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January 2013

Developing premium bar excellence

The Original Honey Vodka

Available from Toorank UK Ltd. Tel: 01865 343395 and all good local wholesalers nationwide. / e-mail:

With the tinsel and tree packed away for another year, it is time to plan ahead for 2013. In this issue, we provide a calendar of the key events to look out for this year and, while there is nothing on the scale of the Queen’s Jubilee or the Olympics, there is plenty to provide inspiration from Chinese New Year and Cinco de Mayo through to Trafalgar Day and Movember plus plenty of sporting fixtures such as the Rugby League World Cup and The Ashes. We also highlight some current trends in the drinks world, selecting some of the brands and categories to watch in 2013. Our interior design report looks at what designers see as the latest trends in hospitality interiors. Will we be seeing more Prohibition-style speakeasies, more stripped-back brickwork and industrial fittings, or is there something new emerging? We may be in the heart of a perfect storm of austerity, but one thing that December showed us is that people still want to go out with friends and let their hair down. We wish you a very happy new year.

Mark Ludmon Editor

Cover picture: Miodula Honey Vodka: available from Toorank UK Ltd on 01865 343395 and all good local wholesalers nationwide. Email

EDITOR Mark Ludmon • Tel 020 7627 4506 PUBLICATION MANAGER Manjeet Griffiths • Tel 01795 509109 Fax 01795 591065 ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Lewis Thorne • Bree Davies • Tel 01795 509109 Fax 01795 591065



10 Regulars 05 Industry news 66 Barhopper diary Profiles 08 Cloud 23, Manchester 10 Bar Blanco, Essex 12 Graze Inn, Sheffield 14 Cold Distillery bar 16 Zeus, Basingstoke 18 Chaophraya, Edinburgh 20 Rocket Restaurants & Bars CHIEF EXECUTIVE John Denning • STUDIO MANAGER Paula Smith • DESIGN & PRODUCTION Grant Waters • James Taylor • ACCOUNTS Vickie Crawford • Tel 01795 509103

28 Drink 23 Drinks news 28 Mixology 33 Ones to watch in 2013 40 Low-alcohol drinks Features 38 Calendar of 2013 events 42 Hospitality show preview 45 Interior design report 48 Interiors show preview 51 Training 54 Finance 57 Safety and security © 2013 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 publication of any advertisement. |3

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Bar operators consider Living Wage moves Faucet Inn has made a pledge to become the first multiple bar and pub operator to be a “Living Wage” employer. It plans to ensure that staff at its 21 venues across London and the south-east earn enough to have a “minimum acceptable quality of life”, using a voluntary scheme promoted by the Living Wage Foundation. The Living Wage takes into account the areaspecific cost of living as well as basic expenses involved in supporting a family. It is £8.55 an hour in London and an average of £7.45 an hour in the rest of the UK, compared to the national minimum wage of £6.19. Faucet Inn managing director Steve Cox said: “This is a very worthy initiative, and Faucet Inn and I are proud to be involved. I am sure it will assist the company in recruiting and retaining only the best of employees which, in

turn, will deliver only the highest of standards of service and product required by our customers.” A report from business advisers KPMG in November revealed that 90 per cent of bar staff and 85 per cent of waiting staff earned less than the Living Wage. A round-table event hosted by English accountancy firm Wellers last month found operators of pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels were concerned about the Living Wage. “The increase could mean employment costs rising to 33 to 35 per cent of a business’s cost base”, said Wellers partner Stuart Crook. “This stood at just 21 per cent 10 years ago and, with rising pressure to compete with the promotional prices larger chains offer, it could have a major impact on many independent hotels, pubs and restaurants.”

Stand-alone bar launched for Marriott

Living Ventures has opened its first site for its Blackhouse Grill concept in London after its success in Manchester, Cheshire, Leeds and Glasgow. The Grill on the Market is by Smithfield Market, serving up “solid, honest, proper” food alongside “innovative cocktails” from Slings to reinvented Martinis and other classics.

New look for All Bar One Mitchells & Butlers is rolling out a “re-energised” new look to its All Bar One chain of bars, with a more streamlined approach to wines and cocktails. The new format has been unveiled at two sites, first in Chiswick in west London and then in Holborn in central London where the venue has a new 20ft by 7ft wine display behind the bar. The Holborn bar also features a new tasting table so it can host wine-tasting sessions every evening Monday to Wednesday, as well as cocktail masterclasses. It also has an Enomatic wine-preservation system for serving fine wines by the glass. The cocktail and beer ranges have been streamlined to offer fewer but “more exciting” lines including classic and on-trend cocktails such as the Tanqueray Tea Tonic mixing Tanqueray Gin with selected teas.

A new stand-alone destination cocktail bar, The Luggage Room, has been launched at the London Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square. With its own street entrance, it aims to bring back a “bygone era of glamour, elegance and sophistication”, with an opulent interior and a menu of classic Cobblers, Martinis and Punches. The bar manager is Abdulai Kpekawa, most recently at the bar at Roux at Parliament Square in Westminster. Drinks include the signature sharing Bentley Cup, made with gin, elderflower syrup, cucumber water, marmalade vodka and champagne. Others include the Casper’s Trail, made with Kamm & Sons ginseng spirit, Grand Marnier and Miclo framboise eau-de-vie. The relaunch follows the private equity group Blackstone Real Estate Partners’ sale of the Marriott-branded hotel to Strategic Hotels.

The former Sherbet Lounge in Bournemouth has been revamped by Inventive Leisure into the latest site for its Revolution vodka bars and Revolucione de Cuba rum concept. The 800-capacity venue opened last month, with a licence to 3am. General manager Will Daw said: “We’re entirely transforming the site right down to the details, with elements of authentic Cubanstyle interior.”

Dan Thomson (pictured), formerly bar manager at Zenna in Soho, London, has become general manager of Soho private members bar Milk & Honey. He took over the helm of the bar beneath Indian restaurant The Red Fort when it was relaunched as Zenna in 2011. He has been replaced by Ibo Hoxha, formerly general manager at Kikii Bar & Restaurant in Bloomsbury, London. Ibo’s new menu at Zenna includes a Caramel Apple Martini, Raspberry & Chilli Martini, Dry Fig Martini and Blueberry Old Fashioned. PRS for Music has announced the winner of its latest Music Makeover competition. The Burnaby Arms in Bedford took the top prize of £5,000, recognising its aspiration to provide a hub for live music in the area. PRS chair Guy Fletcher said: “The passion The Burnaby Arms showed for wanting to create a quality live music space was really impressive.” Simon Mcilwraith, director of hospitality specialist Collective Design, has been named interior designer of the year at the 10th annual Northern Design Awards. His practice has worked on bars and restaurants such as The Basement in Sunderland, Lady Grey’s in Newcastle upon Tyne and Lotus Lounge in Yarm, Stockton-onTees. Simon is preparing to launch his own range of designer lighting and furniture products under his brand, Haus of Collective. |5

news Pastry chef Julien Plumart has opened a bar in Brighton serving macarons alongside champagne and tea. Boutique Salon de Thé in Duke Street sells over 24 flavours of macaron, with a shop on the ground floor and seating for 20 upstairs for customers to enjoy them with drinks. It was designed by restaurant and bar specialist DesignLSM, with black and white floor tiles accentuating splashes of pastel green and pink on the walls. First Restaurant Group has joined Think.Eat.Drink, a new membership scheme that has been developed to help establishments to become more eco-friendly and efficient by “greening” their supply chain. Its sites in London include The Waterway, The Running Horse, The Summerhouse and The Clerk and Well. Think.Eat.Drink brings together a network of sustainable suppliers for hotels, restaurants, bars and other food service providers.

A former BBC site near Evesham in rural Worcestershire has been transformed into a 50-room hotel, The Wood Norton, with its own bar and restaurant. The BBC used the Grade II listed late-Victorian mansion as a broadcasting centre during World War II and then as an engineering training centre. With interiors by Vassen Design mixing old and new, The Wood Norton Bar (pictured) has a bespoke pewter bar and offers premium spirits and cocktails. A Battle of the Bands contest has generated sales uplifts of up to 100 per cent at individual pubs and bars run by managed operator TCG. Seven venues across TCG’s south-west region took part in the competitions, branded “Live and Unleashed”, such as Bar 38 in Portsmouth and the Green House in Bristol.


Baa Bars add high-tech loyalty card system Northern bar operator Baa Bar has launched a loyalty card to offer customers exclusive offers and benefits, including discounts on drinks. The Essentials scheme was designed and developed with IT specialists GS Systems and is run via the eight-strong Baa Bars’ epos solution, using a swipe card that allows people to earn points every time they buy drinks. If they spend £1, they receive 10 points. Once they have accumulated 750 points, they are sent a voucher for free drinks or special merchandise. They can also use the card to queue-jump. Iain Hoskins, Baa Bar’s marketing and brand manager, said: “This is a really great added-value scheme for all our customers. Available at the bar for a mere £3, the cards easily pay for

themselves many times over.” Once customers have bought the card, they manage their accounts online via the Baa Bar Essentials dashboard by signing in and entering a valid email address and password. Once logged in, customers can view their points total, update personal details and redeem points. More at

SSP rolls out craft beer bars SSP UK, which specialises in bars at airports and stations, is rolling out its craft beer concept The Beer House with new sites at London Waterloo and London Paddington stations. Along with the first Beer House site at Charing Cross station, the bars offer more than 50 bottled and draught beers from Britain, the rest of Europe and internationally. It offers twists on classic pub food such as a Beer House Krakauer Dog as well as grazing menus with dishes such as Sticky Ribs, Pulled Pork Baps and mini burgers. With another site due to open soon, UK chief marketing officer Sarah Jezard said it showed SSP’s continued drive to “raise the game” for station bars. “This brand was developed to capitalise on the growing trend in the market of consumers looking for something interesting and different as the craft beer movement continues to gain momentum.”

