designs on the wallpaper and the menus. The cocktails are served in crystal cut glassware by staff dressed in traditional white jackets or chic black dresses, led by head bartender Eleazar Ruiz. They are trained in classic service style and use bar tools that are unique to Argentina such as an extra-long bar spoon and large-lipped mixing glasses. In the Argentine tradition, bartenders line up the bottles on the bar in front of the customer as they make a drink. Pichin’s drinks come from his classic book, Tragos Mágicos (meaning “magic tricks”), published in 1955 and brought to life by Tato, Lance and translator Federico Coco. These include El Pato – named after Argentina’s national sport – which is made with gin, sweet and dry vermouth, Campari and Cointreau. Another section features

Where to find it 87 Sloane Avenue, London SW3 3DX Tel: 020 7589 4256

Who did it Interior: Patsy Godik, Conceptualise Design Glass bar and doors: Fusion Glass Gloss quilted wallpaper: Phillip Jeffries Resin floor: Liquid Elements Wall lights: Rainbow Lighting

Argentine cocktails influenced by Europe, while another gathers together twists on classics from bars around Argentina. These use typical Argentine ingredients that are not normally available in the UK such as Pineral herbal liqueur, Hesperidina bitter orange liqueur and sugar-cane liqueur Legui. They are among an impressive range of spirits and liqueurs that fill the shelves above the island bar – naturally including Argentina’s favourite Italian bitter spirit, fernet. As in the restaurants, the wine list is made up of the best Argentine wines, selected by Gaucho’s wine director Phil Crozier, with about 25 per cent exclusive to the company. Bar food is small bites such as a ceviche platter, prepared in the kitchen of the neighbouring Gaucho restaurant which is connected by a doorway. Although Galante does not have its own outside area, a range of regular and limited-edition cigars from Hunters & Frankau are available. The 70-capacity bar is the first in a new investment programme to open more stand-alone bars on Gaucho sites, starting with Piccadilly in London’s West End and then Leeds. Lance says the other bars will draw on Pichin’s and Tato’s cocktails but will have different names and not be a replication of Galante. “They will be the same combination of classic and contemporary but we will have creativity and freedom for each bar.”

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venue profile

Dabbous A bar lies beneath the acclaimed new restaurant from chef Ollie Dabbous and bartender Oskar Kinberg

Where to find it 39 Whitfield Street, London W1T 2SF Tel: 020 7323 1544

Who did it


raise has been heaped on new London restaurant Dabbous, most notably by critic Fay Maschler who gave it a rare five stars – a rating, she says, that “is reserved for when a place comes along that changes the game”. However, the food has threatened to overshadow some rather interesting things going on in the restaurant’s basement where the owners have created a bar serving up cocktails in a raw industrial setting. Dabbous in Fitzrovia was created by 31-year-old chef Ollie Dabbous, most recently of Michelin-starred Texture, with his friend Oskar Kinberg, aged 27, formerly bar manager of London’s Cuckoo Club. The pair met four years ago when Ollie briefly worked at the Cuckoo Club before starting at Texture, and they have been plotting this venture together since then. “I always wanted to have a restaurant with a basement bar, and it made sense to do it with someone you respected professionally,” Ollie explains. Like the restaurant on the ground floor, the bar has an industrial feel, with exposed brickwork and duct piping, combined with the natural wood of the beams and tables. Oskar, who was born and lived in Sweden until seven years ago, says this adds a Scandinavian feel to the interior which is both a space for diners to enjoy drinks as well as a destination in itself. The interior, which was formerly the UK’s first-ever internet café, was designed


Design, branding: Brinkworth Contractor: Syntec Steel work: S&A Steel Services Lighting: Rothschild & Bickers Furniture: Design Resource by Karen Byford, Kevin Brennan and Anja Haerter of Brinkworth, a leading design company that has worked on bars such as The Loft in Clapham, south London. Inspiration for the design came from the minimal and natural presentation of Ollie’s food, leading them to create the raw industrial space and use materials such as steel, reeded glass and concrete. On the ground floor, the passage to the stairs down to the bar is separated from the restaurant by a metal mesh screen. The bar itself, with walls lined in burnt timber, is furnished with timber and steel benches, large tables, leather armchairs and a banquette, all designed by Brinkworth. Lighting includes hand-blown glass pieces from Rothschild & Bickers. The venue’s branding and menus – made of a timber clipboard with grey paper – were also created by Brinkworth. Like the restaurant, Dabbous’ bar is open from midday to 11.30pm Tuesdays to Saturdays. It has a relaxed, friendly atmosphere, where bartenders can chat to their customers, says Oskar who was also part of the launch team at London club Movida. He has put together a good selection of premium spirits, including some less common brands such as AE Dor cognacs and Casa Dragones tequila, plus a concise but varied list of wines, with many available by the glass. Sparkling options include Bolney Wine Estate in West Sussex, while champagnes range from Moët &

Chandon to Dom Pérignon and Armand de Brignac. Oskar has created a list of classic and original cocktails, mostly priced at £8.50, using good-quality spirits and home-made ingredients including sloe gin, grenadine, jams and syrups including a cigar syrup. “Ollie and I work very well together and, if I come up with an idea for an ingredient, he comes up with a recipe for it,” Oskar says. “If he comes up with a new syrup, I will make a good drink with it.” The cigar syrup features in the Mellow Yellow cocktail along with Cazadores blanco tequila, Cointreau and lime juice, which are mellowed by the addition of yellow pepper and served in a Martini glass rinsed with Ardbeg whisky. Popular cocktails include the Dillusion, made with Hayman’s London Dry Gin, lemon juice, elderflower cordial, cucumber and gomme syrup. Other original recipes include the Thriller in Perilla made with Bloom Gin, crème de violette, lemon juice, caster sugar, grapefruit bitters and leaves of the mint-like Asian herb, perilla. As with the dishes in the restaurant, the cocktails change seasonally, Oskar adds. “I try to make drinks for the consumer rather than just other bartenders so they are quite approachable,” he says. “Ollie and I wanted a bar that wasn’t stuffy but had a lot of attention to detail. We want people to feel it is welcoming and friendly as soon as they come in through the door.”

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Cost savings with EPoS

The bar at the Exhibition

The Exhibition sees huge cost savings with the robust Casio QT-6600 EPoS system


he Exhibition is a traditional village pub located in the heart of Over, near Cambridge. Husband and wife John and Tracy Warkcup have owned the pub for over four years.With 10 employees, they serve over 1,000 customers a month on a food basis.

The challenge

The Exhibition previously used a very basic cash register to collect money and register transactions. John explains: “We were using a very basic till at the time which didn’t analyse out by product and it was a case of the bar staff having to memorise prices and add them up in their head. It was time consuming because they weren’t focusing on the actual customers because they were too busy concentrating on adding the prices in their head, which resulted in mistakes being made. We calculated that it was costing us in the region of the £500 a month through items being missed off the bills and being added up incorrectly.” John was searching for a new solution that would efficiently process orders quickly, would be easy for staff to adapt to and included comprehensive back-office software where stock could easily be controlled. “We went to a Punch Taverns road show almost two years ago and spoke to MicroTill about the types of issues and problems we were having with our current solution,” John says. “They gave me a couple of options of the different types of EPoS terminals that I could use and gave me recommendations as to which one would be the solution to solve our problems.”

The solution

John continues: “Microtill physically came down to the site and brought two terminals with them. We thought the service they

provided was excellent and the QT-6600 was the one that fitted our business the best. We have limited space behind the bar and the QT-6600 fits in perfectly. “Clearly, you know the quality you are getting when you are purchasing a Casio. There were obviously cheaper options out there but we wanted a solution which we believed we will have the least amount of problems with. We knew that if we went with a Casio, we knew the service we would get overall and in terms of after sales would be excellent.” The solution recommended was a QT6600 EPoS terminal with Casio Business Management Solution back-office software. Key features of the QT-6600 are: 15-inch colour LCD touch panel and control; splash proof; excellent clear graphics; secure operator log-in; via dallas keys; Expert floor planning; integrated rear display; enhanced functionality for the end user; optional magnetic card reader; optional external thermal printer; and FTP functionality.

The benefits

The Exhibition has saved £500 a month in miscalculations. Staff can serve customers quicker due to speedier operations, and sales are sped up with the large LCD touch screen. The Expert floor management system makes it easier to manage table bookings. Comprehensive and customising reports are produced, plus optional back-office software for complete stock management and simplified graphical split bill operation. The QT-6600 has has a stylish design with small footprint that ideally fit into tight spaces. John explains: “The solution has saved us £500 a month because items aren’t missed off the bills now and it’s also saved me a lot of time and hassle with analysis and actually


calculating margins and individual products as supposed to going back and looking at what we have ordered against what I think we have sold. It’s a more accurate way because we know what we have physically sold so it helps with calculating wastages as well. The kitchen staff find it quick too because it means it saves time with bar staff and waiting staff when they take orders and put it straight into the till. The orders are automatically printed off in the kitchen so there is no walking in through and they can efficiently serve the customers. It saves me a lot of time from physically analysing what we have been selling. It makes ordering a lot easier by using the stock facility. John is eager to improve customer service levels further during the peak summer months and would like to involve Casio and MicroTill in their future plans. “The service we received from MicroTill since their first visit to the pub was excellent and the service we have had from them since has been second to none. I am in the process of purchasing the back-office software for my laptop because it will then enable me to more easily look at my stocks and I can more easily analyse the information the tills provide.” |17

trade profile Toby Jackson, Tom Kidd and Kieron Botting

Excellent adventure M Mark Ludmon meets the team behind London’s Adventure Bars

any bartenders dream of running their own bar but, by their mid-20s,Toby Jackson, Tom Kidd and Kieron Botting had already achieved this. After taking on a bar in south London seven years ago, they now head the four-strong group of Adventure Bars, including one in London’s West End. “We wanted to own a bar from the moment we all worked in a bar together,” Tom says. Toby and Tom had been friends since school and got to know Kieron when they worked together at The Disney Store in Crawley. All three ended up working at TGI Friday’s in Crawley, although Tom – who worked in pubs since the age of 15 – became a roaming trainer for the company. One by one, they left but, before long, they were back working together at bar group Be At One, set up by three ex-TGI Friday’s bartenders. Kieron was the last to join having spent time working at Simon King’s MJU Bar at the Millennium Hotel in Knightsbridge. Tom left Be At One to run Suburban Bar in Wimbledon and then, in 2005, went to help entrepreneurs Niki Flipse and Bryan Lloyd to run a new venue, Adventure Bar, in Battersea, south London. He was soon followed by Kieron and then Toby, and they developed it into a successful good-time locals’ bar with great cocktails. In return for a share of the business, they worked with Niki and Bryan to sort out the struggling bar, doubling turnover within six months, and opened a second Adventure Bar in Balham, also in south London. To finance their investment, they borrowed money from their families and remortgaged. “We were only 23 years old with no money and no past experience of running a business so it was difficult,” Tom recalls. “But


once we had two bars, we wanted three. As your comfort zone becomes bigger, your ambitions seem to grow at the same time.” In 2008, they opened an Adventure Bar in East Dulwich in south-east London, which, Tom says, was “a defining moment” in their development into a sizeable business. “It started pulling us away from working in the bars on a day-to-day basis.” At the end of 2010, the business extended out of the suburbs into London’s West End with the opening of Adventure Bar in the former site of Bok Bar in Covent Garden. “Overnight, we doubled our turnover and the size of our team and quadrupled our profitability,” Tom says. Since then, the management team, including Bryan but now without Niki, has been consolidating the business. Tom says this has meant “sweating the assets” – finding growth within the business rather than seeking new sites. “At times like these, when banks are less generous with their funds, expansion is not the safest bet.” This has meant looking at ways of increasing spend per head and introducing key performance indicators (KPIs). “It was a big shift with Covent Garden,” Kieron adds. “Until then, it had just been about increasing turnover through the number of sites.” Last year, they brought in brand design agency Mystery to establish a clear identity for Adventure Bar and understand its positioning. “We always knew what the product was about but wanted to make it clearer to our guests,” Tom explains. “It was what we thought it was, but it has given us more confidence to experiment with what we can do.” As well as investing in in-house training, they have put effort into finding out about their customers so they can

Adventure Bar, Covent Garden

communicate with them more effectively. “We realised our product value wasn’t just in the cocktails but in the experience and service,” Kieron says. “Previously, we discounted as the sole way of attracting customers but now it’s about how we add value to the guest’s experience.” They are looking at introducing food for the first time, currently working with outside partners to test different menus such as pizza. Other initiatives include promoting the 300-capacity Covent Garden bar for events, especially in the daytime when the bar is closed. Their future plans include refurbishing the Battersea bar, again with designer Sophie Finch who worked on Covent Garden. The management team now has more defined roles – Toby handles marketing, Kieron heads human resources and operations, and Tom looks after finance, strategy and “random stuff”, although he points out “we are all still involved in the creative process”. He adds: “We are bartenders who have evolved into business owners which has been a journey. There’s no handbook on how to do it. But we’ve been surprised at just how many people out there have been willing to advise and help us along the way.”