Dorset brewer Hall & Woodhouse has opened a dockside bar and restaurant at Portishead Quays Marina, Somerset, built using 28 recycled shipping containers. After an investment of over £3million, the venue – called simply Hall & Woodhouse – has a bar, pantry and common room on the ground floor and a dining room upstairs.

New bar for historic site A modern dining hall and bar, The Perkin Reveller, has opened on the historic Tower Wharf at the Tower of London overlooking the Thames. Inspired by the Middle Ages and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, it offers high-quality British produce and fresh ingredients under executive chef Andrew Donovan. Drinks will be seasonal such as lemonade and ginger beer in the summer and traditional fruit cordials including elderflower and rhubarb, damson and plum. It has a cocktail menu strong on gin such as the London Gin Fog, made with Beefeater Gin, housemade spiced clementine puree, vanilla liqueur, citric acid, British wild flower honey and egg white, garnished with currant mince and spiced clementine. The venue was conceived by Nigel Sutcliffe of consultancy Truffle Hunting and Mark Wilkie of creative agency The Narrative and is managed by Ampersand, part of CH&Co catering group and catering partner of Historic Royal Palaces. It was designed by Tony Fretton Architects.

venue profile

Cloud 23 Mark Ludmon visits Hilton’s new-look bar 23 floors up above Manchester city centre


ith its luxurious interior and fantastic views, Cloud 23 has been well established as one of Manchester’s leading destination bars. Located on the 23rd floor of Hilton Manchester Deansgate in the Beetham Tower, it has been refurbished to give it a more contemporary look and increase capacity by 100 to 300 alongside an inventive new cocktail menu. With the bar’s full-height windows – and dizzying portholes in the floor looking down 22 storeys – the redesign by HBA London plays with the idea of “touching the clouds”. It also took inspiration from the song Elephant Stone by Manchester’s Stone Roses, which opens, “Burst into heaven, kissing the cotton clouds”. The original bold, linear interior has been softened with curves, sinuous shapes, lighter colours and textured fabrics. Ninehundred metres of rippling cream-coloured cloth hangs from above, while floor-toceiling antiqued mirror panels amplify the dream-like effect. The overall effect is “a fluid, sensual and glamorous destination that seems to flow through the clouds”, explains senior designer Lloyd Chapman. “Throughout Cloud 23, the shapes are layered, and features are multi-faceted so that they catch and radiate natural light during the day and shimmer under sultry lighting at night.” Round to the right, the champagne lounge has a new lighter colour palette based on sparkling wine, with curved creamcoloured banquettes and a golden bubblelike glass-bead wallcovering. In the centre is a leather-lined drinks well and cabinet branded to reflect the bar’s three-year partnership with Pommery Champagne. Further round, through a floor-to-ceiling glass doorway, is another space which, in the daytime, is the executive lounge for hotel guests but, from 9pm, becomes a 100-capacity extension to the lounge, with cream-coloured armchairs, banquettes and tables. Even the toilets fit the concept, with angled mirrors to reflect the images of clouds screen-printed onto the tiles, with sunset hues in the ladies’ and stormy tones


Apollo 23 main bar

in the men’s. The windows in both are covered in a translucent graphic of a diving board that appears to project over the Manchester skyline. In a humorous twist, cloud-themed songs play when guests sit down in the cubicles. On the other side of the main bar is the new-look VIP Lounge with richer colours and curved panels overhead to emulate a cloud formation. Long cascades of golden beads form a chandelier while angular bronzed mirrors reflect the city views. The VIP Lounge, which has its own drinks cabinet, is to be developed with Ron Zacapa as part of Cloud 23’s continuing partnership with Diageo’s Reserve Brands. Each space is named after cloud-dwelling Greek gods, from the VIP Lounge, called Zeus 23, to the main Apollo 23 bar. The new cocktail menu has been developed by general manager John McLaughlin and head bartender Matthew Soares with consultant Julian de Feral of Gorgeous Group. “The idea behind the list was about looking down from Cloud

Where to find it Hilton Manchester Deansgate 303 Deansgate Manchester M3 4LQ Tel: 0161 870 1670

Who did it Design: HBA London Bar system: Cantilever Lighting: Northern Lights Consultants: Gorgeous Group Furniture: PTT Carpet: OW Hospitality Fabrics and wallcoverings: Altfield, Stark, Skopos Design, Tektura,Valley Forge Fabrics, Sekers Solid surfaces: Marblo, Digitile, Oasis Graphic Sound system: Bose

23 into Manchester, with light fluffy drinks that become heavier in texture and flavour as you go down the list,” John explains. They were also inspired by Manchester’s industrial heritage, with drinks such as Dalton’s Atomic Experiment, named after 19th-century Manchester physicist John Dalton. This combines Cuervo Tradicional tequila, Belvedere Pink Grapefruit vodka, berry puree, honey and lime, topped with an apple, elderflower and pinot grigio foam – made using nitrous oxide which Dalton used in his development of atomic theory. The best-selling cocktail is Here’s To Baby, named after the world’s first working computer unveiled at Manchester University in 1948. It uses Ketel One vodka infused with vanilla, shaken with Galliano L’Autentico and a spiced peach and rosemary puree, topped up with champagne. Washday Blues evokes backyards of washing, made up of Tanqueray gin, blue curaçao, honey, Tio Pepe sherry, lemon and Dr Adam Elmegirab’s Dandelion & Burdock Bitters, topped up with soda and served with popping candy to sound like raindrops. “The idea behind the cocktails is to make a real sensory experience with a strong visual element,” John explains. Originally a late-night destination, Cloud 23 is now open from 11am and, with the new look, is more suited to the afternoon teas that were introduced two years ago. The bar has also added sharing boards and small plates offering British-inspired dishes under David Gale, executive chef in the hotel’s restaurant. While not a members’ club, the venue has 23 private members whose benefits include a locker by reception where they can keep bottles of spirits and, every month, find a small gift. “Cloud 23 is such a unique, iconic location and we wanted it to retain quite an exclusive feel,” John adds. “Service is very important, and we want people to feel this is more of an occasion rather than just somewhere to drink.”

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venue profile

Bar Blanco With reality TV star Ricky Rayment as one of the owners, the only way is Essex for a new bar in Rayleigh


f you Google “towie” and “bar”, the top results are for a wine bar that has just opened in the market town of Rayleigh in south Essex.The reason for this is that Bar Blanco is the creation of Ricky Rayment, one of the stars of TV series The Only Way Is Essex, and his brother-in-law Danny Salmon. At time of writing, the bar is yet to feature in the hit reality show, but Ricky’s involvement has already brought it attention from the national media and fans. “The cast regularly come down here on a Friday or Saturday night, which is good for business, but we are not just about bling,” Danny points out. “We wanted to open an upmarket wine bar as there was really nowhere like it in Rayleigh. My wife and I were out with some friends for a meal and couldn’t find anywhere to get a couple of drinks beforehand.We ended up drinking champagne in the local Wetherspoon’s.” Danny is the son of publicans and managed bars and pubs when he was younger, and he and Ricky also enlisted specialists in bars for the interiors and the cocktails. The venue, which was formerly a furniture shop, was developed by Astounding Interior Design, which has a track record of working on bars, restaurants and clubs. The luxurious interior features Swarovski crystals and plush glass-beaded fabrics, with high-quality materials used throughout. The magnificent bespoke back-bar display is made from huge shards of high-gloss black 20mm acrylic, while furniture was sourced from distinctive designers such as Origlia


and Fabio Novembre in Italy. The high specifications extend to the toilets where the wall tiles are from Cerámicas Aparici in Spain. Interior designer Charlotte Milburn explains that the brief was to design a glamorous, modern and sophisticated venue that would be both a neighbourhood bar and a destination. “The ‘Bar Blanco’ branding was inspired from the clients’ trips abroad and holidays in the sun,” she says. “To accommodate this notion, we had floor-to-ceiling glass doors that opened out onto the outside area using tiles from Italian ceramic designers Alfalux. The interior floor seamlessly meets the exterior tiles, the only difference being the slip resistance. This venue is truly a marriage of aesthetics and careful space planning.” At present, Bar Blanco is open every day from 5pm until 1am Thursdays to Saturdays and midnight the rest of the week. However, a new kitchen is being installed which will allow them to open throughout the day from January, from breakfast and lunch through to dinner. The menu is being developed by Ricky’s sister, Nadia Salmon, who is Danny’s wife, with a focus on goodquality British food. When it gets busy on Friday and Saturday nights, the offering will switch to grazing food such as small dishes and sharing boards. For now, the 25-strong cocktail menu is made up of classics such as Margaritas and Daiquiris, developed under consultant Rob Stephens, an award-winning bartender from

Where to find it 27-29 Eastwood Road Rayleigh, Essex SS6 7JD Tel: 01268 771758

Who did it Design: Astounding Interior Design Bar systems: Servaclean Seating: NC Contracts Furniture: Origlia, Fabio Novembre Tiles: Alfalux, Cerámicas Aparici Surfaces: 3D Foils External doors: Sunseeker Lighting, video feature: Lightqube TGI Friday’s. However, Danny says there are plans to introduce more original drinks as well as weekly cocktail evenings with flair bartenders. With an emphasis on premium brands, the line-up of beers includes draught lager Curious Brew from Kent winery Chapel Down which is refermented using champagne yeast. Described by Danny as a “wine bar”, Bar Blanco also has a strong selection of wines which – as any Towie fan would expect – includes a good choice of champagnes. These range from Veuve Clicquot to Louis Roederer Cristal, Armand de Brignac Ace of Spades and the bar’s bestseller, the pink Laurent-Perrier Rosé. While Danny says that he and Ricky have plans to open another five venues in Essex over the next three years, they are busy developing Bar Blanco. And, if nothing else, it means that they and their friends now have somewhere smart to sip champagne.