April 2012

A Bar magazine supplement

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Bold new cherry flavour for Southern Comfort

A new cherry flavour variant has been introduced for Southern Comfort, targeted for “late-night, high-energy occasions” in bars, pubs and clubs. Southern Comfort Bold Black Cherry is infused with natural cherry flavours to deliver a smooth, full flavour that complements the whiskey in the 35 per cent ABV liqueur. It is being promoted for serving on the rocks or mixed with cola or in cocktails such as a Traditional Cherry Cola combining it with pomegranate juice and cola plus a lemon wedge. Another signature serve is the Black Cherry Jam which mixes 35ml of the liqueur with two barspoons of morello cherry jam and 40ml of apple juice plus a cherry and a lemon wedge – ideally served in a jam jar. Distributor Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands is launching it in the on-trade in April followed

by the off-trade in May. It is aimed at men and women aged 18 to 24, “offering a bolder serve that’s ideal for late-night, high-energy occasions”. Alongside a major new advertising and marketing campaign for the whole brand, more than 2,000 visibility kits are being sent out to the on-trade to support Southern Comfort Bold Black Cherry including bar runners, posters and LED bottle displays. The new flavour follows the introduction of Southern Comfort Lime into the on-trade last year, leading to listings with operators such as Glendola Leisure, G1 Group and TCG.

New ‘club’ variant for WKD New Sparrow gin Beverage Brands is launching a new variant of RTD brand WKD, developed specifically for the late-night bar and club sector. WKD Club Edition, aimed at 18- to 25-year-old males, was made available at the end of March to just 200 outlets. It comes in distinctive, stylish black 275ml bottles featuring ultraviolet-activated graphics on the neck and front labels, making them highly visible in late-night venues. The exact flavour of the four per cent ABV vodka-based drink has not been revealed.

Global Brands plans relaunch for classic Reef RTD Reef – one of the original RTD brands of the 1990s – is set for a reboot after owner Molson Coors licensed it to Global Brands. The bottled pre-mixed vodka drinks, which include flavours such as Orange & Passionfruit, are being reviewed, including its current ABV of five per cent. Global Brands marketing director Simon Green said they would draw on their extensive experience in the RTD market through its brand VK to “unlock all of its potential”. “We know we can bring a bit of excitement into the market which we anticipate will get the brand moving again,” he said. He added that Reef, launched in 1998, had a point of difference as a non-carbonated RTD.

swoops in

A new London Dry Gin, Sparrow, is to be introduced in the UK after successful trials at Drake & Morgan bars in London. The small-batch gin has been developed by Tim Moore of Analogue Spirits, based in Peckham Rye, southeast London. With an ABV of 41.6 per cent, its key botanicals include grapefruit peel, sweet orange peel and ginger. “We wanted to create an up-to-date, fresh citrus taste that was smoother and at a good strength,” Tim explained. With notes of juniper and citrus peel on the nose, the flavour leads with the grapefruit peel, sweet orange peel, Ivory Coast ginger and juniper, with rounded tones of spice and lingering floral notes. It has been well received at Drake & Morgan’s five bars since being trialled first at The Refinery in Southwark in January. Tim Moore

Premium soft drinks manufacturer Fentimans has added a less fiery Cool Ginger Beer, in a 275ml bottle, to its range of botanically brewed products. After the success of its Traditional Ginger Beer, Fentimans wanted a drink with a slightly less prominent ginger character but with a good flavour profile and also using the same high-quality Chinese ginger root. Brewer Shepherd Neame is marking a year of patriotic and sporting events in Britain with a limitededition bottle of Spitfire ale called Glorious 2012. With a neck label bearing the motto “Keep calm and celebrate”, it will be available for the on-trade throughout the summer, supported by point-ofsale materials.

Juice drink range Qu4ttro has been given a packaging makeover by British soft drinks company Metro Drinks for the 10th anniversary of its launch. The brand, which comes in 500ml PET bottles, is made from a blend of juices, pure spring water, sugar and natural flavours. A vodka infused with Naga Jolokia chilli peppers has been launched in the UK by drinks supplier Master of Malt. Named after the Scoville scale of spicy heat, the golden vodka is called 100,000 Scovilles Naga Chilli Vodka and follows Master of Malt’s Naga Chilli Bitters. It was singled out as an innovative new product by research company Datamonitor in its Product Launch Analytics last month. |21

news New glassware created by Brussels-based designer Philippe Debongnie will be available in bars, pubs and restaurants in the UK from July after it won the international Duvel Collection design competition. The design was one of 850 entries to the contest to find the latest limited-edition glassware for Belgian beer Duvel. Wiltshire brewery Wadworth is challenging national brands with the launch of a premium stout, Corvus – named after the Latin for “raven”. Developed by head brewer Brian Yorston and his team, it is smooth and rich with aromas of malt and coffee, brewed from a blend of roasted barley and toasted malt. It is available across all Wadworth’s pubs and free trade. US drinks producer McCormick Distilling hopes to achieve “the next phase of growth” for its strawberry cream liqueur Tequila Rose in the UK after appointing Halewood International as its UK distributor. The product, made from dairy cream and premium Mexican tequila with an ABV of 15 per cent, has been growing in the UK on-trade. A new design has been introduced for super-premium vodka Snow Queen from Kazakhstan, with a taller and slimmer 70cl bottle carrying bolder, more distinctive branding. It no longer has a plastic screw cap but is sealed with a foil sleeve and a cork stopper. Founder Gulnida Toichieva of Calibre Brands said it created greater stand-out behind the bar.


Yeast serve for new Belgian abbey beer Belgian abbey beer Affligem has been introduced to the UK ontrade, promoted with a serve that encourages consumers to try it with and without the yeast. The brand is being developed by beer importer The Morgenrot Group as part of an exclusive UK distribution agreement with the Belgian brewery’s owner Heineken. The range is led by the light gold Affligem Blond, with an ABV of 6.8 per cent, available on draught and in 330ml bottles. The darker reddish Dubbel, also 6.8 per cent ABV, and the golden amber Tripel, with an ABV of nine per cent, are just in 330ml bottles. Bar staff are encouraged to pour 90 per cent of the beer from a bottle into a glass without

the remaining 10 per cent containing the yeast. Consumers then have the option of drinking it with or without the yeast which adds an extra layer of flavour. Available exclusively in the on-trade, it is supported with a series of support packages to drive brand awareness and sales in outlets. As well as branded glass goblets, bars can serve the product in a paddle with slots for a bottle, a goblet and a small glass for holding the last 10 per cent of liquid. Made in one of the few breweries genuinely linked to an abbey, the beer has extra yeast added at the bottling stage for secondary fermentation. It is brewed in Opwijk, near to the Affligem abbey which dates back to 1074.

On-trade push for Mickey Finn New products are being added to the Mickey Finn range of liqueurs after UK rights to the brand were awarded to Proof Drinks. The first addition to the UK portfolio is Mickey Finn Apple Whiskey Liquor, a 35 per cent ABV blend of Irish and American whiskeys infused with Irish apple. It is being launched in the UK in the run-up to Euro 2012 with an on-trade promotion, called Golden Boot, offering prizes including limited-edition gold bottles filled with the liqueur. Owned by Babco Europe, the range also includes Irish Green Apple, Prickly Pear, Sour Blueberry and Sour Raspberry. Babco is also due to add three new “dessert” flavours soon. The new partnership follows Proof Drinks’ successful development of Babco’s Agwa de Bolivia coca leaf liqueur in the UK on-trade.

Sidekick adds tangy Sours range A new “sub brand” with a tangy sour flavour has been added to complement the Sidekick range of fruity liqueurs. Sidekick Sours come in three flavours of Apple, Redberry and Blueberry, sold in 50cl bottles with an ABV of 14.5 per cent. They are being promoted in the on-trade and off-trade for shots as well as ingredients for long drinks, cocktails and pitcher serves. They offer a more “tangy” feel to the core Sidekick range which is made up of five cream-based and five fruit-based liqueurs including Apple, Blueberry, Cola, Redberry and Chocolate Orange.

British shift for gourmet fruit juices New products have been added to the Folkington’s gourmet juice range, adding wider choice and enhancing their British provenance. With a shift towards British-grown fruit, the additions include British Cloudy Apple Juice, made entirely from Russets from two farms in Sussex and Kent. Also new is British Cloudy Pear Juice, made from a blend of Conference pears and Comice pears grown in orchards in Kent, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire. Other additions are Sicilian Pink Lemonade, which is made pink from British raspberry juice, and Cranberry Juice which is made from cranberries grown in Québec, Canada. The Folkington’s range, produced by British soft drinks company Metro Drinks, is exclusive to the on-trade.

news On-trade wine distributor Enotria has unveiled a new, improved Spanish wine portfolio after seeing Spanish wine sales increase by 380 per in the past four years. Aiming to expand interest beyond cava and rioja, the range includes Ailala Treixadura 2011 DO Ribeiro, Lezcano-Lacalle Reserva 2008 DO Cigales, Pago de los Capellanes Crianza 2005 and Marqués de Almonacid Blanco Viura 2010 DO Cariñena. Pernod Ricard plans to attract new drinkers to Spanish wine by championing the tempranillo grape and the varietal wines it produces in the Rioja region. It is expanding the Campo Viejo range with Campo Viejo Vintage 2011, a fresher and fruitier tempranillo wine, and Campo Viejo Tempranillo 2010, a 100 per cent tempranillo blend. Wholesale supplier Makro is celebrating after one of the wines in its portfolio was named best Carmenere of Chile in US magazine Wine & Spirits. Marques De Casa Concha Carmenere 2009, which comes from the Peumo Vineyard in the Chachapoal Valley, is a relatively new addition to Makro’s range of over 700 varieties of wine.

Two New World wine brands have been added to the portfolio of Legacy Wines, the on-trade division of Kingsland Wines & Spirits. The contemporary New Zealand brand Shorn launched with a 2011 Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region, with plans for more later this year. It follows the launch of contemporary South African brand The Gathering, made up of three wines: a Shiraz/ Grenache, a Chenin/Chardonnay and a Pinotage Rosé, all 2011 vintages.


Sourz adds RTDs and berry flavour A new ready-to-drink (RTD) range has been launched as an extension of the Sourz liqueur brand alongside a “patriotic” new flavour. Sourz Fusionz RTD range is made up of two flavours – Apple Bite, and Purple Twist which is “inspired” by the Purple Rain cocktail made with Sourz Cherry and blue curaçao. With an ABV of four per cent, they come in 330ml cans and 275ml bottles for the ontrade. The new range, which is set to be joined by further flavours in the future, is part of a £10million investment in the Sourz brand. Eileen Livingstone, marketing controller at distributor Maxxium UK, said: “With over half of Sourz consumers drinking RTDs, we know the time is right for us to introduce our new

New Madeira finish for Glenfiddich

addition to the Sourz family.” Maxxium UK has also unveiled a new limited-edition flavour for the Sourz liqueur range, Spirited Summer Berry. It comes in a bottle with a British union flag design and combines flavours such as raspberry, strawberry and blueberry. The brand is being supported by a new campaign including TV ads, sampling, media partnerships and bespoke trade support, using the tagline of “Get sorted for…”.

Dry gin arrives from Germany

Glenfiddich has launched in the UK its firstever 19-yearold single malt Scotch whisky, which has been matured in oak casks previously used to age fine Madeira wine. Glenfiddich Age of Discovery Madeira Cask Finish celebrates Portuguese explorers in the 15th century who discovered the islands of Porto Santo and Madeira. The whisky has aromas of ripe fig, caramelised fruit and spicy notes of cinnamon and black pepper. As previewed in Bar magazine in November, Glenfiddich has also released its 1974 Glenfiddich Vintage Reserve – its first-ever vatted singlemalt Vintage Reserve.

A small-batch dry gin made with 47 botanicals in Germany’s Black Forest has been launched in the UK. Monkey 47 was developed three years ago by entrepreneur Alexander Stein working with master distiller Christoph Keller at his small distillery in Oberen Hegau in the Black Forest in southern Germany. About a third of the botanicals are native to the region, such as spruce, elderflower, blackthorn, bramble leaves and lingonberries, which are like small cranberries. Apart from common botanicals, others include pomelo, kaffir lime, acacia, jasmine, honeysuckle, almond, camomile, grains of paradise, lavender, lemongrass, nutmeg, pimento, rose hip and sloe berries. With an ABV of 47 per cent, the result is a smooth, complex flavour with crisp citrus notes and hint of peppery spice. It is promoted for mixing with tonic and in classic cocktails such as a Sling, Martini or Gimlet plus original recipes. It is being developed for the UK by agency Spirit Cartel, whose other brands including Banks 5 Island Rum, Ron Millonario, Mount Gilboa Rum and DQ vodka, with brand development led by James Trillo, formerly of Inspirit Brands.

Asahi brings in side-pouring font A side-pouring font has been introduced in the UK for Japanese beer Asahi Super Dry, believed to be a world first. By moving the tap head to the side of the slender chrome main column, it provides the customer with a direct view of the draught pour. It aims to reflect the brand’s “innovative” positioning.

Asahi general manager Christian Hamilton said: “Since launching Asahi to the UK market, we have had very strong bottle sales and are now keen to further develop our sales for draught. This stateof-the-art font is an ideal way for us to provide our key accounts with a serving method that represents the Asahi brand.”

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flavoured vodka

Flavour explosion Innovations in flavour are opening up exciting new ways for using vodka, reports Mark Ludmon


rom chocolate raspberry to tea and chilli, new flavoured vodkas are arriving in the UK to open up ideas for simple mixed drinks and cocktails.The latest addition to the Absolut Flavours range is Wild Tea, which brings together the dark tones and richness of black oolong tea and the delicate character of Nordic white elderflower, with additional hints of red apples and citrus.This builds on the trend for bartenders in Britain to infuse vodkas with tea themselves, says Absolut’s

New look for Bullet The Bullet Vodka Mix range is being revamped this month by drinks company Hi-Spirits with a new label design and brand graphics. The shot-friendly range of 12 flavours is aimed at busy bars and comes in varieties such as Pear Drop, Sour Cherry, Blackjack and Chilli. Hi-Spirits chairman Jeremy Hill says: “We initially developed the Bullet range in partnership with a pub and bar group that was looking for a versatile range which could be served quickly during high-pressure busy trading periods. However, the brand has proven to have a wide appeal since it was launched across the on-trade last year, and the new brand graphics reflect that. The original packaging worked very well in student and late-night venues, while the new look has a more classic, premium appearance which fits Bullet’s wider distribution.” To support the new-look Bullet range, Hi-Spirits is launching a new point-of-sale kit which includes branded shot glasses, shot bats, posters, and table talkers.

marketing manager Adam Boita of Pernod Ricard UK. “We were pioneers in the on-trade and we are building on that heritage with innovative bold new flavours, with more innovation in the pipeline.” Adam says there is great potential for developing flavoured vodkas, particularly among consumers aged 25 to 34 who “are more mature in their taste and want more sophisticated – but uncomplicated – cocktails”. Supported by Absolut brand ambassador Bex Almquist, Pernod Ricard UK is promoting new serves with the flavours, focusing on simple cocktails. The number-one Absolut flavour in the UK is raspberry but others are growing rapidly such as Citron, up 137 per cent year on year, and Vanilia, up 74 per cent, while Berri Açai was on trend launching last year. “Innovation is important as consumers are always looking for new ways to consume vodka,” Adam adds. Globally, SPI Group has developed an extensive range of flavours for Stolichnaya for different markets, and the latest to be introduced into the UK is Chocolat Razberi. Produced using Stoli’s fourstage filtration process, it delivers notes of rich deep chocolate and warm vanillacocoa accents followed by a delicate hint of fresh raspberries. It joins the lineup of Ohranj,Vanil, Razberi, Citros and Gala Applik, distributed by Maxxium UK. Diageo GB is investing £1million in a heavyweight outdoor advertising campaign to drive further awareness of Vanilla Smirnoff, which joined its Lime, Green Apple and Blueberry flavours last September. It aims

to educate consumers in how to drink flavoured vodka, promoting long mixed drinks such as combining Vanilla Smirnoff with cola. Smirnoff is driving the growth in flavoured vodkas in the UK on-trade, according to research group CGA, with the four-strong portfolio adding £30.2million to the on-trade last year and growing by 169 per cent. Smirnoff Lime and Smirnoff Green Apple account for just over half of the volume in the on-trade for flavoured vodka, with one in three outlets adding a flavoured vodka to their offering since 2009. “The launch of Smirnoff Vanilla was particularly exciting as it broadened the appeal of Flavours to a spectrum of different consumer tastes,” says Smirnoff Flavours brand manager Joanna Andrews. “Flavour technology experts have previously identified four main consumer flavour profiles relevant to flavoured vodka: ‘sharp and acidic’ such as Lime Smirnoff; ‘fresh and cleansing’ such as Green Apple Smirnoff; ‘sweet berry’ such as Blueberry Smirnoff; and ‘sweet and flowery’ which is where the opportunity for new Vanilla Smirnoff lay, as a perfect complement to the existing flavours. Licensees should take advantage of this profitable opportunity by training staff in recommending the different flavours available as well as long mixed drinks to customers.” It is not just the larger brands that are tapping into the thirst for flavoured vodkas. |27

flavoured vodka Square One organic vodkas, produced in Idaho in the US and imported to the UK by Eau de Vie, offer interesting alternatives such as Basil, Cucumber and Botanical, – a gin-inspired flavour made from fruit, floral ingredients and herbs. Also from the US, Hangar One offers unique flavours such as Kaffir Lime, Mandarin Blossom and Citron Buddha’s Hand. Innovative new products have captured the imagination of bartenders, such as Babicka which is infused with thujone extracted from handpicked wormwood – the same ingredient used in absinthe. This produces a distinctive and unique floral bouquet with a creamy flavour. Ideas for serving the vodka have been developed by the brand’s mixologist Zdenek Kastanek, from London bar Quo Vadis, with support from drinks consultant Michael Stringer. Babicka UK sales and marketing manager Justin Shore says: “Wormwood has been used for centuries in vermouth, gin and liqueurs – Babicka finds the wormwood adds a really interesting and unique taste profile to the vodka expressed perfectly in a Naked Martini.” Michael Stringer is also working with Black Moth Vodka, which is made using the black European Périgord truffle. “Black Moth has become one of the most premium and most talked-about vodkas on the market,” he says. “This unique vodka is soft on the palate, delicately flavoured and subtly balanced. He joined forces with consultancy Hire The Barman to create a booklet of recipes that make the most of the full flavour profile of the truffle. Brand owner Paul Amin says: “Infamous for its rich, earthy aroma and distinct taste, the Périgord truffle lends tangible hints of freshly dug earth and spice, creating the inimitable flavour of Black Moth.” Closer to home, Chase Distillery in Herefordshire has produced marmalade vodka and a smoked vodka made by smoking the water with English oak chips. In north London, Sacred Distillery produces a unique spiced vodka that is made with seven botanicals including Indonesian cubeb, angelica, nutmeg and frankincense, using the same techniques as its Sacred Gin. And


from Scotland, supplier Master of Malt has introduced the super-hot 100,000 Scovilles Naga Chilli Vodka, infused with Naga Jolokia chilli peppers and named after the Scoville scale of spicy heat. Poland’s Żubrówka Bison Grass Vodka has grown to become the number-one flavoured vodka in the UK thanks to Marblehead Brand Development, and is set for further growth with new distributor First Drinks Brands. Marblehead – a specialist in Polish vodkas – is this year focusing on Davna Czeri Vodka which is made with fresh handpicked cherries from Polish orchards using a traditional recipe. Michael Stringer is a particular fan of Belvedere’s range of fruitflavoured vodkas. “They use only real fruit and a proprietary process of maceration to create amazing, natural flavours including black raspberry, pink grapefruit, citrus and orange,” he says. “It is not just the smaller, boutique brands which have the ability to create such fantastic flavours without the need for synthetics.” His favourites include Belvedere IX, blended with nine individually distilled ingredients, and Belvedere’s new Bloody Mary flavour which includes “a maceration of seven essential Bloody Mary ingredients, such as tomato, chilli pepper and horseradish”. The most extensive range of flavoured vodkas in the UK comes from Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands. Its portfolio includes not only 42 Below from New Zealand - featuring the four flavours of kiwi fruit, manuka honey, passion fruit and feijoa – but also the wild berry-flavoured Eristoff Black and Grey Goose, with flavours such as La Poire. It also distributes Finlandia and its four Fusion flavours of grapefruit, cranberry, lime and mango which are currently experiencing good growth in the UK market, according to brand manager Chris Gately-White. He says the multiaward-winning Finlandia Grapefruit is the brand’s “hero flavour” – a favourite with bartenders that is being pushed in 2012 through trade activity and PR. “In some respects, I think that the success of these products can be put down partly to their mixability,” Chris says. The simple serve of Finlandia Grapefruit with tonic is performing

Vodka infusions at Gillray’s Infusing vodka has become standard practice among bartenders in the UK, and it is a focus at Gillray’s Steakhouse & Bar which has opened in the former Rotunda Lounge bar at the London Marriott Hotel County Hall on the South Bank. They have infused British vodkas such as Sipsmith and Chase with flavours including rosemary, plum and blood orange. Bar manager Karina Elias says: “The plum vodka strikes an important balance between sharp and sweet. It also has a distinct nuttiness which adds to its character. It is best appreciated in our GLC cocktail – an elegant mix with a spicy finish.” Created to celebrate the Greater London Council and the political battles between Ken Livingstone and Margaret Thatcher, the GLC combines plum-infused Sipsmith vodka with ginger, shaken with freshly squeezed lemon juice, sugar, balsamic reduction and a dash of Bramley & Gage Dittisham Plum Liqueur. The bar’s rosemary vodka has a eucalyptus hint to it, with sweet pine and floral notes, Karina adds. It is used in the Mrs Henderson cocktail (pictured), shaken with white chocolate liqueur, freshly squeezed orange, lemon and apple juice. “really well” both through the off- and on-trade, he adds. “It’s appealing to vodka drinkers, but also to gin and tonic drinkers, who are looking for a refreshing alternative to their usual tipple. The flavoured vodkas now proliferating the market are offering consumers a fantastic choice of flavours, from grapefruit to mango, marmalade to spiced.”


Education begins at home, says Simon Couch, head of retailer engagement at RPM, a marketing agency that helps brands engage with consumers

Shops and bars in the cocktail mix Ten years ago, cocktail making was a trade speciality reserved only for trained bartenders and consumed only on special occasions. However, times are changing and consumers’ appetite for cocktail education has grown significantly. They are hungrier than ever. Within the last five years the cocktail revolution has been strong within the on-trade which has naturally built up knowledge and intrigue among consumers yet they have also been influenced and encouraged by common culture, brands and retailers. As consumers gain more knowledge on key ingredients, methods and mixes, the on-trade has been prompted to adapt to suit higher expectations, so much so, that the cocktailconsumer model is experiencing a period of rapid change. Popular programmes such as Sex and the City and Mad Men have exposed and enthralled consumers to the glamour and sophistication of cocktail culture as they become a desirable and glamorous choice for women and men for both work and play. Retailers are also influencing. Sainsbury’s new cocktail fascias provide ingredients, tips and bar equipment on the beer, wine and spirits aisle all in one place, encouraging consumers to experiment with cocktail making. Likewise brands such as Absolut have created cocktail apps such as

Drinkspiration which provide ingredients, video demos and recipe suggestions. Cross-category promotions are also contributing to the rise in cocktail education. “Mixxit done by Maxxium” for example helps consumers experiment with various cocktail mixes while offering methods and tips to concoct cocktails to suit all occasions. Increased cocktail education is significantly affecting consumer behaviour in the on-trade. They are making more sophisticated choices and have higher expectations of the cocktail experience. The immediate effect is that more mainstream jugged cocktails may suffer, and bars may also lose out on pre-dinner cocktails which can now be done in the home. This in turn is leading bartenders and mixologists to push cocktail making further into the possibilities of innovation, driving an element of professional service and experience that cannot be replicated in the home. These include quirky and theatrical cocktail presentation and creative serves in ornate vessel glasses using exotic ingredients. Bars must remember that the key to retaining consumers is to drive new trends through introducing innovative ways to drink cocktails that cannot be replicated in the home while creating excitement and intrigue.

Mixologists’ corner

As part of this month’s look at dessert cocktails, here are two recipes showing how to put a pudding in a glass. For more ideas, see page 39. Tiramisu Martini

Midori Splice

25ml Patrón XO 12.5ml Baileys 12.5ml Frangelico 12.5ml Kahlúa 10ml Double cream 5ml Funkin Vanilla Syrup

30ml Midori 30ml Coconut rum 90ml Pineapple juice Single cream

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a Martini glass.


Pour the first three ingredients over ice into a glass and gently stir. Top up with cream. ML

One of the world’s leading mixologists, Dale DeGroff, has launched his own Pimento Aromatic Bitters, developed with Ted Breaux, the producer of Lucid Absinthe and Jade Liqueurs.The product is inspired by the classic cocktail ingredients of the 19th century and is made with pimento berries from Jamaica which are commonly called allspice. Dale said that pimento, one of the most complex and layered of spices, “adds a wonderful accent to many drinks”.The bitters are produced at the Combier distillery in France, home to Jade Liqueurs. Nicknamed the King of Cocktails, Dale is one of the pioneers of modern bartending, most notably working at the Rainbow Room in New York. Dr Adam Elmegirab’s Spanish Bitters, which were launched as a limited edition 18 months ago, have been re-released due to demand. “With stocks now running low, bartenders have been inundating my distributors and myself with enquiries asking if I’d bring them back as a permanent addition to my portfolio,” said their creator Adam Elmegirab. Based on Spanish Bitters recipes from the 1800s, they evoke a style of bitters dating back to the early years of the cocktail.The bitters have layers of complex flavour including coriander, violet, raspberry, honey, citrus, pomegranate, toasted orange and predominant camomile, all leading to a long bittersweet finish.

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Sloane’s Gin steps up activity in bars Finest top-grade Iranian sargol saffron is now available from Cream Supplies, made using only the deep red tops of the flower that have the most aroma, flavour and colouring. It is available in 1g sachets for £2.99. Cream Supplies also supplies Freshburst Pearls, a range of flavoured pearls for molecular mixology that was named top food and drink product in the Hotelympia Innovation Awards at last month’s Hotelympia show at London ExCel. An “Exclusive Range” of cocktails, made with new and premium spirits, has been created at Zenna bar in Soho, London, by its mixologists headed by Dan Thomson. The six drinks, priced £19 to £27, include Cigar Aficionado, with Dalmore Cigar Malt whisky infused with black berries, vanilla pod and Cohiba cigar smoke, served in a cigarsmoked cognac glass. Other cocktails use spirits such as Herradura Extra-Añejo tequila, Martell XO Extra Old cognac, Ron Barceló Imperial rum, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel whiskey and Snow Queen vodka.