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venue profile Pictures by Richard Southall of Emphasis Photography

Graze Inn Thornbridge Brewery and chef Richard Smith have created a “funky country kitchen” in Sheffield


ight years after producing its first beers at a 10-barrel brewery in the grounds of Thornbridge Hall in Derbyshire,Thornbridge Brewery has expanded into a second brewing site and opened its own pubs and bars such as Dada in Sheffield city centre. Owners Simon Webster and Jim Harrison have also been developing bars, pubs and restaurants in partnership with leading chef Richard Smith as part of their BrewKitchen group. Clustered

around Sheffield, these include Relish in Ecclesall Road and Artisan in Crosspool – formerly Smith’s of Sheffield where Richard made his name. Their latest venture is the Graze Inn which has seen an outdated sports bar, Champs, transformed into a modern bar and restaurant that brings the ambience of a country kitchen to Ecclesall Road on the edge of Sheffield city centre. “With its menu and modern look, it’s a departure from what we have done before,” says Simon at Thornbridge. “It’s our first venture into cocktails, and beer cocktails, which are something we don’t do at our pubs.” Developed by the bar’s own staff, the cocktail menu features plenty of well-known classics including twists such as a Rosemary Caipirinha, a honey and elderflower Margarita, and the Apple Berry Pie Martini made with vodka, Chambord, apple juice, blueberry juice and cream. A local flavour is

Where to find it 315-319 Ecclesall Road Sheffield S11 8NX Tel: 0114 267 6666

Who did it Design: Raw Design Lighting: Tyson Lighting Furniture, accessories: Baytree Interiors


added to drinks such as a Yorkshire Bloody Mary using Sheffield’s own Henderson’s Relish and a Thornbridge Sangria made with Thornbridge’s 10 per cent ABV Bracia dark ale, Cointreau, port and spices. The bar naturally also sells Thornbridge’s full range of ales as well as a good selection of wines. With head chef Mark James, Richard has developed a versatile menu with a strong focus on sharing, ranging from pastas, salads and risottos to British flats – a version of a pizza using British ingredients. The freshly made food and drinks are matched by the interior which has been inspired by country kitchens and farm shops. It is the work of Matt Rawlinson of Raw Design, a specialist in hospitality interiors who also worked on Relish and Dada. “We made it completely different from the dark and dingy sports bar it was before,” he says. “It is now fresh and light and homely with a relaxed vibe. We also retained some of the historical aspects of the building which was once an old Victorian shop.” With a colour palette of white and pale greys, it features light fittings made of bamboo fencing as well as industrial-style lamps made from old Sheffield lathes. To bring extra theatre, the food preparation station is open so customers can see staff making the fresh dishes. “It is a bit of a funky twist on the idea of a country kitchen in the city.” Matt adds.

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venue profile

Cold comfort Mark Ludmon meets the team behind London’s new City of London Distillery and gin bar


he number of microdistilleries in the US has soared over the past 10 years, and this movement is also taking off in the UK, pioneered by the likes of Sipsmith and Sacred in London and Chase in Herefordshire.The latest addition is the City of London Distillery, or COLD, which started producing its first gin and vodka last month – the first working distillery to open within the City for over 200 years. The master distiller is Jamie Baxter, who set up and ran Chase Distillery for four years, creating award-winning gins and vodkas. He has teamed up with hotelier Jonathan Clark, who was looking for a new use for a basement venue he owns in Bride Lane, off Fleet Street, which has been through various incarnations including a comedy club. The result is a spacious 130-capacity bar with the unique proposition of having a working distillery in one corner. Two beautiful copper stills have been installed, one to turn the bought-in base spirit into a smooth vodka and the other to turn the vodka into gin through infusion with botanicals. It can produce about 180 to 200 bottles of gin per batch and around 250 bottles of vodka, each labelled with a batch number. “This gives us a huge amount of flexibility to play around with recipes,” Jamie points out. The kit is housed behind glass over an inch thick so bar customers can see the stills up close in perfect safety. They have initially created three products which are served in the bar but will be launched into the wider market through a distributor. City of London Dry Gin is strong on juniper and citrus fruits, with an ABV of 40 per cent, ideal for a gin and tonic, while The Square Mile Gin, with a higher ABV, has more botanicals but still heavy on juniper, suited to a Martini. There is also COLD Vodka, and more products will be added in the future. The bar has become a destination for gin aficionados, not just because of the stills but also as there are more than 120 different gins behind the bar – with more added all the time. For the “Ultimate Serve” of a G&T, there are seven different tonics and a choice of garnishes, with the further option of an


Jamie Baxter with the stills

English-style highball glass or a Spanish-style goblet. “We will suggest a particular tonic that goes well with a particular brand but, if they want something else, they can have that instead,” Jamie explains. “It’s the same with garnishes. If they’re paying, we’re not going to force anything on them. Training of staff is critical for us, especially as people may be daunted by 120 gins to choose from.” There are also gin flights with themes such as Scottish and American gins. They have brought in London Bar Consultants, Nate Brown and Lewis Hayes, to set up the bar, train staff and develop a cocktail list. The menu features “timeless gin classics” such as a Negroni, Clover Club, French 75, Singapore Sling and Corpse Reviver No 2 as well as vintage drinks such as a Martinez, Gin Daisy, Gin Fizz and The Last Word. But, with an extensive range of other spirits behind the bar, it offers other classics from a Manhattan and Margarita to a Daiquiri and Sidecar. Alongside a select wine list, the beers are Curious Brew, Curious IPA and Curious Porter from Chapel Down Winery in Kent. The food menu consists of sharing platters

Where to find it 22-24 Bride Lane London EC4Y 8DT Tel: 020 7936 3636 of meats and cheeses as well as good-quality snacks sourced from artisanal suppliers such as pork pies and bread. Side dishes have a suitable twist, such as olives marinated in gin and mayonnaise and chutney made with gin. The distillery and bar have also been launched as a visitor attraction – The Gin Experience – with hourly tours and tailored events for groups and corporates. Jamie runs masterclasses in gin, covering the history and different styles from genever and Old Tom to London Dry. With batches of only 200, COLD can create bespoke oneoff gins for use as corporate gifts, working with companies to select botanicals and even design labels. While the bar opens from 4pm Monday to Saturday, the distillery is open from midday for tours. “It’s all about educating both consumers and the trade in what gin is all about,” Jamie adds.

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venue profile

Where to find it

Zeus Publican Stuart Harris has created a new super-club in Basingstoke


ith its luxurious interior and sophisticated LED lighting, a new super-club has come to Basingstoke in Hampshire. Stuart Harris, licensee of a town centre pub,The New Inn, is investing hundreds of thousands of pounds into the three-storey venue that combines a nightclub and private members’ bar. Taking over the site of Italian restaurant and bar Caffe Piccolo in the town centre, Stuart has transformed the premises with Steve Howie Design which has worked on top clubs such as Turnmills and Stringfellows. With the venue named after a Greek god, the interior design is inspired by Mediterranean colours, turquoise, beige and browns, with lots of sinuous curves and circles. Behind the main bar is a modern sculpture of Zeus himself, made by Sean Kenrick, a sculptor and special-effects makeup artist in the film industry. More than 2,000 LED lights have been used throughout the space, installed in


everything from ceilings and pillars to tables, with different colours and effects to alter the mood according to the day and time. Not only is there a new state-of-the-art Funktion One sound system, but a light jockey ensures the effects lighting is just as spectacular as the music. Kerrie Hughes has been recruited as manager, bringing with her extensive experience, from running Italian restaurant Ciao Ninety in Ascot, Berkshire, to bars and clubs in Basingstoke such as Rhu Bar, Karma and Sleepers. They have created an extensive wine list including champagnes such as Lanson, plus a good selection of spirits. To take pressure off the main bar, there is a separate bar for serving shots and bombs, with a Jägermeister Tap Machine for ice-cold shots. Draught beers include Grolsch, Coors and Corona while many more are available by the bottle such as Singha and Corona. There is a short list of classic cocktails, with the likes of a Cosmopolitan, Singapore

25-27 Winchester Street Basingstoke Hampshire RG21 7EE Tel: 01256 415149

Who did it Design: Steve Howie Design Electrics:Viva Electrical Services Sound system: Funktion One Airbrushing: Robert Bean Sculpture: Sean Kenrick

Sling and White Russian, but a more extensive menu will be developed when the first floor opens as private members’ bar Rapture in February, aimed at over-25s. With the addition of another space for private hire on the second floor, Zeus will have four bars throughout the building. The main club includes a VIP area with a focus on vodka and champagne sales by the bottle and table service. Since opening, Zeus has launched DJ club nights on both week nights and weekends, such as R&B, hip-hop and old skool garage on Wednesday nights. Doors are open till 2am during the week and 4am at weekends, with free entry midweek and £5 after 10.30pm at weekends. The club will also host PAs, which last month saw singer Lifford Shillingford perform tracks such as Please Don’t Turn Me On, his chart hit with garage act Artful Dodger. With its VIP area and private members’ club, the venue is one to watch in 2013, Kerrie says. “Zeus is definitely something new for Basingstoke.”