Chuck Bailey (pictured), a bartender at TGI Friday’s in Covent Garden, London, won one of the top places in the company’s World Bartender Championship in Dallas. Performing with skill and flair in front of more than 1,000 people at the global final, the 21-year-old gained the runner-up title and a prize of $5,000. The winner was David Kringlund from Stureplan, Sweden.


trip to the Sloane’s Gin distillery Toorank is stepping up activity and an exclusive invitation to for Sloane’s Gin in the UK onToorank Distilleries’ annual trade this year with a new brand summer party, for about 300 ambassador and bartender drinks industry professionals cocktail competition. from around the world. The The new UK brand runner-up will also win a place ambassador is Joel Constantino, on the trip, plus a cash prize of a bartender who was UK brand Alec Dyson of Booly £150. The final will be in London ambassador for Akvinta vodka Mardy’s in April. and a key account manager at Regional heats took place at 56 North drinks specialist Love Drinks. His role includes in Edinburgh, won by Zoltan Pahoki of the promoting the Twisted Traditions competition Balmoral Hotel, and at the Finnieston in that challenges bartenders to come up with Glasgow, won by Alec Dyson of Booly Mardy’s. cocktails inspired by traditions around gin. The heat at Graphic in London was due to Bartenders are battling it out to win £350 take place as Bar magazine went to press, with cash and an all-expenses-paid trip to the judges including Bar’s editor Mark Ludmon. Netherlands, including a night in Amsterdam, a

Bulldog sets London Lemonade challenge Bartenders are being challenged to create Bulldog Gin cocktails that are a twist on its signature serve, the London Lemonade. Competitions are being run in the UK and other markets including the US and Spain from April 16 to May 31, with winners being taken to Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans in July to showcase their serves. Entrants will be judged on sales of their cocktail in their bar as well as the taste of the serve, its presentation and their reasons for why it should win. The London Lemonade (pictured) mixes Bulldog and lemonade plus a lemon wedge. The London final is in June, organised by UK distributor J Wray & Nephew with UK brand manager Nick Worthington. Call 020 7953 3808 for details.

Caorunn seeks storytellers Caorunn Scottish Gin has launched a cocktail competition that challenges bartenders not only to create an imaginative new cocktail but also to tell a good story about it. The Caorunn Storytellers Global Cocktail Challenge will run in five key territories around the world including the UK. Mixologists must submit a “modern classic” that ties in with at least one of Caorunn’s five Celtic botanicals – rowan berry, coul blush apple, bog myrtle, heather and dandelion. Caorunn will also be looking for a great performer who can bring their cocktail and its story to life. The deadline for entries for the England and Scotland competitions is June 6, followed by national finals in June and July. The winning bartender from each country will enjoy an all-expenses-paid trip to Speyside in Scotland, the home of Caorunn, and Edinburgh where they will compete in a grand final for a cash prize of £1,500. Visit

G’Vine searches for best gin bartender Bartenders in the UK are being urged to enter a global search for the world’s best gin bartender, organised by EWG Spirits & Wine for its G’Vine Gin. Under the theme of “French classics”, the competition tests bartenders on their knowledge of gin, their hosting and technical skills and their creativity as a mixologist. Prizes include a tour of top bar industry events such as Tales of the Cocktail in New

Orleans and Bar Convent Berlin plus a year’s supply of G’Vine for their bar and $3,000. Any bartender can enter, even if their bar does not stock G’Vine, with a deadline of May 1. They are expected to attend seminars in London on April 10 or Edinburgh on April 12, or they can make a “wild card” entry online. The world final is in Cognac in France in June, with judges including mixologists Philip Duff and Gary Regan. Enter at

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24/02/2012 12:46


Pure genius While bottled water brands continue to see declines in bars, the choice of mains-fed filtration systems continues to grow


t is now two years since an amendment to the Licensing Act made it mandatory for bars and pubs to supply free tap water on request. Although this merely enshrined in law something that many operators were already doing, it was another blow for the bottled water sector which was already suffering from the economic downturn and consumer concerns about environmental issues. However, last month’s Soft Drinks Report from Britvic showed that the decline in bottled water sales is starting to level off. Using figures from research group CGA, it found that volumes in pubs, bars and restaurants were down 11 per cent in 2011 year on year – an improvement on a 22 per cent drop the year before. It added that one brand even saw growth in on-premise: Highland Spring was up three per cent in volume terms and one per cent in value. Highland Spring was the only significant bottled water brand at last month’s Hotelympia exhibition at London ExCel, in contrast to a record number of stands promoting on-site water-filtration systems for the on-trade. EcoPure Waters has been providing these kinds of purification systems to the hospitality industry for nearly 20 years, complemented by reusable recycled glass bottles with swing stoppers or screw caps. Its bottles, which can be branded with a bar’s identity, can be seen in outlets ranging from Dishoom restaurant in London to bars operated by the Kornicis Group. “They not only have branding on the front, but the back of the bottle is a blank page for the bar to write anything they like such as its history, what they do for the environment or other marketing messages,” explains managing director Paul Procter. EcoPure Waters is also providing restaurants and bars with its universal One Green Bottle design – a refillable bottle that highlights the product’s environmental credentials. “There are more repeat visits to establishments that have demonstrable green credentials,” Paul adds. Other options for delivering its filtration systems are a mobile bar, which can be customised for individual venues, and a font on the bar with lines of up to 25 metres. While some bars provide filtered water

On-site water-filtration from EcoPure Waters

for free as added value, others charge a small amount to provide added revenue. John Dundon, chairman of the British Water Cooler Association and managing director of water cooler provider Angel Springs, says: “In upmarket bars, being offered tap water may not enhance your positioning and reputation. If customers are spending on cocktails, wines and other drinks, they are usually willing to pay for water. Alternatively, offering cooler water in a glass or a jug free of charge also enhances your image with customers.” Another leading player in mains-fed purified drinking water systems is Vivreau, which was at Hotelympia to showcase its new V2O tap system which adds a futuristic control system along with a more stylish look. It also introduced a new all-in-one pressure-reducing valve for connecting the bottling system to the mains water installation. It is more compact than its predecessor, allowing for the Vivreau Table Water Bottling System to be installed in more restricted areas. Classeq was at Hotelympia to showcase its Eau de Vie system which filters mains water and serves up still and sparkling water in stylish reusable bottles. The latest

Stylish serving from Artis

models include the compact TT (table top) version which can produce up to 50 litres of fresh water per hour. Classeq has added a 500ml bottle alongside the original 750ml format and has also introduced a rental scheme for Eau de Vie, with a whole system including dispensers, bottles and services available from £20 a week. |35

water Tap and bottles from Vivreau

Other companies at Hotelympia included The Pure Water Company, which also provides mains-fed purification systems to produce still and sparkling water for serving up in designer water bottles. Its bottled waters can be seen in outlets such as Mexican bar and restaurant group Wahaca. Also at Hotelympia was Brita Water Filter Systems which provides bars, pubs and restaurants with filters to reduce limescale and heavy metals in tap water. A broad range of free-standing units, counter-top units and built-in under-counter and cellar units are offered by Housewater, as well as stylish fonts – another exhibitor at Hotelympia. Housewater’s high-quality reusable designer bottles, which can be cobranded, are used at bars and restaurants such as Viajante at the Town Hall Hotel in east London and London hotels Blakes and the Landmark. “On-site bottling is becoming the norm, from restaurants to hotels, as more and more people are thinking about sustainability,” says Housewater director Richard Davies. Increased demand for filtered and tap water has led bar and tableware specialist Artis to come up with stylish ways for it to be served. “There is now a broad range of choices available, from modern and traditional carafes to jugs, and now reusable bottles, with caps, lids or swing caps,” points out Artis marketing manager Kathy Birch. “There’s something for every style of establishment, offering perceived added value to tap water and a stylish presentation to discerning clientele. I particularly like the concept of reusable bottles, as they hold a multitude of exciting opportunities for personalisation via etching of a logo or slogan relevant to the individual establishment, or theme. And


of course, there’s the obvious environmental benefit of recycling and reusing them time and again.” Artis has four styles of bottle to choose from – called Oslo, Indro, Flip Top and Tall Black Cap – in 36cl, 50cl or one litre, which can be etched by Artis to a bar’s specific requirements. According to the British Beer & Pub Association, the average cost for a pub or bar of providing free tap water is estimated to be £570 per year. “The provision of tap water has obvious costs: staff time, ice, glass cleaning and jugs,” points out Matthew Orme, director of Wenlock Spring – a bottled water that is naturally filtered in Shropshire. “Even the on-premise filtered tap water in bottles is labour intensive, and I question whether consumers are happy to pay for filtered tap water.” Matthew believes that bottled water continues to have relevance within bars. “If people prefer to drink bottled water, but only tap water is provided in the bar area, this can have a negative effect on the guests who prefer bottled water, as well as a significant commercial impact. By serving only tap water, licensees are missing an important revenue line.” He says bars should make the most of this potential revenue stream by displaying bottled waters in the back-bar fridge in the same way as bottled beers or ciders. “Bottled water needs to be displayed and served with the same care and respect given to other packaged drinks – it is a very important component of the drinks category in terms of margin, especially when an additional purchase.” Some bottled water brands have aligned themselves with top-end bars such as Ty Nant, the Welsh spring water that is offered at bars such as Equus at the Royal Horseguards Hotel and the Corinthia at the Corinthia Hotel in London and Bar 163 in Chertsey, Surrey. “Ty Nant’s relationship with style bars is now more important than ever,” says general manager for sales, Simon Williams. “Among a vast array of premium wines and spirits, it is the attention to detail from the managers and mixolgists that helps create the ultimate experience. Using the right bottled water should be no exception.” To overcome consumers’ temptation to ask for tap water, Matthew at Wenlock Spring advises bars to avoid charging too much for bottled water. “Many licensees are overambitious when setting their selling price which makes the bottled water appear to be expensive when it is the same price as premium fruit drinks, perhaps using the same percentage margin,” he explains. “It is better to have a realistic margin than be asked for tap water

The River Café At London restaurant The River Café, management were concerned about the large quantity of bottled Italian mineral water they were buying in for serving with their rustic Italian-inspired menu. “Not only do we have limited storage space, but we also started worrying about the ethical viability of transporting bottles of water all the way from Italy,” explains manager Charles Pullan. They installed an Eau de Vie water system from Classeq, which passes mains water through a filter to remove impurities that adversely affect its flavour and smell. It is then chilled to produce clear, pure-tasting water, both still and sparkling. The machine is under the bar counter so it is easily accessible to all staff. Although Eau de Vie water can be bottled, The River Café serves it in straight-sided glass jugs with a lip for pouring. They charge £1.50 for a “bottomless” jug per table. which actually costs the licensee money to serve. The inclusion of the brand and a brief description of the water on the menu will also help to raise customer awareness. Correct positioning and display of bottled water within the bar and serving it simply – just chilled, with style, at a realistic price – will encourage customers to buy.”


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he revival in classic and vintage cocktails has transformed drinks lists at Britain’s bars, as bartenders explore the history of their profession. But a Whiskey Sour or a Hanky Panky are not to everyone’s taste, and sweeter, creamy cocktails are making a comeback. At Après Lounge in London’s West End, general manager and mixologist Jez Jewitt created a special list of five “Candy Shop” cocktails based on retro sweets and childhood puddings during March. Popular choices included the Rum & Raisin made with Myers’s rum, butterscotch liqueur, Frangelico hazelnut liqueur, mango syrup and cream, served with a dusting of cinnamon. Another was Rhubarb & Custard made with Tovaritch vodka, passion fruit, rhubarb cordial and soya milk. Après already offers classics such as a Negroni and Pisco Sour alongside fruity Martinis and other twisted classics, but Jez says they will look at adding popular Candy Shop cocktails to the permanent menu, joining their Pink Panther made with vodka, watermelon and Mozart White Chocolate Cream Liqueur. “It adds a fun element and is really accessible,” Jez says. “It flies in the face of the trends for classic cocktails.We could spend all day making Manhattans but we have to give customers what they want.” Cocktails inspired by sweet shops have been added at Ultimate Leisure’s bars and clubs, part of Orchid Group, after research confirmed that the under-25s are more attracted by sweeter flavours. “Recognising the generally younger age group of our customers, we created a brand new cocktail menu with a palate to appeal to their sweet taste buds,” says Ultimate Leisure marketing executive Claire Reid. “We have all the favourite flavours from the sweet shop, including tutti frutti, Skittles, gummy bears, After Eights, Bounty, Toblerone and toffee apples.” To create Skittles in a glass, their bartenders shake 17ml each of Taboo and blue curaçao, 16ml of Belgravia gin and 100ml of orange juice with ice and then top up with lemonade and garnish with a wedge of lemon. Skittles drink at Ultimate Leisure bars


Just desserts

Bars are responding to demand for sweeter cocktails inspired by classic puddings and sweets, reports Mark Ludmon

Rhubard & Custard at Après

Dessert cocktails are on the menu at Orchid Group’s Living Rooms bars such as a Black Forest, made with Kahlúa, Baileys, Cherry Marnier Liqueur, blackberries, milk and cream, or the Apple Pie Martini combinining Żubrówka bison-grass vodka and Ketel One vodka stirred with honey and apple juice and topped up with fresh cream and cinnamon. There are also some made with bourbon such as an Apple & Gingerbread Crush using Maker’s Mark and a Gingerbread Manhattan with Jefferson’s Small Batch. Another group to add more sweet flavours to its drinks menus is Mexican restaurants Chiquito, joining dishes such as a refreshingly zesty Margarita Sorbet made with tequila and lime. “In true Willy Wonka style, dessert-inspired cocktails are shaking up the pudding and cocktail menu,” says Chiquito’s marketing manager Susan Judge. “They are an attractive alternative for customers who haven’t left much room or for those wanting a powerful end to a meal.” The new menu includes cocktails such as a Raspberry Ripple and a Mexican Milky Way. “These cocktail desserts are a glass of nostalgia mixed with a grown-up twist.” Dessert cocktails including a Tiramisu Martini are being promoted by Funkin for making with its syrups, fruit juices and purees, and chief executive Andrew King expects demand for them to continue in 2012. “Best executions of this have a balance of rich cocktails, often using chocolate, or coffee-based drinks, light summer fruit cocktails and ice cream or sorbet recipes

Meursault at L’étranger Meursault, the new cocktail bar opened next to French restaurant L’étranger in South Kensington, London, has a cocktail list with a strong molecular element, created by a team headed by Dorian Pryce, formerly bar manager at Atlantic Bar & Grill, and head bartender Raul Duenas. It includes a cocktail inspired by classic French pastry-and-cream dessert Paris-Brest which combines Belvedere vodka with a dash of Chambord black raspberry liqueur, Frangelico, strawberry puree and peanut butter, served straight up with a homemade praline and chocolate lollipop. Other drinks include the Lemon Meringue Martini, made with Wyborowa Lemon Vodka, Licor 43, limoncello and freshly squeezed lemon, shaken with egg white and sugar. The popular Tiramisu Martini combines Patrón tequila, Kahlúa, crème de cacao and amaretto, shaken with double cream and sugar and dusted with chocolate and cinnamon. to suit all tastes,” he says. Other Funkin ideas include a Gingerbread Man-tini, made with apple-flavoured vodka, gingerbread syrup, Funkin lime and apple juice, and a Strawberry Shortcake made with amaretto, Funkin strawberry puree, two scoops of ice cream and a strawberry garnish. Andrew adds that summer is a good time to look at adding sorbet or ice cream cocktails. |39

mixology Raspberry Cheesecake Martini from Mixxit

French desserts at Plateau “Simple tweaks to recipes incorporating summer fruits or seasonal favourites such as ice cream or sorbets are simple to make yet can make a huge difference to customer perceptions of your menu.” Along with the ubiquitous and essential Espresso Martini, the Mixxit training team from drinks company Maxxium UK offer dessert cocktails as part of their arsenal of recipes, such as a Banoffee Martini made by muddling chopped banana with Stolichnaya Vanil vodka, butterscotch liqueur, Bols banana liqueur, cream and Canadian maple syrup. Their Raspberry Cheesecake Martini mixes Stolichnaya Razberi vodka with Bols Advocaat, Bols raspberry liqueur, lemon juice, Monin Pure Cane Syrup and fresh raspberries, or the simpler Orange Brûlée combines Courvoisier Exclusif VSOP cognac with Bols triple sec liqueur, amaretto and cream in a Martini glass. Mixxit manager Wayne Collins says a key benefit of offering dessert cocktails is to maintain spend per head, particularly in restaurants. “Sometimes guests opt out of dessert altogether and choose coffee instead, but by offering a dessert cocktail, customers will be encouraged to take the full three courses as well as coffee afterwards. By offering something different, such as a mini dessert cocktail alongside an espresso, the dining experience will also be enhanced.” Manuel Terron, global brand ambassador for Midori, points out that dessert cocktails have been popular for many years, dating back to classics such as a Brandy Alexander and a Grasshopper. The Midori Splice – made by adding coconut rum, pineapple juice and cream to the melon liqueur – became a modern classic in Australia, he adds, while “guilty pleasure” recipes are also being promoted for Midori such as a Key Lime Pie Cocktail and a Hot Apple Pie Cocktail. “Although palates of both the industry and the general consumer have developed to appreciate a more diverse selection of flavours, dessert drinks are still essential to the drinks industry and work perfectly as an after-dinner treat in place of a heavy dessert,” Manuel says. The shift in restaurants from haute cuisine


At D&D London’s Plateau bar and restaurant in Canary Wharf in London, bar manager Guillaume Sanzey has created a liquid version of a classic Black Forest pudding. The Foret Noir Martini is made with Fair Quinoa vodka infused with cherries, mixed with Mozart Dark Chocolate Liqueur, crème de mûre and cherry liqueur with a float of double cream. Guillaume has also created his own pudding in a glass, the Adventurous Escape, made with Maxime Trifol cognac, butterscotch schnapps, banana liqueur and cinnamon syrup. “They are being ordered both as an addition to dessert or as a substitution,” Guillaume says. Gingerbread Man-tini from Funkin

towards heartier meals, such as burger and grill-style restaurants, means diners are less inclined to eat dessert, points out Simon Green, marketing director of drinks company Global Brands whose brands range from St-Germain and Goldshläger liqueurs to Myers’s rum and Four Roses Bourbon. “However, there is a trend among consumers for sweeter-tasting drinks, and cocktail sales now represent five per cent of all spirits sales, so dessert cocktails are a growing area of interest for the on-trade.” Global Brands has report strong growth for Thorntons Chocolate Liqueur in the on-trade, both for dessert-style cocktails and on the rocks. Mixing ideas include blending it with Teichenné Strawberry, fresh strawberries and crushed ice to create a Thorntons Choco-Berry Milkshake, or blending it with vanilla ice cream and

Volupté and the Bon Bon Bar With its decadent décor and entertainment, dessert cocktails are popular at Volupté in the City of London. “We are a venue for fun entertainment so the clientele are more inclined to go for these kinds of drinks than they would in a regular cocktail bar,” says general manager Pepijn Vanden Abeele. The Liquid Tiramisu is made with Patrón XO Café coffee tequila liqueur, white and dark Mozart chocolate liqueurs, mascarpone cheese and espresso. Other cocktails include a Strawberries & Cream, a Strawberry Shortcake and a Guilty Pleasure made with Stolichnaya Vanil, dark cacao liqueur, strawberry liqueur, strawberries and chocolate. “People are enjoying them instead of dessert or after dinner as a fourth course replacing the cheeseboard,” Pepijn says. Volupté has also added “sweet shoppe-cum-speakeasy” The Bon Bon Bar (pictured), which offers confectionery-inspired cocktails such as the Candy Cane made from Koko Kanu, blue curaçao, Lichi Li liqueur and gin, served with a striped candy cane. The Miss Marshmallow is popular, made with raspberry- and vanilla-flavoured vodkas, topped with a full marshmallow. “Everybody is going for it, especially the men – you wouldn’t expect them to be the target audience but they are responding even more than women,” Pepijn adds.

Fratello hazelnut liqueur to make a Nutty Chocolate Sundae. “A dessert cocktail offers a far higher gross profit than an actual dessert and, as the summer approaches, consumers will look for refreshing options that are lighter yet still indulgent,” Simon points out, “so licensees should make sure they are capitalising on the opportunity that dessert cocktails present.” n More on dessert cocktails on pages 32 and 66.

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In cider trading Mark Ludmon examines how continuing innovation in cider in the UK on-trade means that more Britons are drinking it than lager


ider is on the advance in the UK – and lager better watch out, according to analysts at research company Mintel. About three out of five British drinkers say they find cider more refreshing than lager, with half saying it has a fresher taste and 44 per cent preferring its sweeter taste.This follows a storming period of innovation including the launch of Stella Artois Cidre and a multiplicity of flavours, according to Mintel’s senior drinks analyst Jonny Forsyth. “Young cider drinkers have been attracted to the sweeter-tasting non-apple ciders due to a combination of factors – they appeal to their sweeter tooth and their love of constant flavour innovation,” he says. “If cider can develop its taste profile – and perception – to account for those with less sweet as well as sweeter palates, it has the potential for a broader appeal – for example, as an alternative to wine during meal occasions as well as providing the ‘all night’ volume appeal of lager – with the result that it can seriously close the gap on lager’s superior revenue.” While lager volumes remain nearly five times as big as cider, Mintel contrasts the “steep” sales growth with lager’s “dramatic sales decline” over

the past five years, noting that the number of people describing themselves as cider drinkers has gone up from 42 per cent to 47 per cent over the past decade – compared to 46 per cent who now say they are lager drinkers. According to research group CGA, growth in cider in the on-trade has been led by premium and craft ciders with brands such as Stowford Press, Magners Golden Extra Cold and Thatchers Gold building volumes in contrast to declining mainstream draught brands. In this premium market, Aspall Cyder has reported volume growth of 308 per cent since 2009, and in 2012 it expects growth of another 55 per cent. The company has embarked on a five-year plan to invest £4million into the business and last year launched two new products: the crisp light Lady Jennifer’s with an ABV of four per cent and vintage Imperial Cyder with an ABV of 8.2 per cent, based on an original Aspall family recipe dating back to 1921. Another success story is Long Ashton Cider Company, a subsidiary of Butcombe Brewery, which produces cider at its north Somerset neighbour Thatchers. Draught Ashton Press Cider, which is made from all English apples pressed locally and conditioned in

New look for Orchard Pig Orchard Pig cider from Somerset has grown from a tiny brand with an annual turnover of £25,000 to one worth £1million a year, led by its best-seller, craft cider Reveller, which comes in 50cl bottles as well as 50-litre kegs. A packaging redesign of the Orchard Pig ciders and juices by brand design specialist Blue Marlin was introduced last month, celebrating the ciders’ provenance and natural individuality – factors that are key drivers in food and drink in the UK. “It needed a new look to vault it into the big time while reinforcing its credibility as a top-quality producer with an expanding portfolio of authentic products,” explains Blue Marlin managing director Andrew Quinlan.

oak vats, has become the fastest-growing cider brand in the West Country. Available in about 400 on-trade outlets within a 75mile radius of Bristol, it is on course to sell about 7,000 brewers barrels in 2012 and is |43


also available in bottles. It is complemented by the robust and dry traditional Ashton Still Cider, also on draught. Heineken continues to add to its HP Bulmer portfolio with last month’s launch of Bulmers Vintage Reserve, a modern cider made from a blend of bittersweet apples grown in the UK. The limited-edition cider, which comes in 568ml bottles with an ABV of 5.5 per cent, celebrates 125 years of Herefordshire cider making. It follows new product development such as Bulmers No 17 Berry Cider made with crushed red berries. “Our limited-edition and Bulmers No 17 variants are great examples of genuine product innovation that drove the £20million increase in sales enjoyed by packaged cider in the on-trade last year,” says Sanjay Patel, brands director for ciders at Heineken in the UK. Ciders from overseas are also driving the premium segment, such as Savanna Cider from South Africa. Now the world’s third largest-selling cider, it is to receive record investment in the UK this summer with prime-time national TV and radio advertising and a nationwide “experiential” campaign. “Our activity will deliver a step change in profile and sales in the UK,” says Anthony Mills, head of European marketing. “Consumers have embraced Savanna’s unique proposition – a serve with a wedge of lemon in the neck of the bottle – and its great taste. It is the premium end of the market that is driving interest in cider, and brands like Savanna that are investing consumer communication are vital to the continuing growth and success of the category.”


From Sweden comes Kopparberg, which has been shaking up the category since launching its pear cider in the UK in 2006. “We have been trying to innovate the market since we launched,” says Davin Nugent, managing director of Kopparberg Cider UK. “That’s the way to keep the cider market interesting for consumers.” Pear continues to be number one for Kopparberg, followed by Mixed Fruit. “It’s been about how to attract spirits, wine and beer drinkers,” Davin says, adding that the launch of Strawberry and Lime two years ago “brought in a whole new consumer” while Elderflower & Lime brings something “more eclectic and crisper”. Kopparberg’s seasonal range has been popular, such as Cranberry & Cinnamon, and this summer will see the return of Raspberry & Mint. Davin adds that more innovation is promised this month – and it will not be just another fruit flavour. “What we are trying to get bars to do is treat cider like they treat beer,” Davin adds. “Beer covers a wide spectrum of tastes and styles, yet it’s still lager at the end of the day. Cider is much broader than just each category of cider, and bars should be looking at listing maybe two pear ciders and two fruit ciders in addition to apple ciders as that’s what consumers want and where the opportunity is.” Pear cider and innovation by the likes of Kopparberg are keeping existing consumers interested while attracting new drinkers to the category, especially those aged 18 to 24, says Simon Couch, head of retail engagement at marketing agency RPM. “Younger consumers are attracted to the sweeter flavours that offer an alternative to other categories. Those who would have been ‘alcopop’ consumers are turning to these drinks based on their sweet and refreshing benefits.” A prime example, he says, is the new Rhubarb & Custard flavour from Brothers Cider which was chosen and voted on by fans of

Brisk start for Sweden’s Briska Briska, a premium cider imported from Sweden, has already gained listings on draught in more than 300 independent venues since its launch in the UK ontrade last September – from Jake’s Bar in Leeds to new Brighton bar Bohemia. Its packaged range of Pear, Apple and Pomegranate, in 330ml bottles, is also gaining more space in back-bar chillers. Distributed in the UK by Proof Drinks, they are produced at Sweden’s oldest cider mill, Kiviks Musteri on the Skane coast in Osterlen, which is owned by leading Swedish brewer Spendrups. A nationwide sampling campaign is about to start, aiming to increase consumer awareness of the brand in the on-trade. “The reaction from UK consumers to Briska’s fresh, fruity and more natural taste has been incredible,” says Frederik Eklund, export manager at Spendrups. “By mobilising Proof’s existing nationwide sampling team, we are going to sample to tens of thousands of UK consumers this spring and let our cider’s taste speak for itself.” the Somerset producer. Launched in January through the student-oriented Scream pubs, it has the flavour of crisp and tangy rhubarb balanced with smooth, creamy custard. Simon adds that other new entrants to the market such as WKD Core, Stella Artois Cidre and the revived Lambrini pear ciders have helped keep the category fresh while new marketing initiatives have turned it from a summery refresher to an all-year drink. “The cider category has been the most dynamic and innovative of the last decade.” diningchairsuk Contract Furniture Solutions In addition to the below, we also offer a wide range of: n Tables

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Hospitality operators are increasingly aware of the importance of TCO when investing in new EPoS. Focus has moved from the purchase price alone to take into account lifecycle costs including environmental, reliability and serviceability, which together can amount to 3-5 times the initial investment. PC-based touchscreen EPoS manufacturer, J2 Retail Systems, has pioneered lower TCO-oriented technology and introduced innovations that significantly drive down lifecycle costs. • Virtually maintenance-free terminals • Touchscreen technologies (Resistive, SAW, Infra-Red & PCT) for hightouch situations • Fanless operation increases reliability, especially in greasy environments • User-upgradeable processors, including pull-out motherboards • Solid state storage eliminates hard drive failures • “All in the head” design provides a cable-free system • Numerous power-saving features • New backwards-compatible processor to extend unit life Says J2’s Moray Boyd: “Maximising EPoS reliability and performance, whilst minimising lifecycle costs, are the goals that drive our business. Users tell us J2 technology can’t be matched for low TCO.”