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venue profile Palm Sugar

Where to find it 33 Castle Street Edinburgh EH2 3DN Tel: 0131 226 7614

Who did it Design: JMDA Contractor: Phelan Architects: Horsley Townsend Furniture: Dawnvale Carpet: Brintons Lighting: Northern Lights Bar glass: Glastech Glass box: Quest Solutions Fishtank: Aquarium Architecture Bric-a-brac: JFA Kitchen:YCE Catering Equipment External awnings: Crown Outdoor Signage: Ashleigh Signs Blinds: Regal Blinds


Glass box terrace

The site of Edinburgh’s former restaurant Oloroso has been transformed into the latest outpost for Chaophraya and its Palm Sugar bar


ith its superb food and uninterrupted views of Edinburgh Castle,Tony Singh’s Oloroso was one of the stars of the Scottish capital’s restaurant scene for over 10 years.When it fell victim to the economic downturn last summer, operators large and small looked at the landmark site in a listed building in Castle Street but the new occupant turned out to be expanding Thai restaurant group Chaophraya. It has invested £2.1.million in the site, transforming the interior with Jonathon Morgan Design Associates (JMDA) and creating a new Palm Sugar lounge bar. Taking advantage of the building’s biggest asset, the 3,250 sq ft space has been extended with a new “glass box” to the existing terrace, providing diners with yearround views across the Edinburgh skyline. It now has 60 covers externally on top of the 150 inside. The formerly claustrophobic entrance lobby on the third floor has been given a wow factor through illuminated feature walls and mirrors which, according to JMDA boss Jonathon Morgan, conveys “the sophistication and energy of a major Thai city”. Guests now enter the fourth-floor restaurant and bar via a staircase that takes them through a copper and polished “gate” within one of the illuminated walls, adding to the theatrical experience. In line with other sites, a large fish tank – here measuring three metres – has been


incorporated into a centralised screen as part of JMDA’s efforts to create more intimate spaces. There are also two wine walls, one 4.5 metres long and vault-themed, holding 230 bottles, and another with a chrome cage and integral lighting. Another signature Chaophraya feature is the exhibition kitchen which, Jonathon explains, has been given the “Rolls-Royce” treatment with granite-clad walls plus angled walls to the pass, covered in three types of mirror. A luxurious Palm Sugar bar has been a key feature of the company’s sites in Liverpool, Glasgow and Leeds, and JMDA has incorporated this into Edinburgh, albeit on a smaller scale. However, it still adds glitz with a back bar made of illuminated onyx, chrome and glass, showcasing its extensive range of spirits. The dynamic internally lit granite-clad bar counter echoes the black and white criss-cross design of the entrance lobby’s feature walls. The bar appears to continue seamlessly through the plate glass wall onto the external terrace. One feature retained from Oloroso is the VIP room which can seat up to 16 people. However, it now looks completely different with gold-quilted wallpaper, a deep buttoned padded wall incorporating AV facilities and a bespoke feature light fitting. There is also a new full-height glass door and walls around the entrance to the room. As the sixth Chaophraya within the group, Edinburgh is an evolution of previous incarnations, Jonathon points out.

“We are proud of achieving a stunningly contemporary yet relaxed, intimate and moody interior which is set to change both the landscape and people’s preconceptions of fine dining in the city,” he adds. The drinks menu features the same focus on premium spirits and cocktails as other Chaophrayas and Palm Sugar bars. Signature “authentic Thai” cocktails include the Chaophraya River – which, like the restaurant, is named after the main waterway in Thailand – made with Canadian Club whisky, blue curaçao, peach schnapps and passion fruit shaken with orange and lime juice. The Yok Lor is a mix of raspberry-flavoured vodka, Chambord and cranberry juice shaken with muddled blackberries, raspberries and strawberries. Eight years after opening their first Chaophraya in Leeds, founders Kim Atcharaporn Kaewkraikhot and Martin Stead have brought in an experienced team for Edinburgh, led by manager David Bassett who was formerly at Angels With Bagpipes in the city’s Royal Mile. Ahead of the official opening, they maintained the Thai custom of bringing in Buddhist monks to bless the business but, with their successful concept combined with a unique location, luck is clearly already on their side.

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12/12/2012 14:28

trade profile

Rocket man James Horler talks to Mark Ludmon about Rocket Restaurants & Bars


t is nearly two years since London’s Rocket restaurants and bars were taken over by entrepreneur James Horler. Known for their pizzas and cocktails, the business had been slowly growing since the first was opened in Mayfair by Duncan and Anna Watts and Amit Joshi in 1999. Now, after expanding to five by adding two new sites in Nottingham and London last year, Horler’s company, 3sixty Restaurants, is on the look-out to expand the concept to new locations in London and possibly beyond. “Since acquiring Rocket, we have evolved it and focused on improving the quality of the food and front-of-house and the business model,” he says. “We are getting ourselves ready to move forward.” James has a strong track record in identifying strong concepts and rolling them out. He started out at Trusthouse Forte, where he was a regional director of Little Chef by the age of 24, and then ran motorway service areas for Granada. He moved to City Centre Restaurants where, as operations director, he expanded Frankie & Benny’s from five to 65 sites in five years. In 2001, he acquired La Tasca, backed by private equity firm Penta Capital, and grew the Spanish restaurant chain until it was bought five years later by entrepreneur Robert Tchenguiz. In 2008, James took on Mediterranean restaurant chain Ego from founders Jason Ellison and Jonathan Poole and merged it in March 2011 with the newly acquired Rocket Restaurants to form 3Sixty. The business is majority owned by Horler, who is chief executive, and non-executive chairman Luke Johnson, whose career spans from PizzaExpress and Signature Restaurants to today’s stakes in Giraffe and The Draft House pubs. James is also non-executive chairman of Charterhouse Leisure, which operates waterside restaurant and bar Severnshed in Bristol and the six-strong Coal Grill & Bar chain in Basingstoke,


James Horler

Bristol, Exeter, Sheffield and Wimbledon, London. By 2011, Rocket stood at three sites, adding Old Broad Street in the City of London six years ago and Canary Wharf in 2010. The new owners opened the fourth Rocket at the Shoreditch end of Bishopsgate in March last year and then, attracted by its popular rooftop terrace, acquired Nottingham bar Saltwater from Principle Leisure Group which had gone into administration. With a loyal following, the bar was relaunched in May after a refurbishment as Rocket At Saltwater. Since then, food sales have shot up, James says. “What it never had was a good food offering. It’s become a bit of a venue for a night out under one roof.” James has made a number of changes to operations at the group, such as appointing sales managers to look after corporate and group bookings. “This is probably one of the biggest changes in the bar-restaurant market. It’s now something you have to have,” he says. To make both the bar and restaurant sides of the business work, staff are now divided into separate front-ofhouse and kitchen teams. “By doing that, we get good-quality food and good-quality drinks without the focus being on one or the other,” James explains. “Most wet-led concepts don’t do food that well but we have a combination of both.” Despite Rocket being best known for its

Zagat-rated pizzas, 60 per cent of business is wet sales, with good-quality wine and cocktail lists. The cocktails are created in-house, under Amit Joshi who remains with the business as operations manager for front-of-house. Alongside plenty of classics and twists, there is an extensive list of modern cocktails such as the Sputnik, made with Wokki Saki vodka, St-Germain elderflower liqueur, fresh grapes, lime juice and elderflower cordial, and the Parachute, a mix of Havana Club Bianco rum, raspberry liqueur, raspberry juice, lime juice, gomme syrup and fresh raspberries. The sites are different but have recurring themes such as stripes, with Bishopsgate and Nottingham designed by hospitality specialist Fusion DNA. “The design is quite quirky and very individual. We don’t want a cookie-cutter approach,” James says. The perfect recipe for a Rocket site includes an outside area, although this is lacking at the original Rocket down a narrow passage in Mayfair. The company is also in talks that will allow it to invest in its outdoor space at the front of the Bishopsgate site. “We want to open more Rockets, mainly focused on central London, but only at the right price,” James says. “There might be other sites outside of London if they come up and are worth having like Saltwater.” Having built up Frankie & Benny’s to 65 sites and La Tasca to over 70, James now has Rocket ready for take-off.


January 2013

A Bar magazine supplement

Ones to watch in 2013 The drinks trends and brands to look out for in the year ahead

Also inside: low-alcohol drinks – 2013 calendar – mixology


Bar team launch cream gin to on-trade

The team behind London bar The Worship Street Whistling Shop have launched a gin that is inspired by the cream gins of Victorian gin palaces. They developed Worship Street Whistling Shop Cream Gin at the bar on the edge of the City of London by cold-distilling fresh cream as a botanical to create a rich, creamy but clear spirit. Using 100ml of cream per 70cl bottle, they overcame the risks of a “burnt” or “off” flavour by using a distillation process that does not require it to be heated. It also has the same shelf life as any other spirit, with an ABV of 43.8 per cent. The London dry gin was developed at the bar by the team at Fluid Movement who also operate London bars Purl and Dach & Sons, working with drinks supplier Master of Malt. They were inspired by the cream gins of the

19th century although these would normally have been mixed with cream and sugar and left to infuse. The new Cream Gin was originally created for the signature Black Cat’s Martini at the Worship Street Whistling Shop, which mixes it with dry vermouth. With vanilla and citrus notes on the nose, it has a creamy flavour with a sweet and creamy finish. According to Master of Malt, Cream Gin is more than “just another gin with a wacky botanical. This is a completely new approach to the category. Gin enthusiasts, historians and molecular mixologists all stand to be astounded.”

Bitter Truth adds peach bitters Peach Bitters have been added to The Bitter Truth range distributed by drinks company Love Drinks in the UK. Using authentic methods and high-quality ingredients, the new product has a rich aroma of toasted almond, peach skin and crème caramel with flavours of both almond oil and peach flesh composed with zingy citrus and aromatic spices. New cocktail recipes have been developed using the bitters, available at

Global competition for Pink Pigeon rum The first-ever international cocktail competition has been launched for Pink Pigeon, the spiced rum from Mauritius. Bartenders enter by creating two drinks using Pink Pigeon: a tiki or punch drink and a drink that complements the vanilla in the rum. The 10 best entries will go through to a UK heat in London, with two winners flying to Mauritius to represent the UK in a competition against bartenders from South Africa and Mauritius. Entries should be emailed to global brand ambassador Luigi Barzini on Luigi. The deadline is January 31. The brand has been working with leading mixologist Ryan Chetiyawardana who has created recipes for the rum which are demonstrated at com/user/PinkPigeonRum.