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27/01/12 14:26


Reclaim to fame Furniture specialists and designers are coming up with new ideas that take current design trends in new directions, Mark Ludmon reports


eware the proliferation of cut-price websites offering “me too” furniture for bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants, warns Jay Rushton, operations manager of hospitality interiors specialist Dawnvale. “The contract furniture sector is full of website ‘me too’ providers,” he says. “The products are bounced around for the best prices which results in box shifters with no real support or understanding of real manufacturing and design needs, and a saturated market where there are no real winners.” Instead, designers and operators in the premium end of the bar and club market are increasingly turning to customised and bespoke furniture for their venues, giving them a point of difference in a

Bespoke seating by Dawnvale at Chaophraya in Birmingham

challenging market. “Most seasoned operators and designers have seen the usual Italian products, typical imported stock items and high-street brands available to all,” Jay adds. “Albeit this is a good stock up for some operators, but the market trends are steering manufacturers and suppliers to provide a more exciting and less limited provision of furniture.” This trend has also been seen by Lee Pollock, founder of leading hospitality design company Lifeforms, which is increasingly working on bespoke furniture for bars. “You have to try to stand out, but you have to find ways of doing that while still being cost-effective as cost is still a big factor at the moment,” Lee says. This is a particular challenge with so many new bars and refurbishments seeking an industrial, vintage look with furniture to match, he adds. “You have to try to be as different as you can which is difficult when suppliers of reclaimed furniture are all supplying the same things. Because we are design-led, we can do something a bit different and be unique rather than go to suppliers.” Lee points out that the vintage trend has been about for a few years but it is showing no sign of a let-up. Recent examples in his projects include bench seating made out of reclaimed delivery pallets, softened by the addition of cushions. “A lot of this is dictated by the cost as, if you can find a reclaimed chair, it is generally cheaper than a brand new piece,” he adds. “We

Bold customisation in industrial interiors by Lifeforms

StableTable StableTable – a patented table base that automatically adjusts to any uneven surface – won the Hotelympia Innovation Award for design at the Hotelympia show in London in March. In the supporting central column, an automatic system enables the table to adjust to any uneven surface, without any need for manual adjustment. It is ideal on all uneven surfaces, outdoors as well as indoors. It is Scandinavian by design and made at a certified plant in Sweden.

are putting it in but trying to be clever by mixing it with something like a really nice deep-buttoned booth seat. It’s about providing that reclaimed look but trying to customise existing furniture – maybe painting the legs a bold colour or putting a new top on a table.” Jay at Dawnvale says different trends can be seen across the hospitality sector, but |47


Jamie’s Italian New fabrics from GO IN

mainstream bars are still going for vintage and reclaimed items, with a greater demand for natural materials, raw metals and matt finishes. “Classic and designer models are still strong, with a large amount of reproduction items supporting the growth.” At the medium to high-end venues, clients are still looking for inspiring new ideas, he adds. “Bespoke versions of core models are still being adapted to provide suitable alternatives to the mainstream. The higher-end designers and clients in the contract market are still on the look-out for new products that offer inspiration and are not already saturated in this arena. Bespoke design is often the best solution while incorporating materials and finishes new to the market. Plus, we are able to trial and test unique surface textures in our production workshops to ensure true individuality.” Designers and operators at the luxury end of the market are particularly keen on

Factor bar stool from Andy Thornton


truly unique bespoke furniture production, Jay says. “It allows not only the designers to expand their visions but provides the production and manufacturing teams a chance to incorporate new and exciting ideas and materials for something a little bit different.” At Chaophraya restaurant in Birmingham’s Bullring, Dawnvale created fixed seating booths in a specialist solid surface material called Krion, which it distributes. It features a bespoke engraving which is then illuminated and fitted with the upholstery. The industrial “lived-in” look continues to be in big demand at Andy Thornton, a leading supplier of furniture for bars, restaurants and pubs. Its new Urban Vintage range includes pieces such as the Factory leather bar stool which features a hard-wearing tubular steel frame that is both lightweight and sturdy. The frames are finished in a tarnished iron patina and have plastic bungs fitted to the bottom of the legs to protect timber and tiled floors. The upholstered seat and backs are available in a choice of distressed leather or hard-wearing washed denim. They are fixed to the frame with leather loops and rivet-style fixings. It is part of a broad range of retro and

Panel back bentwood chair from Taylors Pub & Restaurant Furniture

Traditional chairs were given a twist at one of the latest branches of Jamie’s Italian, designed by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio. The site in Threadneedle Street, London, features traditional country-kitchen style slat-back dining chairs sourced from furniture specialist Andy Thornton. These high-quality solid beech chairs were specially lacquered and hand-waxed in a deep purple/red colour and upholstered in dark brown pull-up leather, and then carefully finished with a blend of oils and waxes to create a distressed look. Andy Thornton also supplied 80 solid oak table bases in a mix of single and twin pedestal and matching rectangular and circular oak tops featuring a special ogee-shaped edge profile. Again, the tables were stained and waxed to create the same effect.

industrial furniture and lighting from Andy Thornton, with newly sourced pieces being added regularly. Demand for more flexibility and versatility in furniture is reflected in the new 2012 catalogue from hospitality furniture specialist GO IN, which introduces around 100 new furniture products and 270 new cover fabrics to help designers create unique and individual interior solutions. It

Restored wing chair from Taylors Pub & Restaurant Furniture

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Design trends>> Mix and match furniture styles Vaughann Turnbull, national sales manager of hospitality furniture supplier GO IN (UK)


S-Line bench designs from GO IN

encourages mixing and matching of colours and materials so, for instance, backrests and seat cushions on chairs and sofas now no longer need to be the same colour or pattern. Variations on the classics feature in new ranges from Taylors Pub & Restaurant Furniture which, at the Hotelympia exhibition in London in March, presented a new look for bentwood chairs inspired by traditional designs. Working with a manufacturer in the Czech Republic, the British company has created reproduction chairs with a variety of finishes such as patination with a fish-scale design. “Bentwood chairs have started to be specified a lot more over the past few years in the standard format but we are giving it an extra twist to have more authenticity,” director Martin Taylor explains. Taylors also unveiled a range of lounge furniture based on 19th-century designs but adapted to be more compact for venues where space is limited. Dawnvale showcases its latest ideas for furniture at the North West Design Centre on the outskirts of Manchester, which was set up last year as a project resource centre for designers and operators in the hospitality industry. New products from Dawnvale include its VIP collection, aimed at late-night bars and clubs, featuring illuminated stone and glass tables with insulated ice buckets, bespoke booth seating options and a selection of luxury loose seating. Other collections include Night & Day which provides an array of outdoor weatherproof booth seating, dining and lounge tables, chairs and high stools. It offers a mix of materials from illuminated glass and mirror steel through to iroko hardwood, marble, weave and polypropylene, while accessories include branded parasols and banners through to bespoke planters and heating. “The range is a far cry from the usual low-grade aluminium stacker,” Jay at Dawnvale adds. For bars looking for cost-effective ways of sourcing furniture, leading contract furniture company Warings Furniture has


Serous bar stool Bar furniture is attracting cutting-edge designers such as Chicago-based Michael Stolworthy who has played with form and material to create the Serous bar stool. With complex geometrical lines and fluid design, the Serous is cast in high-grade molten aluminium and then hand-polished to create an ultrareflective finish. After two years working on the design, Michael is in talks to produce limited-edition pieces for hotels and restaurants.

launched a new online leasing scheme. Through ThinkSmart Business Leasing, the service has been introduced after Warings Furniture director Graham Waring saw how difficult and time-consuming it could be for some businesses to obtain credit for important refurbishments. “We’ve made leasing simple,” he explains. “Leasing to the hospitality industry is not a new concept, but has always been difficult, especially for new start-ups that have been trading for under three years, as many leasing companies have strict criteria and lots of checks. “Our new service is a great opportunity for, say, an independent restaurateur who wants to refurbish up to £15,000 over a three-year period. They can apply to ThinkSmart for credit approval through the Warings website and get a voucher to use on furniture of their choice without difficulty.” If a venue has experienced a downturn in trading, operators can quickly increase turnover by giving their venue a fresh new look, including new furniture, Graham adds. “Leasing gives businesses the freedom to trade with their working capital instead of locking it away in their furniture which has very little asset value.”

e’re still seeing designers specifying traditional styles of bar furniture, but they’re looking to use them in original and innovative ways. This is certainly being fuelled by suppliers giving greater flexibility in the combinations of options that can be offered in “standard” products. In this way it’s possible to configure unique “standard” products in every price bracket, giving designers great value for money. One example of this is where fabric combinations are being mixed and matched to create eye-catching styles to complement the interior décor. For a joined-up approach, fabric choices can be carried across different styles of furniture – bench systems, sofas, chairs, bar stools and even outdoor furniture – to create an interesting and coherent design style. Combinations of leather and fabric, or colours and patterns can be chosen to create the required look. In terms of the furniture itself, the designers’ “favourites” are still popular. The bench system continues to be specified due to its practicality, flexibility, space efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Classic and comfortable, these also continue to be favoured by customers. Bench systems are available in a variety of seat and back heights giving plenty of design flexibility. Different seat heights make it possible to combine benches with sofas, chairs or barstools, and different back heights can be used more architecturally, helping to create room divisions and intimate alcoves as required. We’re also seeing designers trying to make the most of outdoor areas where, these days, customers are looking for the same level of comfort and style they would expect from interior seating. With today’s choices of exterior furniture this is entirely possible. New waterproof and weatherproof fabrics and materials reduce the time staff spend readying the furniture and extend the time that customers can spend outside. This substantially improves the return on investment in the outdoor area.

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business planning

Plan for profit Experts provide ideas and advice on how to improve a bar’s business, from service and cost controls to technology and marketing


ood service is vital to a successful business. More than three-quarters of consumers have left a bar, pub or restaurant earlier than planned because of poor service, according to a new report from customer research specialist Market Force Europe. The most common reasons for consumers feeling this way was not poor food or drink quality but slow service and lack of attention – both addressable by focusing on training and employee motivation. “This should be a real wake-up call to the industry,” says Tim Ogle, chief executive of Market Force Europe, formerly Retail Eyes. Tim believes that gaining feedback from customers is the best way for a bar operator to understand what they are looking for, using methods such as mystery visits and customer satisfaction surveys. “It’s often very small things that do not take time and effort to change that can make a huge difference, such as not enough bar staff or the glasses are not very clean,” he explains. “Once you have the feedback, the next and most important step is to react to it. There is no point investing in this information if you’re not going to use it to have a positive impact on the business. Don’t forget to communicate the results to your staff too – after all, they are the people who will have to action the changes so it’s important they understand why they’re making them.” Many of the initiatives to improve service

need not be expensive, Tim adds – a message that will resonate with operators who have seen the cost of running a bar or pub rise over the past few years. According to the latest annual Benchmarking Report from the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), operating costs as a percentage of turnover have climbed steadily over the five years during which the ALMR has carried out the annual survey, peaking at 51 per cent at the height of the recession. According to the 2011 report, this percentage stood at 45.9 per cent,

suggesting that the licensed trade is back on track with better cost control. One of the biggest concerns for bar owners is the rising cost of utilities, with the ALMR’s Benchmarking Report saying this was, on average, equal to 3.6 per cent of turnover. Lynx Purchasing specialises in helping hospitality operators to save money by getting the best deals on utilities and other products and services. With oil prices still at relatively low levels, but increasing as tensions in the Middle East and Africa continue, Lynx believes that businesses Lynx Purchasing supported Snug Bars |53

business planning

Giraffe hosts new technology Restaurant and bar group Giraffe has improved sales across its sites after investing in a new table and capacity management system. It installed QSR ConnectSmart Hostess from QSR Automations, which is supplied and serviced in the UK by Call Systems Technology. “It paid for itself in the first two weeks of summer,” says Giraffe’s business development manager Jerry Marks (pictured). “QSR’s ConnectSmart Hostess system easily adds 10 per cent to our sales in our busiest sites by managing our table capacity efficiently. It’s very simple for the staff to use and very accurate in terms of wait time estimates.” The system works around a highly intuitive screen sited at reception that shows the status of each table and tells staff, as guests arrive, how long they will have to wait for a table. It proved useful at Giraffe at Westfield Stratford City in east London, which has a bar and several eating areas. “A greeter of the queue at the door simply can’t estimate table times accurately – for one thing, they can’t see all the tables,” Jerry explains. “At first, staff here thought they could run the queue manually – but then the manager from our South Bank site came to monitor it and found that, when we were busy, we were losing one party in three. It was because the queue was long and estimated wait times were inaccurate, so people were

should be looking at signing up to multi-year utility contracts to guard against volatility in the market. The warning comes in the newly-published Lynx Purchasing Market Forecast, an overview of market and pricing trends for hospitality operators. “Utility prices are driven by events, and predicting how they will behave is never simple,” says managing director John Pinder. “With utility prices currently as low as they’ve been for a couple of years, but expected to rise, we believe it is the time for operators to look at longer-term, two- to three-year utility deals. The savings on existing deals can run into thousands, even for a single site, and increase significantly for multiple operators.” Expanding Mexican restaurant and bar chain Benito’s Hat, which has opened its fourth London site at the high-profile Kings Cross redevelopment, has agreed a new energy supply contract negotiated by Lynx. The restaurants’ founder Ben Fordham said: “Finding the best energy deals is time-consuming, and a huge challenge for a business. Lynx provides us with the certainty we are getting a good deal without needing to trawl through all the suppliers


Net gains for bars

Midlands-based web and graphic design firm Twelve20 provides an easy-to-use website building product for hospitality businesses.Two of its specialists, Darren Langham and Matt Tullett (pictured left and right), provide the following advice on creating the perfect website for a bar.

moving on.” Giraffe sites also use CST CustomerCall pagers linked to the Hostess system. “The party arrives and they’re given a pager. They can go and window shop or have a drink in the bar,” Jerry explains. “When the table is ready, the Hostess system sends an alert and the pager lets the customers know. The pager totally eliminates walkaways – it’s like a binding contract with the customer. Because you’ve handed them the pager, they feel duty bound to give you their business.”