New process offers bars own-label spirits Bars in the UK are being offered a chance to create their own spirits through a process called TerrePure which has been brought over from the US. The process can rapidly age, filter, purify and flavour spirits after standard distillation by using ultrasonic energy and oxidation. It also induces a conversion of fatty acids to esters to produce a smoother liquid. According to TerrePure Spirits UK, this means ordinary spirits can be improved to “ultra-premium” quality. Commercial director Alasdair Coutts-Wood said: “Our aim is to produce the world’s highest-quality and best-tasting spirits in a significantly faster, more efficient, and lower-cost way and, with both science and human taste tests backing our claims, we are confident we are well on the way to achieving our aim.” With TerrePure helping with packaging and design, it has allowed bars in the US to create their own private-label ranges. South Carolina’s seven-strong restaurant group Maverick Southern Kitchens has produced three vodkas, a gin, a rum, a bourbon and a tequila using the process. TerrePure spirits have won medals at international spirit competitions such as the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

A new luxury expression of Grand Marnier liqueur has been introduced into the UK by its distributor Diageo GB, made with Grand Champagne cognacs aged between 25 and 105 years. Only 150 bottles of Grand Marnier Quintessence are available in the UK after it was launched into travel retail in 2011, retailing around £500. With an ABV of 40 per cent, its orange notes are enhanced by being distilled a second time with an extra infusion of orange peel. Healey’s Cyder has extended availability of its flagship Cornish Rattler at Booker Wholesale, making it available in all the wholesaler’s branches across the south of England. The cloudy apple cider, with the distinctive “Rattler bite”, offers tropical fruit aromas. It has also introduced Mulled Rattler, which combines the Cornish cider with traditional winter spices. Heineken is celebrating its 140th anniversary with an online challenge to designers to “remix” a new bottle, giving them access to images from the brand’s 140-year past via www.yourfuturebottle. com. The top 30 crowd-sourced designs will be exhibited at Milan’s Design Week in April 2013, and the winning design will be used as Heineken’s 2013/2014 limitededition bottle around the world. Fuller’s has reported strong sales for Veltins Pilsner after introducing it on draught in its managed and tenanted retail estate in July. Cara Gullick,Veltins marketing and sales manager based in the UK, said: “The quality of the product coupled with the premium branded glassware has meant that Fuller’s publicans are reporting Veltins is proving very popular with their customers.” |23


Distribution grows for Salvatore’s lemon liqueur

Two Russian-style vodkas flavoured with caraway and with lemon and milk have been introduced into the UK through supplier The Whisky Exchange. Showcased at the Distil show at London Excel in 2011,Viche Pitia is promoted as an aperitif by its French owner Maison de la Vodka. Inspired by vodka styles of Russia in the 18th century, they are made with small copper stills and multiple distillations. Lemon & Milk has an ABV of 43 per cent while Caraway is at 58 per cent.

The only commercial craft brewery in Speyside, the heart of Scotland’s whisky industry, has been opened by 25-year-old chemist Seb Jones (pictured). His first two beers are Randolph’s Leap lager – named after a popular local beauty spot – and Moray IPA. More are planned to reflect the area. Speyside Craft Brewery will start with a weekly capacity of 4,200 pints, and beers will be available in bottles and casks for the on- and off-trade. Isle of Arran Distillers has produced a new single malt whisky made with Scotland’s oldest cultivated barley, called bere. It was developed with the Argonomy Institute of Orkney College UHI. The new Arran Malt Orkney Bere has been matured for eight years in ex-bourbon barrels, producing only 5,800 bottles with an ABV of 46 per cent and flavours of ripe apples, oak and rich spices.


Legendary bartender Salvatore Calabrese has secured UK distribution for his lemon liqueur which he first launched at his London bar. Salvatore’s Liquore di Limone is being distributed by leading specialist drinks company Emporia Brands after it was unveiled at Salvatore at Playboy in Mayfair in October. It has gained listings at other top cocktail bars and restaurants and is available through wholesalers including Amathus, Coe Vintners, Furniss Roe & Nichols, Speciality Spirits and Venus, and in Scotland through Ed Baird Emporia. It has ABV of 30 per cent and is available in 50cl bottles.

The zesty liqueur is made from midseason lemons picked from groves close to Salvatore’s family home in Amalfi and macerated for five weeks in a fine cognac. It can be served at room temperature, on the rocks or chilled straight from the fridge. Salvatore believes that picking the lemons mid-season, in the first week of June, gives them a better flavour and aroma as end-of-season lemons have less zest and less aroma. More at, including some of Salvatore’s recipes.

Juice launches in on-trade for cocktails

Coffee syrups enter bars

Coldpress – a fruit juice that tastes, looks and smells of fresh fruit but has a 165-day shelf life – has been introduced into the on-trade. It is made using a cold-pressure process of heating fruit that has been crushed and bottled, creating a juice that has more healthy antioxidants and vitamin C than other heat-treated brands. They are being promoted for use in cocktails, including recipes developed with consultancy Strategic Drinking. They include a Cold Passion (pictured), mixing Coldpress Apple & Passion Fruit for mixing with vodka, Passoã, fresh passion fruit and raspberries. The Cold Pink Martini combines Coldpress Pink Lady Apple with Midori, vermouth and vodka. Available in 250ml and750ml bottles, other juices include Apple & Passion Fruit, Apple & Strawberry and Valencia Orange.

Café Kiss, a new range of flavoured coffee syrups, has been launched into the on-trade by H&A, part of leading drinks company Halewood International. They aim to help bars and pubs capitalise on the UK’s thriving coffee culture, using 15ml measures to add flavour to a coffee. It is available in Hazelnut, Amaretto,Vanilla and Gingerbread flavours, in 70cl bottles.

Winners announced in Bloody Mary challenge The winners have been announced in a new competition organised by Tabasco to find the best classic and alternative Bloody Marys. Taking place at Bar Américain in Brasserie Zedel in London, it awarded the trophy for best classic Bloody Mary to Gareth Evans, bar manager at Pollen Street Social in London. Second place went to Lee Hyde of

Bar Américain. Best alternative Bloody Mary was won by Marco Piroli (pictured) of Lab in Soho, while Ali Reynolds of Hawksmoor came second. Gareth and Marco’s prize is a three-day trip to New Orleans for Tales of The Cocktail 2013. More at including recipes and pictures.

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Glenfiddich names its Malt Mastermind bartender Tennent’s worked with bars in Scotland to support the launch of a limited-edition pint glass which features 36 phrases about what it means to be Scottish. Over 1,200 outlets in Scotland are stocking the glass, which is supported with a range of point-of-sale and promotional materials. Tennent’s partnered selected bars to create window displays including Ryan’s Bar and Cargo in Edinburgh, Braes in Dundee, McGinty’s in Aberdeen and Brass Monkey and The Social in Glasgow. British craft lager Saint has been launched on draught in London after the success of the beer in bottle since its introduction by The Saint Brewing Co in late 2011. Brewed in West Sussex with an ABV of 4.6 per cent, it is light in body with a clean, fresh hoppy flavour and floral and soft fruit notes. The draught launch is supported by a new bespoke glass. Box Steam Brewery has restyled the image of its pump clips for the entire range of ales in celebration of its 100th brew. The new stylish pump clips provide consistency across the range and will help to showcase the brewery’s suite of ales along bars. Each pump clip features a short description of the ale to help consumers make their choice and reflects the design of vintage plates from trains that might have sped through Box Tunnel on the historic Great Western Railway. Leading wine distributor Enotria has partnered with the Company of Wine People in a bid to grow its South African category in the UK. The exporter’s core brands include one of the UK’s top-20 wine brands Arniston Bay as well as Kumkani, Welmoed and Versus. The partnership will take effect from February 1, 2013.


Lee Potter Cavanagh (pictured) of Mark’s Bar at Hix in London has emerged victorious at this year’s Glenfiddich Malt Mastermind competition. In the final at the Beaufort Bar at The Savoy, he competed against seven other top bartenders in a series of challenges to test their knowledge and their creativity and passion for whisky. They had to devise a twist on the classic whisky cocktail, Blood & Sand, as well as their own signature serve using either Glenfiddich 12, 15 or 18 Year Old Single Malt. They were also grilled on their knowledge of whisky. Lee won after demonstrating “an extremely

‘End of the world’ drinks for liqueur

high level” of knowledge on the malt category and for his original serve, Dufftown Avenue. Second place went to Gareth Evans from Pollen Street Social in London and third went to Will Cox of Monteith’s in Edinburgh. The other finalists were Alec Dyson of Booly Mardy’s in Glasgow, Roberto Fiorillo of Mokoko in St Albans, Hertfordshire, Lee Orelowitz of London Cocktail Club in Goodge Street, Dominic Wright of Castle Terrace in Edinburgh, and Henry Yates of World Service in Nottingham. More at including the recipe for Lee’s Dufftown Avenue.

Simple serves have been promoted for Agwa de Bolivia coca leaf liqueur after they were created to mark last month’s “end of the world”. Owner Babco Europe organised parties around the world on December 21, including one called Noah’s Psychedelic Dreamboat at nightclub Hoxton Docks, east London. The date marked the end of a 5,000-year cycle in the ancient Mayan calendar. The activity was inspired by the liqueur’s key ingredient, coca leaf, which is grown in the region where the Mayan civilisation once flourished. Drinks promoted include a twist on a Caipirinha (pictured), using Agwa De Bolivia instead of cachaça, and The Survivor, a twist on a Bloody Mary replacing vodka with the liqueur. The After Life is Agwa De Bolivia topped up with an energy drink over ice, while the Galactic Storm is a shot of the liqueur after a bite of a lime wedge.

Apple specialist launches first cider Apple processor MacNeice Fruit in Northern Ireland has moved into the cider market with the launch of two premium products under the name, Mac Ivors. They are Mac Ivors Medium, with an ABV of 4.5 per cent, and Mac Ivors Traditional Dry, at 5.6 per cent. Both are made from 100 per cent cold-pressed apple, using up to 12 varieties. It has teamed up with Belfast-based distributor Drinks Inc to distribute throughout Ireland but it plans to build sales in Great Britain too. The ciders come in 500ml bottles.

Fruit wines launched for ice serve Drinks company CWF has launched a range of fruit wines under its Harvest Fruits brand, promoted for pouring over ice. With an ABV of 10 per cent, the range initially comprises three products, available in 50cl bottles with premium packaging. They are Cherry, Fruits of the Forest – including raspberry, cherry, blackberry and blackcurrant – and Orchard Fruits, which features apple, pear and peach. They are mainly aimed at women aged 18 to 35, focusing on the core serve of a long drink over ice as well as a base for cocktails. Recipes are available at

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Chris Dennis of Wax Jambu in Islington, London, looks at changing ideas about gender in cocktails

A new taste for a new year As I gaze across the skyline of London from a hotel near Tower Bridge, I can see the new year on the horizon and anything seems possible. I’m here because I’ve helped write a menu based on two delicious whiskies for a small but select group of female tasters. I’ve always disliked the idea that gender boundaries exist when it comes to spirits, so much so that about six months ago, while judging a competition, I actually marked somebody down for creating a bourbon drink based around gender lines. However, the bartender in question did make the final cut, and it was a tasty drink. The last decade has been an uphill battle at times for those of us in the industry to educate consumers and help them appreciate what makes a spirit special. We can see the slow yet successful outcome of this battle in the resurgence of classic cocktails, a trend which tells us that consumers are ready and, more importantly, eager for something more than a Mojito. For anyone working in this industry, whether that means you sit in an office and push spirit sales to consumers and group bar owners or whether you wear gentlemen’s companions every day and attend to your guests’ every need, this is, fundamentally, a positive development. So where does gender

come into this? I believe that alongside this slow but increasingly clear trend, over time, as palates develop, the concept of gender will gradually change. Before our current golden age, many drinks were created specifically along gender lines: a man wouldn’t order something served in a coupette, a woman wouldn’t want something which was not served with a straw, and so on. These are specific examples, but think back to the start of your career: remember that guy who asked for his Margarita in a rocks glass because he didn’t want stemmed glassware? Now that same guest will be aware he can just have a Tommy’s. A little knowledge can go a long way. The drinks on offer at the hotel that night were twists on a Sidecar, an Old Fashioned and a Sour. What some might call “feminising” the drinks, I simply called updating them, presenting something classic in a contemporary light, for the new discerning drinker. A slightly different bitters here, some homemade syrup there, and, hey, a room full of ladies, more than a handful of which didn’t even drink whisky, enjoyed it all night. So as the sun rises on the new year, I guess I’ll just be making the right serve for the right “person”.

Mixologists’ corner St Helena Nathan Merriman of The Club at The Ivy created this cocktail for the pop-up L’Atelier de Courvoisier tasting experience at Harrods last month.

G&Tea Oskar Kinberg created a seasonal tea and gin cocktail for his bar at Dabbous, the restaurant and bar in London’s Fitzrovia which he cofounded with chef Ollie Dabbous.

60ml Courvoisier VSOP 5ml Fresh cucumber juice 15ml Fresh lemon juice 15ml Champagne syrup 10ml Carlshamns Flaggpunsch Torr Dash of The Bitter Truth Celery Bitters

50ml Martin Miller’s Gin 10ml Crème de peche 15ml Fresh lemon juice 10ml Agave syrup 75ml Lemon verbena tea

Shake ingredients and double-strain into a Martini glass. Garnish with a stick with three grapes that were peeled, soaked in Courvoisier VSOP, covered in caster sugar and frozen 24 hours earlier.


Brew the tea and let it cool before mixing. Build ingredients in a Collins glass with ice and stir. Garnish with cucumber slices. ML

After extensive research, leading bartender Salvatore Calabrese has developed a selection of cocktails to cure hangovers at Salvatore’s Bar at London’s Playboy Club, using ingredients that carry essential vitamins and fibre such as tomato juice and honey. Rosa’s Magical Cure – using a recipe passed down from Salvatore’s mother – is a mix of lemon juice, chilli, egg and marsala wine, best drunk in one gulp without being stirred. The Vampiro (pictured), inspired by a Mexican drink, combines orange juice, tomato juice, spices, honey and onion.The Bartenders Breakfast is a recipe using tomato juice, herbs and spices.The non-alcoholic Cleanser Cocktail is made with strawberries, papaya and melon. The latest United Kingdom Bartenders Guild (UKBG) Grand Prix competition has been won by Robb Collins, bar manager of Waterhouse Bar & Terrace at the Hilton Brighton Metropole. It was held as part of a UKBG open day at Bar So in Bournemouth, with bartenders challenged to make their own original cocktail using a “mystery box” of ingredients as well as a twist on one of nine classics. Second place went to Damaine Hinds from the Chewton Glen Hotel in New Milton, Hampshire, and third went to Jack Noble Hawkins from Aruba in Bournemouth. Robb’s cocktails were a twist on a Mai Tai, called I’ve Got Honey On My Tie, using Appleton Estate V/X rum, gingerbread syrup and honey, and Rum in the Woods using Wood’s Dark Rum, crème de cassis and orgeat syrup.Visit for recipes.

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New Year Fresh Start In the final instalment of mixxit maintenance, mixxit global manager Wayne Collins suggests how to make the most of January


s we pick ourselves up after the long, fun ďŹ lled yet exhausting festivities, there are a few things to ponder as we enter a lull and those January blues kick in. These apply not only to you and your business, but to your customers too. Their New Year woes are not just from overindulging during the Christmas season but over-spending also plays a massive part. The drinks industry and its people always slow down in the new year and this is essential, but we must maintain and even lift our energy levels to give our businesses a well-needed health check. We must remind ourselves that our trade is customer service and the industry is sales oriented so there is still a lot of entertaining to be done and to plan for. However, January is a great opportunity to implement some strategic initiatives to kick-start the year ahead. The ďŹ rst thing to consider is your drinks offering for the new year, focusing on two key areas, restorative cocktails and nutritious mocktails. Remember: both need to be gentle on the pocket too. The restorative drink needs to be simple, with good-quality, fresh and natural ingredients, such as a Bloody Mary. The Bloody Mary should also be low in alcohol so the guest

feels less guilty of indulging so soon after the festive season. The detoxifying mocktail should include lots of citrus and vegetable juices with ginger and sweetened with sugar alternatives such as agave syrup or natural honey.Young coconut water is also great on a menu for a non-alcoholic treat. Use this quieter time to plan your spring and summer drinks offerings and trial and promote them with your regular clientele. Think about arranging a tasting evening or hold an interactive competition or drinks quiz to win bar tab incentives to be redeemed when the new menu is launched. This may seem extravagant but it will pay dividends later and create a buzz in your

bar at an otherwise sluggish time of year. Finally, refresh staff knowledge and educate your staff with a training programme such as mixxit. mixxit aims to inspire bars to create perfect mixed drinks and cocktails through comprehensive mixxit training on all major spirit categories, and the masterclasses are proven to signiďŹ cantly boost sales. I believe staff training and knowledge is the key to a successful business so what better way to beat the January blues than with a bit of team building! Your mechanic: @mixxit_wayne. For information about mixxit, log onto or email

Tomato Sour Ingredients: 4 small cherry tomatoes (crushed), a pinch of sea salt, 10ml fresh lemon juice, 5ml pomegranate syrup, 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce, one barspoon of tomato ketchup, 25ml Stoli Hot Glass: Martini Method: muddle shake and strain Units: 1

Berry Booster Ingredients: 6 mixed berries (2 blueberries, 2 raspberries, 2 blackberries), 15ml fresh lime juice, 10ml fresh ginger juice, 20ml agave syrup, 25ml pressed apple juice, 25ml fresh beetroot juice Glass: short Method: shake and strain Units: non-alcoholic |29


Belfast bartender wins Beefeater world title Bar consultancy The Cocktail Service has created a drinks list for a new Saturday daytime “party brunch” that is available at New York-inspired restaurant and bar Honky Tonk in Chelsea, London, from the start of January. Alongside classic brunch dishes and live music, cocktails include a Marmalade Margarita (pictured), the Julep-style Honky Tonk and an Elderflower Shandy, made with elderflower liqueur, lemon juice and a white floral beer, with a ginger sugar rim. The menu is available from midday to 6pm every Saturday. A new cocktail menu has been introduced at London bar Archer Street in Soho, created by the bartending team led by bar manager Hyun Park. Additions include Breakfast at Sicily’s which mixes Tanqueray No 10 with Aperol, limoncello, blood orange puree and grapefruit juice. Another new drink is Martini in Jerez, with Tio Pepe dry sherry and Kamm & Sons ginseng spirit combined with Tanqueray No 10, garnished with a walnut. The new Bugs Bunny brings together Ketel One Citroen with elderflower liqueur and carrot juice, shaken with egg white and lemon juice and balanced with ginger syrup.

Fruity cocktails such as a Pear and Cinnamon Martini, an Elderflower and Grapefruit Mojito, an Apple Daiquiri and a Sloe Gin Tea feature on the menu of new London restaurant Gail’s Kitchen, launched by the team behind London-wide chain Gail’s Artisan Bakeries. The restaurant’s bar also serves a selection of craft beers such as Oro di Milano Puro Malto Blonde, Bellerose Pale Ale and Meantime London Lager and Chocolate Porter.


Nathan O’Neill of The Merchant Hotel bar in Belfast has won this year’s Beefeater 24 Global Bartender Competition international final. He beat 13 other competitors from around the world at an event in London. Challenges included a cocktail photoshoot to test the finalists’ styling skills, an interview with an international blogger to assess their knowledge and charisma, and a timed food-pairing task to test their resourcefulness and understanding of flavour. The grand final culminated in a cocktailtasting event in which guests, including bartenders from around the globe, voted for

their favourite Beefeater 24 tea cocktail. The winner was chosen by a panel of judges headed by Desmond Payne, master distiller of Beefeater 24. Nathan will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Japan with Beefeater international brand ambassador Seb HamiltonMudge, experiencing the Japanese tea and local bartending culture that inspired Desmond in the creation of the gin. Nathan and Desmond are pictured centre with Seb (far right) and Beefeater international brand ambassador Tim Stones (far left). More at

Naga fires up drinks

Heritage inspires Blue Boar

Restaurateur Eddy Lim has brought in mixologist Tri Van Dang to create exotic cocktails at his new Pan-Asian restaurant and bar Naga in Kensington, London. Drinks include a Sake and Tonic Martini and a Chinese Mojito using sake instead of rum. The potent Naga Fire Bowl is a mix of Don Alvaro tequila, agave syrup, lime juice, fresh chilli and ginger. Sharing cocktails include the Chinese Tea Cup made with Grey Goose La Poire shaken with pear, elderflower cordial and lemon juice, topped up with pink champagne and served in a teapot with teacups. Tri was manager of London club Mahiki and set up the bar at South Kensington’s Brompton Club.