New advances from J2 Retail

out there.” Lynx has also worked with bar group Snug Bars which expanded to six sites at the end of last year with openings in High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire and Godalming in Surrey. It helped the management team with buying supplies for the bars, from serviettes, table sauces and food ingredients to one-off purchases such as outside tables, umbrellas and decking at one of its sites. “By analysing our spend by outlet and across the board, Lynx was able to help us consolidate our purchasing and identify where we could save money,” explains Snug Bars managing director Giles Fry. “It helps me protect our

Perhaps more than any other sector, the hospitality industry needs to have a strong online presence. With search engines, online business maps and recommendation sites all able to push custom your way, not making the most of a website could leave you vulnerable to competitors. The first thing to consider is making sure your website reflects your brand. A contemporary restaurant needs a contemporary design scheme; a traditional pub needs a more classic design scheme; and a quirky boutique hotel needs a design that stands out. Maintaining brand consistency will give the impression that the rest of your business is dependable. Illustrating your business online will offer peace of mind to potential customers who will want to know what to expect before they visit, so having a good selection of photographs on your website is a must. The key is to strike a balance between having bright, colourful and enticing images and presenting your premises in a clear and honest way that won’t leave your customers feeling cheated if you don’t meet their expectations when they visit. Think about accessibility. It’s surprising how many hospitality businesses don’t include their full address and postcode on their website. In an age of sat-navs, your postcode is the only way most customers will find you. This is particularly important for smaller businesses in a remote or isolated position. If you’re not in an easy place to get to, provide clear, concise directions from local airports, train stations and motorways. Without testimonials, your website is an advert written by you purely to gain business. If possible, include a few comments from previous happy customers as this will give potential visitors peace of mind.

artwork_Layout 1 02/03/2012 12:49 Page 1

Let us come and test your IT. Before they come and test your IT. Summer 2012. Britain’s busiest ever summer of trading. The Olympic Torch Relay, Diamond Jubilee Weekend, UEFA European Championships, Wimbledon and London 2012 Olympics coming one after another means bars, pubs, clubs, hotels and restaurants face 12 straight weeks of thirsty and hungry crowds. So is your IT ready to cope? FIT FOR 2012 is a proactive initiative

from David Broom of Retail Fix, and Mike Davies of Centrality, two of the UK’s leading Hospitality IT strategy firms. Call us today, and we’ll arrange to put your systems through a comprehensive review designed to assess your preparedness. And if it turns out your outlet technology, infrastructure or any other aspect of your set up is not quite ready for the record turnover Summer ahead, we’ll be happy to step in and help you.

01462 857015

FIT FOR 2012

Go to for more information |55

business planning margin, which is more important than ever in these challenging trading times. It also saves me personally a lot of time and hassle, so I can focus on growing the business and bringing a great Snug Bars experience to even more people.” With Euro 2012, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics ahead this year, now is the time to check whether investment is needed in epos systems, warns David Broom, chief executive of Retail Fix which provides technology advice to operators. “No succession of events that will impact on volumes of trade and weight of transactions has been seen before in this country,” he explains. “Businesses have been planning their promotions, tackling

Save energy and money Owners of bars, pubs and restaurants can boost their bottom line by tapping into the government’s Enhanced Capital Allowance Scheme (ECA). This scheme not only promotes the purchase of energy-saving products and technologies – which ultimately leads to reduced energy usage and lower carbon emissions – it can also provide a significant cash flow boost to businesses. On an investment of £10,000, for example, businesses can reduce their corporation tax liability by £2,800 in the first year by offsetting 100 per cent of the investment value instead of the 20 per cent standard capital allowance usually allowed. This is one of the benefits of the ECAcompliant “efficienC” bottle coolers (pictured) from Lec Commercial, part of Glen Dimplex Professional Appliances (GDPA). Jon Usher, GDPA’s marketing manager, says: “It pays to consider potential tax savings and running costs when choosing new refrigeration and not simply the cheapest.” However, he warns bar owners to act fast. “Growing Government cutbacks make the future of the scheme uncertain and may mean it could be withdrawn at any time.”


the logistics and ensuring supply of staff, but many operators are overlooking the demands that will be made on their outlet IT systems and central infrastructure that could mean the difference between operating a winning business or heading straight into a technical meltdown. The big companies have IT teams and support, but it’s the smaller independents that are more exposed.” Retail Fix has teamed up with IT consultancy Centrality to offer “IT health checks” to businesses to help them identify if their systems can cope with increased demand over the summer. David points out that many visitors from overseas will not have credit and debit cards enabled with “chip and pin” so bars need to be ready to have manual systems in place to deal with this, particularly at busy times. He also points out that many of the outlets he visits are missing out on business benefits by not making the most of the full capabilities of their epos systems. “Our smaller clients are probably using only 30 per cent of what their tills are capable of.” Having a till system fail at a busy time can be a nightmare for bars, leading to the slower service that consumers particularly hate. J2 Retail Systems has addressed this by building hardware-performance monitoring into its PC-based touchscreen tills. Using a traffic light system, it highlights if a till is about to malfunction. Without user intervention, this information is communicated electronically to the J2 portal, where specialist reporting software fires out messages, despatches technical patches or initiates jobs with the client’s support and maintenance provider. “We see the failure before the client does, and can take remedial steps before a till stops working,” says J2’s managing director Moray Boyd. Thanks to the new software, J2 has also been able to move from fixed-fee to incident-based maintenance, helping licensees to minimise the total cost of owning and running epos hardware. “Our goal is to keep clients up and running with no impact on point-of-sale transactions, so causing the least inconvenience at the least cost,” Moray adds. “That has a real ‘bottom line’ value in business terms, as does moving to incident-based maintenance.” Tim at Market Force Europe says that, while summer is only just round the corner, it is not too late to make sure a business is ready. “This summer, millions of people will leave their homes to soak up the sporting atmosphere. These people will all be searching for places to eat, drink and be merry. What a fantastic chance to show customers the best your business can offer – not only with the food and drinks served, but also by giving customers a memorable experience from the service they receive.

Marketing >> Zenna

The value of PR Liam Keogh of Palm PR, a specialist in bar and restaurant PR provides some tips Many small businesses admit to having only a vague understanding of what PR can do to promote and build their company, and bars aren’t typically an exception. Used strategically, PR can do so much more than just deal with media enquiries and issue press releases. With the growth of social media, PR can also provide a cohesive “voice” for your bar’s brand, monitoring consumer interaction, dealing with negative feedback and communicating directly with customers. PR can also be a tool to directly boost sales, and not only to build brand identity. It is important to pick the right agency for your specific needs. This means looking carefully into their past successes and experiences to ensure it fits with your business’s goals. One good tip is to ensure your PR has a good grasp of the media and how to engage journalists: successful agencies will often employ exjournalists who can provide insight into what creates a relevant campaign. Palm PR is renowned for its diverse and creative work in the hospitality field, from launching the iconic Red Fort’s sister bar, Zenna, which was lauded as London’s best Indian cocktail lounge, and big brands like First Restaurant Group, who run several bars and restaurants. We find that the clients who see the best results from our PR campaigns treat us as a true extension of their team. It has to be a two-way, constant dialogue to ensure that the exposure your agency is driving for you is on track with your business objectives as they change and develop.

Bars are hoping the summer events will help to increase footfall as customers flock to watch and celebrate the occasions and, because of this, it’s more important than ever for owners to be aware of the perfect opportunity to build on relationships with existing customers and retain new ones.”

10307-ICR Touch Bar Magazine Advert_Layout 1 20/02/2012 10:02 Page 1

touchscreen EPoS

back office stock control

handheld food & drinks ordering

Flexible and Reliable Secure and Fast Easy to use and maintain 40,000 licences sold 15 years development

Enhance Your


Pubs Clubs and Bars An industry in which surroundings are predominately in the dark, Screen Wizzards will bring your promotions into the light and bring them off the wall. During the summer months you can use the Screen Wizzard on its tripod with a battery pack to take your promotions into the beer garden. Theme Nights With the easy clean chalk the promotions can change depending on which theme night you have. You could change from ‘Student Night’ to ‘Feet up Friday’, ‘Cocktail Saturday’ and then a ‘Pub Quiz’ on a Sunday. It is also a great way to promote drink offers so you can clear stock to save wastage. Do you offer a lunch or bar menu? Prominent Window Display Placing the screen in the window you can advertise passing traffic key features of your establishment. For example, ‘Sky Sports Shown Here’, ‘Watch The Big Fight’, ‘Beer Garden Open’, ‘Karaoke’. It can be easily used as a premium ‘Open’ sign. A great way to distinguish yourself from your competitors.

THE TRENDY WAY TO PULL!! (customers) Why not use a screen wizzard along with our heavey duty battery as a human light up billboard? get your staff to go on foot and pull in the customers off the streets! see the image plus testiomonial how you can benifit from the SCREEN WIZZARD


We have been using the screen wizard for the last 3 months at the Cross Keys pub in Marlow and have found it to be the most noticeable form of advertising we have ever used. This is based on the amount of customer feedback we have received. To be able to write your own messages in full colour and see them illuminated, changing colour and pulsating is a unique way of getting your message across. We totally recommend this product and the only way it could be improved would be to have it available in yet more different sizes to suit a variety of display locations.


After purchasing 2 Screen Wizzards a long with 2 rechargable battery packs that allow us to use the screen wizzards out and about to pull in customers that are away from our bar, we have seen our sales really increase because of the screen wizzards.They are so easy to use,the battery last for ages, we change the messages on the screen every time, they are so bright, they flash, change colours, abosolutly a must for any business. We go out 4 times a week with both screens, our customers love seeing them, they also raise awareness on our drink offers, and up and coming events .Our bar is located off the main area in the town, so this is the best thing for us! The staff love them., we love them. We couldn’t be with out them, Avery new and exciting product. Return on investment many times over.