Sophisticated cocktails with heritage are on the menu at the Blue Boar Bar which has opened as part of the Blue Boar Smokehouse in the new InterContinental London Westminster hotel. Twisted classics include the Smoky Grove, made with Compass Box’s The Peat Monster whisky, Antica Formula vermouth, Angostura Bitters and orange bitters. The Quiet Birdman Swizzle, inspired by a secret drinking club set up by US aviators in 1921, contains aged and light rums, orange juice, lime juice, ginger syrup and Velvet Falurnum, while the Sour Cola Martini mixes gin, fresh lemon, pink grapefruit juice and housemade spiced syrup. The bar also features an antique cabinet full of gins, including house gin Portobello Road.

Leeds bartender in New York switch Jones Bar Group in Leeds set up an exchange so that one of its bartenders could swap places with a bartemder in New York City. Alex Carr, bar manager of Brooklyn Bar in Call Lane, triumphed in a competition against 11 other bartenders from within the sixstrong group to spend a week last month at Dick and Jane’s Bar in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighbourhood. At the same time, New Yorker

Jessie Dure came over from Dick and Jane’s where she is manager and lead bartender. The competition challenged the Jones Bar Group bartenders to make either a Porn Star Martini or a Strawberry Mojito, pitch their own cocktail and give a 30-second speech on why they should go to New York. It was beamed live to Dick and Jane’s via a Skype video link.

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ones to watch

Move on up Mark Ludmon examines latest trends in drinks in the on-trade and presents some of the brands to watch for in 2013


he fun is coming back into bars. Big garnishes and playful sharing vessels are set to become more widespread after years of attention to cocktail heritage and molecular science. “There is definitely a progression with fun in the on-trade that is coming back in the form of trends like drinking vessels,” says Michelle Whelan, managing partner of Arc, a marketing agency in the drinks sector. “While cocktail bars have really brought this to life for some time, there is a definite emphasis on bars that haven’t done it as much now utilising them, even in lower-end venues.” From Jeremiah Weed’s jam jars to Bacardi tankards, these are a way “to show distinct difference to competitors for standout in bars”, she adds.

Japanese bartending techniques are set to continue their influence on British bars, from ice carving through to “Ichi-go Ichi-e”, the philosophy of personalised service for each guest every time, which is promoted by Japanese whisky brand Nikka and its ambassador Stanislav Vadrna. Michelle at Arc adds: “High-end bars are responding to

Wine under pressure The price of wine in the on-trade is set to come under increased pressure this year, according to the latest WineNation industry report from Accolade Wines. It outlines how rising grain and oil prices, poor harvests and domestic demand in wine-producing markets will add to pricing pressures in the UK. Wines from Italy, California and New Zealand will potentially see the biggest impact from rising prices. Along with rising duty, the average price of a bottle of wine in the on-trade increased by 2.36 per cent to £15.31 last year, with the average price of non-branded wine rising to £17. Price rises contributed to wine sales falling by 1.4million nine-litre cases last year, with still Old World wines seeing the biggest declines. Both wet-led and circuit bars have seen increases of volume sales of New World wines which continue to grow their share of the on-trade. The WineNation report, which uses data from Kantar, Nielsen and CGA, highlighted branded wines as one growth area, with two types of consumers seeking wellknown brands in the on-trade: “newbies”, who are younger adult drinkers new to wine, and “strong prospects” who are potential wine enthusiasts. On average, branded wines are at least £5 cheaper per bottle than non-branded wines, and the

price of branded wine is rising at half the rate. As with all the other top wine-producing countries, Spain suffered a dip in sales last year, but this has not deterred new entrants to the market. This year will see the Extremadura region in western Spain back on UK wine lists after the launch of the Crash brand (pictured) by Pago los Balancines winery. With a white, rosé and red, it stands out from traditional wines with its Pop Art-style labelling. “When soft launched last year, the feedback and buzz we generated in the north-west was electric so it’s exciting to be rolling out such a unique brand in London,” says Graham Archibald, national account director for importer Morgenrot Group.

the fact that, while consumers want to have drinks made by a great bartender, they don’t want the bartender to forget that they are still paying for a drink and service.” She also points to whisky as being back in growth in the UK on-trade, including flavoured whiskeys after the success of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and Jim Beam’s Honey and Red Stag cherry variants. Malt whisky continues to show strong growth in the on-trade, up 16 per cent year on year in terms of volumes. Kondwani Mhone, category development manager for Diageo GB, says that brands such as Johnnie Walker are extending the spirit’s appeal beyond a male-oriented older audience. “The age profile of whisky drinkers is changing and a younger demographic is now enjoying the spirit on more occasions.” Fifty per cent of imported whisky is drunk in the on-trade by people aged 18 to 34, providing a great entry point for consumers into the category, he adds. Innovation will continue in 2013 thanks to The Macallan, with its 1824 Series that defines the whisky by colour instead of age or wood. After The Macallan Gold was launched in 2012, this spring will see the introduction of Amber, Sienna and Ruby which all reflect the natural colours from ageing in different barrels. The Macallan Gold has been embraced by the on-trade, with extensive marketing support such as branded glassware, while feedback from whisky events prove that consumers “get” |33

ones to watch the new concept, says Peter Sandstrom, marketing director of distributor Maxxium UK. “The Macallan Gold has set a high entry bar and really cemented the ground for a highly anticipated continued launch of The Macallan 1824 Series.” This year will also see the release of the first core whisky in the UK from John Distilleries in India. After releasing the single-cask malt Paul John #161 last year, it is due to launch its flagship whisky, a single malt, in 2013. Japanese whiskies continue to gain ground after more award wins last year, with the likes of Yamazaki and Nikka joined by new expressions from Chichibu and Karuizawa via importer The Number One Drinks Company. These include an array of Karuizawa releases such as the 48% and 55% as well as 1982 and 1984 bottlings. We have to wait nearly another year for the first whiskies from Suffolk brewer and distiller Adnams. After ageing for three years and a day, there will be two releases under the Copper House distillery name: one made from a single grain and matured in new French oak barrels, and a second produced with three grains – wheat, barley and oats – and matured in new American oak barrels. “When it came to whisky, there was no point in us being a ‘me too’ Scotch whisky distillery. We needed a point of difference,” says chairman Jonathan Adnams. The company will also release new batches of its Spirit of Broadside, an eau de vie made from the brewer’s Broadside ale, its Morello Cherry Liqueur and its Absinthe Rouge and Verte this year, with a rye whiskey and Speyside whisky planned for 2014 or 2015. Last month, Ian Macleod Distillers introduced the new look for the Glengoyne Highland single malt range with plans for advertising and marketing activity this year. As well as a new premium label consistent across the range, its 17 Year Old has been replaced by an 18 Year Old, while the 12-year-old Cask Strength will now be produced in individual batches without an age statement. Along with a new 15-year-old malt, they join the 10, 12 and 21 Year Old which remain the same. In the second half of last year, Scottish


bars had success with Ginger Grouse, an alcoholic ginger beer mixed with The Famous Grouse whisky for serving over ice. With an ABV of four per cent, it comes in 500ml bottles and on draught. With a £4million ad campaign, it will have a nationwide launch in March this year, with more than 4,000 on-trade outlets set to sell the bottles and another 110 to offer it on draught. “Ginger Grouse is a giant step for the whisky category,” says Sandstrom at Maxxium UK. “It’s bolder, younger, more energetic and much more adventurous.” Over in the US, innovation in the whiskey category has come mostly from flavours but also from unaged white spirits inspired by Prohibition-era whiskeys, such as Jack Daniel’s clear unaged rye whiskey introduced in the US last month. A whiskystyle spirit, also inspired by the Prohibition era, was launched in the UK late last year by Halewood International to tap into the continuing interest in vintage cocktails. With an ABV of 40 per cent, this clear unaged grain spirit, called Bootlegger, has gained listings in premium bars such as London’s Drake & Morgan estate and is set for further roll-out in 2013. At the end of last year, Pernod Ricard UK introduced the innovative Malibu Red – a fusion of the Caribbean rum with Olmeca tequila. With extensive on-trade support and advertising, it is set for further growth this year. “Malibu Red allows on-trade retailers to tap into the growing appeal of mixable specialty spirits suited to higher-tempo social occasions and offers consumers and bartenders a new way to experience this iconic Caribbean rum,” explains Ian Peart, on-trade channel director for spirits. He adds that Pernod Ricard UK has plans to launch more new products and variants throughout 2013,

Metaxa has introduced the newest addition to the Greek spirit brand’s range to the UK after a soft launch in August. The new Metaxa 12 Star joins the 5 Star and 7 Star in the UK where the brand has seen growth of 24 per cent in volume and 29 per cent in value year on year, according to CGA figures. Made using fine wine distillates matured in oak casks for up to 12 years and muscat wines from Samos, the 12 Star is balanced with notes of honeyed figs and prunes, liquorice, toasted oak and a touch of spice. A new Italian spirit, Sprizzato, has been launched in the UK on the back of the popularity of Italian aperitifs and rising sales in brands such as Aperol. The bitter citrus and rhubarb-infused spirit can be combined in a “spritz” serve (pictured) with prosecco, stirred with ice and topped up with soda water and slices of orange. It is also being promoted for cocktails. Listings include First Restaurant Group. This year will see a new drive for golden rum Clarke’s Court Old Grog in the on-trade after it was introduced to the UK by distributor Windward Trading. Produced by Clarke’s Court Distillers on Grenada, it is aged in oak for five years, although it does not carry an age statement. Promoted for sipping and for cocktails, it has an ABV of 40 per cent. Initial listings include London tiki club Mahiki. Thor, a new range of premium carbonated soft drinks, is being trialled in bars in the south of England, aimed at adults with a more sophisticated palate. The four flavours are: Original, with a dry apple flavour; Fire, with hot ginger; Ice, with cool mint; and Thunder, with apple and caffeine. Thor Drinks is also promoting them as mixers.