Tel: 0844 502 1681 •

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signage and display

Signs of the times Signage and visual display play an important part in creating the right experience in a venue, from marketing messages to the “wow factor”


ignage, visual displays and interior graphics can be integral to a bar’s look and branding rather than an after-thought.These should all be important considerations at the design stage, according to Mark Bithrey, design director at B3 Designers which has worked on London bars and restaurants such as Babel, Carbon and Roka. “External signage, particularly with bigger brands, is always considered from the offset,” he says. “Working closely with the client to understand core principles of the brand is an essential starting point.The ‘curb’ appeal of each site is a considered element and therefore the signage needs to be both eye-catching and recognisable, especially when working with a larger branded concept.” With internal graphics and signage playing a vital role in a venue’s interior, B3 Designers sometimes works with brands

Screen Wizzard

to integrate these into the interior design. “For example, we might arrange iconic brand images, graphic posters, staff photos or slogans on a wall in such a way that it forms a graphic pattern,” Mark explains. Working with illustrators, artists and graphic designers, artwork can be applied to a wall or ceiling that creates a visually striking feature or statement. “Artwork can also incorporate directional signage, special offers or brand quotes, for instance,” Mark points out. “This works well because the customer information is integrated into the overall design scheme.” Next month, the latest designs and technologies for displays will be showcased at the Screenmedia expo, taking place on May 16 and 17 at Earls Court in London. Show director Mark Pigou of organiser Screen Events points out that digital screens

Trendy Vend

Strongbow in the picture Cutting-edge technology helped cider brand Strongbow to interact with people in the Bowtime Bar – its pop-up bar at UK festivals. Marketing agency RPM, which specialises in brand engagement, created a Strongbow Gallery where photographers invited people to pose against either a Strongbow-branded backdrop or on the spot. Each camera was fitted with a Bluetooth connection and, within seconds, the photos were transferred onto a laptop, branded with a Strongbow logo, slotted into a slideshow and then uploaded onto a photo wall for everyone to see. They were displayed on three pictureframed plasma screens, supplied by sound and lighting specialist Audile. “This created a gallery of live streamed images, and the uploaded photos varied from screen to screen, forming an eyecatching addition to the Bowtime Bar experience,” explains RPM’s head of design Greg Bennett. The photos were also uploaded daily to Facebook to be tagged or shared with friends to drive traffic to Strongbow’s Facebook page. |59

feature sponsored by

signage and display

Band on the Wall

Diamante and Magnetite light boxes

are becoming a familiar sight in pubs, clubs, and bars, used to create ambience, promote a venue’s offers or carry thirdparty advertising. “More and more, too, they’re appearing in unusual shapes, sizes and positions, breaking the confines of the rectangle, accompanying jukeboxes, or even being installed in tabletops,” Mark comments. He points out that, increasingly, screen media are interactive, typically linking with smartphones and social media so that, for example, a tweet on Twitter using a bar’s name with a hashtag will appear on the screens in that location. Mark points out that there are real business benefits. “For screens contributing to the interior design and those promoting the offer, the bottom lines are self-evident: attracting customers, keeping them on site longer, and up-selling or cross-selling them.” Getting third parties to advertise on a venue’s screens is a good revenue stream but, as Mark points out, this is notoriously difficult for single locations to crack. “By far the more effective route is to sign up to one of the networks that span multiple venues and sell the advertising on your behalf – taking a healthy cut, of course.” Other novel ideas include the new peecontrolled video games for urinals which have been installed at venues such as The Exhibit in Balham, south London, and Ta Bouche in Cambridge. Developed by Captive Media, the display screens fit above existing urinals and the game is controlled solely by a gentleman directing his pee. Not only does it encourage male customers to stay in the bar for longer and recommend it to friends, but the units can be used to carry messages linked to promotions. Also for washrooms in bars and clubs, Trendy Vend has come up with cosmetic and grooming stations that offer a range of products, from lip gloss and hairspray to deodorant and aftershave. Each of the machines has a built-in 19-inch highdefinition advertising screen providing a targeted media platform that has been used by leading brands such as Bourjois, Wrigley


and Warner Bros. The machines can already be seen at top venues such as Gilgamesh, JuJu and Anaya in London and PlayGround and Alma de Cuba in Liverpool – celebrities such as Coleen Rooney have been spotted using them. Talia Baccino, who founded Trendy Vend with her sister Kayleigh, explains: “They not only provide a fantastic service to venues’ customers but also act as a platform for venues to promote upcoming offers and events on the built-in screens. With remote access to all of our machines and an in-house design team to create advertisements, venues can change their onscreen promotions whenever they wish.” Another innovation to arrive in the UK is Screen Wizzard, described as a futuristic take on traditional blackboard signs. Inspired by neon advertising hoardings in China, it allows people to daub messages and images onto a back-lit LED screen using special neon pens. The screens are sized to fit in a window but can also hang from the ceiling or are robust enough to use outside. Each Screen Wizzard can display a bright neon static image or can be easily configured to display a dazzling array of colour – and then changed with the wipe of a cloth. Whether going for high-tech solutions or low-tech chalkboards, the range of display materials available for bars is greater than ever. Promotional merchandise specialist Anything Promotional has responded to demand by launching a separate online catalogue called Anything POS, dedicated solely to display and signage solutions. Display products now available include mirrors, table-top holders, and internal and external banners. For bars looking for illuminated displays but without a large price tag, Artillus Illuminating Solutions has released two new LED light boxes. The slim Magnetite is only 18mm deep, using a digital spot grid panel to provide illumination from high white edge-lit LEDs. Available in standard A sizes from A4 up to A0, they are designed so that poster inserts can be easily changed by simply lifting off the front cover with

As part of a major revamp four years ago, world-famous music venue Band on the Wall in Manchester invested in technology to help it broadcast gigs on screens around the building. Postproduction specialist Clive Hunte was brought in to maintain an archive of live concert footage and photos and to manage live video and audio feed through multiple cameras inside and outside the venue – all broadcast and edited seamlessly. A live high-definition feed of all events is broadcast on large plasma screens throughout the site, with video footage of the gigs projected on an external window at street level. The live footage is captured as uncompressed HD video over SDI using three Panasonic AW-HE100 pan and tilt cameras, which are connected to a patch, and then connected to Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink HD Extreme 3D card. The 10bit uncompressed HD full-quality footage is fed directly to the Final Cut Pro video editing software suite and connected using HDMI to the screens across the venue. Video clips are compressed and posted online using Final Cut Pro, again with Blackmagic’s DeckLink HD Extreme 3D. Clive also uses a Blackmagic Broadcast Converter to support the use of handheld cameras in the main stage and bar area, routing footage to a Panasonic Vision Mixer and back onto the Final Cut Pro suite. a plastic sucker. The other new LED light box, the Diamante, is 20mm deep with a 25mm clip frame front with rounded corner inserts. As with the Magnetite, the 12v LED provides shadow-free, even illumination across the whole face of the light box. The Diamante is manufactured in silver anodised aluminium and also available in stand A sizes. Whether looking for economic solutions like the Diamante or the latest “wow factor” technology, bars and clubs now have an incredible arsenal of options to help them communicate and engage with their customers. n For more on Screenmedia expo, visit


In the most stylish Bars and Clubs

Trendy Vend Pamper Stations provide product vending and advertising opportunities in your washroom areas. For more information please visit or contact us on: 0151 203 3452

bar essentials

The Merchant cleans up

Free app for combi steamer

Belfast’s Merchant Hotel – home to one of the world’s best bars – uses Winterhalter for all its warewashing, with a high-volume, multi-tank MTR 2 system in the main kitchen and undercounter UC machines for the bars. “We have a discerning customer base, and the glasses and dishes need to match the quality of our service,” says food and beverage manager Marco Marro. “The Winterhalters deliver great results.” The “ecocredentials combined with the reduction in use of energy, water and chemicals” were also important, he adds. Call 01908 359000 or visit

Rational, the market leader in combi-steamer technology, has launched a free iPhone app for its SelfCookingCenter whitefficiency users. The Rational Expert App, developed with more than 200 Rational chefs, is designed to make cooking with the SelfCookingCenter even simpler and exploit its full potential. Alongside tips for the best results, the app provides recipes with instructions on SelfCookingCenter settings, supported by graphics. It also lists CookingLive and Chef’s Academy events. Search the iPhone App Store by typing “rational expert”. Call Rational on 0800 389 2944 or visit

Sophisticated soft drinks

Jade goes slimline

Under the established brand of Classeq is Eau de Vie – a purified water system for use in hotels, bars and restaurants where users can bottle and brand their own water. The on-site bottled water system turns mains water into a profitable and eco-friendly alternative to bottled mineral water. It filters and chills the mains supply, taking out impurities to produce still or sparkling water that can be dispensed into stylish Eau de Vie branded bottles. Call 0844 225 9249 or visit

Williams Refrigeration has launched a new slimline version of its popular range of Jade gastronorm counters. It offers all the features of the Jade counters, but slimmed down to a depth of just 500mm, making it ideal for tight spaces. It is available in two- and three-door versions, as a refrigerator (+1/+4°C) or freezer (-18/-22°C). The two-door has an optimum capacity of 242 litres, the three-door 354 litres. It is the first model in its range to be fitted with Williams’ new energy-efficient compressors.Visit www.williams– Foodfresh Beer Advert 1_feb 2012



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Unique and Traditional lighting for your venue Period Style Lighting

Another unique piece from Taylor’s. This Gothic style, single or double sided solid oak bench makes a great statement and the perfect room divider.

Taylor’s is an established supplier to the pub, hotel and leisure industry, with an emphasis on high quality, robust furniture. We supply: • a new range of beautifully designed and constructed

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APRONS Denny’s 1 Cleeve ourt, Cleeve Road, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 7NN T: 01372377904 F: 01372362920 E: W:

NFS Hospitality NFS House, 15 Harforde Court, John Tate Road, Foxholes Business Park, Hertford, SG13 7NW T: 01920 485725 F: 01920 485723 W:



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Image used for illustration only.

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10/02/2011 08:56


bar It was with great sadness that we heard about the untimely death of Alan Lodge, a wellknown drinks writer who was news and web editor of The Drinks Business and deputy editor of The Spirits Business. Alan was only 29 when he died in February of a brain haemorrhage, and his family have set up a fund-raising campaign to support The National Brain Appeal at www.justgiving. com/RememberingAlanLodge. Alan will be deeply missed by not just his family and friends but by the many people who knew him in the drinks and licensed trade. We were therefore pleased to hear that he is going to be honoured with a new annual award that has been created in his name by the publishers of The Drinks Business to recognise the best young drinks writers. Sponsored by drinks group LVMH, it will have the prize of a trip to the Ardbeg distillery on Islay, producers of Alan’s favourite single malt Scotch whisky.

The craft beer movement comes under the spotlight in a new book by American beer expert Joshua M Bernstein. In Brewed Awakening: Behind the Beers and Brewers Leading the World’s Craft Brewing Revolution, he looks at current trends such as


Mixing it up >>

barrel-ageing, gluten-free, organic and “nanobreweries”. While it focuses on US craft breweries, Joshua looks at some breweries on this side of the Atlantic such as Scotland’s BrewDog and Norway’s Nøgne Ø. With much of the text looking like hand-written notes, it takes us for a stroll through hops and beer styles, his favourite breweries and some of the best beer bars such as the Blind Tiger Ale House in New York City. Joshua is knowledgeable and provides an overwhelming amount of information that will please any beer buff, with lots of ideas for new beers to discover. Published by Sterling, it is available through Amazon priced £16.99.

Bartenders can no doubt tell tales of less than conventional uses of bar tools but, at the Hotelympia exhibition in London ExCel last month, this creature pictured could be seen on the stand of supplier Artis. The mother and baby birds in a nest have been constructed out of a multitude of Artis’s barware items such as scoops, wine coolers, tongs and muddlers. Created to tie in with new branding for Artis, this and other creatures such as a lion made out of cutlery “playfully demonstrate our creative and design-led spirit”, explains marketing manager Kathy Birch.

Drink up your dessert As Britain goes through a new gin craze, one voice stands out to help people through the maze of brands and botanicals: Gin Monkey. Also known as Emma Stokes, Gin Monkey blogs at www. where, due to popular demand, she is offering some great badges and bags bearing her motto for tackling any stressful situation: Gin’ll Fix It.

Barhopper loves lists, so we took great delight in going through the NRB 50 – the list of the north’s 50 most influential people in the hospitality industry, unveiled last month at Northern Restaurant & Bar show in Manchester. Some familiar names were there such as Tim Bacon and Jeremy Roberts of Living Ventures and Roy Ellis and Neil Macleod of Revolution bars, plus bar owners Jake Burger of Jake’s Bar & Grill in Leeds, Marie Carter and Beau Myers (pictured) of Socio Rehab in Manchester and Mal Evans of Mojo bars. But, with only 50 names on the list, there were inevitable mutterings about who was missing. Judge for yourself by looking at the report on Bar magazine’s blog at www.

Maria Williams, marketing manager for The Living Room, on their pudding cocktails


good dessert can literally be the icing on the cake at the end of a good meal out, but often it’s too much to even take a peek at the menu, let alone dig into a chocolate brownie or some cheesecake – which is why the trend for “pudding cocktails” is on the up. Most people usually have another drink to finish off a meal so, instead of a final glass of wine or a coffee, they are turning to a sweet cocktail that satisfies the need for a burst of sugar and something a bit naughty. Plus, they think they are being good by not having a normal pudding! Less sickly than a shot of limoncello and more fun than a bitter espresso shot, these modern versions of digestifs are going down a storm in our bars and restaurants. Pudding cocktails range from the cool and creamy to the bright and bold and encompass a whole world of flavours. They can be seasonally specific too: for winter, we have Nuts About Alex, made with Landy VS cognac, hazelnut and chocolate liqueurs shaken with milk and cream, topped with a pinch of nutmeg, and, for summer, we have Sugar and Spice – Kraken Black Spiced rum stirred with brown sugar, orange peel and Angostura Bitters, plus a splash of apple juice. Sometimes the addition of pudding cocktails to the menu makes choosing more tricky so we often see couples going for a pudding and a drink and sharing the two. Ladies who lunch like pudding cocktails as a sneaky way of enjoying a dessert with fewer calories (little do they know!), and groups of girls will go for one of each and pass them around like a bag of sweets. From Black Forest to Apple Pie Martini to Gingerbread Manhattan, pudding cocktails are just as tasty as desserts but without the need to loosen the belt a notch!

Sommeliers, bar and restaurant owners visiting the 2012 London International Wine Fair will find new initiatives designed specifically with them in mind. Launching at the event this May will be the new Small Independents Pavilion - an area dedicated to those niche importers and producers who have specialist ranges ideally suited to restaurant needs; while for the first time, the finals of the UK Sommelier of the Year will take place at the Fair which will undoubtedly attract many of the finest sommeliers in the country, taking part and watching. A schedule of specialist on-trade briefings and tastings will once again offer valuable experience and insight, featuring iconic wines and guest speakers such as the ever-exciting Nicolas Joly. And couple all this with a full programme of LIWF masterclasses, industry briefings, seminars, specialist tastings and, of course, 20,000 wines and spirits from over 35 producing countries, and you have every reason to visit the Fair in May. Simply visit to register in advance.

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Bar Magazine | April 2012 Issue  

Bar Magazine | April 2012 Issue