Meet Our New Rose Bellerose Extra Blonde from Brasserie Des Sources, Saint-Amand-les-Eaux. Biere de Garde meets IPA. Distinctive aromas of citrus and lychee with a hoppy, refreshing aftertaste.











ones to watch

What’s brewing in beer and cider Iconic London beer brand Truman’s will be coming back with the opening of the New Truman’s Brewery in Hackney Wick, east London. James Morgan and Michael-George Hemus are launching the brewery with the historic name after the original Truman’s Brewery in Brick Lane closed 23 years ago. The first Truman’s beers brewed at the new site are expected to hit London’s pubs and bars early this year. Freedom Brewery in Staffordshire has seen strong demand for its hand-crafted English lager Pioneer after launching it on draught last year. Described as “fullbodied” with just a hint of sweetness to create a refreshing fruity bitterness, it is now available in bottles for the first time. World beers continue to thrive in the on-trade, according to Graham Archibald, national account director at beer specialist Morgenrot Group, who expects demand to grow for its Alhambra artisan range

while a new limited-edition Beefeater bottle will be released in spring as part of the “This Is My London” campaign celebrating the capital. Tequila is another growing category in the UK – which is set to receive a shakeup this year when Diageo surrenders distribution for Jose Cuervo in June after 27 years. Interest is also growing in another Mexican spirit, mezcal, which is also made from agave but outside the Tequila region. The UK’s first mezcal bar opened in September as part of Wahaca in London, followed by mezcaleria Qui Qui Ri Qui in Shoreditch. In November, an exciting new premium brand, Ilegal Mezcal, was introduced into the UK through Speciality Brands. It was created at bar Cafe No Se in Antigua, Guatemala, by owner John Rexer but slowly spread “illegally” by people taking bottles home with them. Now legal, it is produced and bottled in small batches and comes as an unaged tequila,


from Spain and its Belgian beers Mort Subite and Affligem. “We also have high hopes for our ‘Notoriously Good’ Sleeman brand from Canada which we launched on draught a few months ago,” he adds. “It has been an incredible success so we will be rolling out packaged Honey Brown Ale [pictured], Pale Ale and Cream Ale in January.” With premium ciders in growth in the UK ontrade, cider-maker Aston Manor has increased production after investing over £10million in its site at Tiverton in Devon over three years. It can now package and dispatch 2.25million litres of cider a week for sale across the UK and worldwide. It has also increased flexibility at the plant so that it can cope with more than 20 different products across a range of pack formats. “We will definitely be looking to see what that means in terms of current products and new product development,” says sales and marketing direct Gordon Johncox.

four-month reposado and 13-month añejo. “It’s great to have Ilegal here as we have been inundated by enquiries over the last year,” says Chris Seale, managing director of Speciality Brands. “Ilegal has built quite an international following centred on New York and the US. The timing of its arrival is perfect to make the most of the increase in both trade and consumer interest that we are seeing in the mezcal category.” January will see the introduction of a new premium tequila to the UK, Herencia Mexicana, which has been in the US since 2008. It will come as a blanco, reposado and añejo plus a limited-release extra- añejo, produced in the highlands of Tequila. It is one of a raft of new spirits being brought to the UK this year by drinks agency 10 Degrees, whose other brands include Ish Gin and Virgin Gorda rum from The Poshmakers. In February, it will launch the latest Poshmakers brand, AKA Vodka, made 100 per cent from British grain and distilled five times plus an extra distillation of 50 per cent to bring added roundness and creaminess. It will seek point of difference through a super-premium positioning linking it to the 1960s and a classic Vodka Martini. Later this year, there will be a new variant on Ish Gin, called Ish Limed, which will retain the emphasis on juniper but with a different recipe of botanicals including

lime. In January, 10 Degrees will be launching new expressions of Atlantico rum from the Dominican Republic after the success of the premium Private Cask made up of rums aged 15 to 25 years. The new releases will be the white Platino and the aged Reserva, both light and smooth with an ABV of 40 per cent. After bucking the overall downward trend in spirits in the UK last year, premium brands are set to continue growing in 2013, predicts Ian at Pernod Ricard UK, particularly across higher styles of whisky and cognac. “Premiumisation continues to be an incredibly strong trend across almost all outlet types, categories and geographies.” For more on new brands featured in this report, visit

ones to watch

Plan ahead for 2013 A fter the excitement of the Queen’s jubilee and the Olympics last year, 2013 is back to business as normal. While there may be a flurry of celebrations around July for the birth of a royal baby, there are plenty of other more definite dates to provide inspiration for

London Fashion Week 2012 cocktails at Good Godfrey’s at the Waldorf Hilton, London


20-23 Interiors show, NEC Birmingham 21-23 Hospitality show, NEC Birmingham 25 Burns Night 26 Australia Day


2 RBS 6 Nations (to March 16) 2 Peruvian Pisco Sour Day 3 Superbowl XLVII 6 New Zealand Waitangi Day 10 Chinese New Year (snake) 12 Pancake Day 14 Valentine’s Day 15-19 London Fashion Week 24 Carling Cup Final

March 1 4-6 5-6

St. David’s Day ScotHot, SECC Glasgow Northern Restaurant & Bar, Manchester 10 Mother’s Day 12-15 Cheltenham Festival & Gold Cup 17 St Patrick’s Day 18 Bank holiday (Northern Ireland only) 22-23 Whisky Live, London 29 Good Friday (bank holiday) 31 British Summer Time begins

April 1

E aster Monday (bank holiday except Scotland) 6 Grand National 15-21 Miami Rum Renaissance Festival 23 St George’s Day 30 PLASA Focus, Leeds (to May 1)

May 5 6

Cinco de Mayo, Mexico Spring bank holiday Monday


events in bars, pubs and clubs. Along with more traditional celebrations such as Valentine’s Day and St Patrick’s Day, Mexico’s Day of the Dead could provide ideas for a tequila and mezcal alternative to Halloween, or rum could be on the menu for Trafalgar Day or Black Tot Day – the anniversary of the last navy rum ration. This year will also see the return of bar industry events such as London Cocktail Week, The Whisky Show, RumFest, Northern Restaurant & Bar, London International Wine Fair and Distil, Hospitality, Caffe Culture and ScotHot. Boutique Bar Shows are due to be back in London, Manchester and Scotland in 2013 but no dates were available as Bar magazine went to press.

11 FA Cup Final 15-16 Caffe Culture, Olympia London 15 UEFA Europa League Final 18 Eurovision Song Contest final, Sweden 19 Last day of Premier League season 20-22 Distil & London International Wine Fair, Excel London 24 Bermuda Day 25 UEFA Champions League Final 26 Scottish Cup final 26 French Open (to June 9) 27 World Tequila Day 27 Spring bank holiday Monday


1 Epsom Derby Day 8 World Gin Day 10-16 US Open 16 Father’s Day 16-20 Vinexpo exhibition, Bordeaux 18-22 Royal Ascot 20-23 Taste of London Festival 21 Summer solstice 24 Wimbledon Championships (to July 7) 29 Tour de France (to July 21)


4 American Independence Day 6-8 Taste of Edinburgh Festival 10 The Ashes (to August 25) 12 Bank holiday (Northern Ireland) 14 Bastille Day 17-21 Tales of the Cocktail, New Orleans 18-21 British Open 31 Black Tot Day (rum)


2-26 Edinburgh Festival Fringe 5 Bank holiday (Scotland only) 13-17 Great British Beer Festival, Olympia 26 Bank holiday (except Scotland)

Valentine’s Day 2012 cocktail with Pink Pigeon at London’s Wax Jambu


11-14 St Leger Festival 16 Mexican Independence Day 18-21 100% Design, Earls Court, London 27 National Cask Ale Week (to Oct 6)

October 1

AMRA National Cider & Perry C Month (to Oct 31) 1-3 Moscow Bar Show 5-7 The Whisky Show, London 5-13 London Cocktail Week 6-9 Plasa Show, London 7-9 The Restaurant Show, London 8-9 Bar Convent, Berlin 12-13 RumFest, London 21 Trafalgar Day 26 Rugby League World Cup (to Nov 30) 27 British Summer Time ends 30-31 Independent Hotel Show, London 31 Halloween

November 1 1 3 5 10 11 28 30 30 30

Movember moustache activity starts Day of the Dead, Mexico Diwali Guy Fawkes Night Remembrance Sunday Remembrance Day US Thanksgiving St Andrew’s Day Rugby League World Cup Final Movember shave-off day

December 2 5

25 26 31

Bank Holiday (Scotland only) Repeal Day (Prohibition 80th anniversary) Christmas Day (bank holiday) Boxing Day (bank holiday) New Year’s Eve

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See the light Beers, ciders and wines that are lighter in alcohol are gathering momentum, reports Mark Ludmon


hen Ilkley Brewery introduced its Dinner Ale five months ago, it was part of its Origins range of experimental brews. However, the level of interest made it clear that it belonged in the Yorkshire brewer’s core list despite having an ABV of only 3.3 per cent. “We saw a gap in the market for lower-ABV beers in the UK and believe it’s a market that has room for growth,” explains Luke Raven, brewer and marketing manager at Ilkley Brewery. “It fits in with our focus on matching food and beer which is a natural fit for lower-ABV beers, and it is good for promoting responsible drinking.” Luke and fellow brewer Harriet Marks were inspired by the success of lower-ABV ales in Australia as well as the light “dinner ales” that were enjoyed by working families with dinner in the 19th century, using a pale ale recipe from 1884. “There are a lot of lower-ABV beers that don’t deliver in terms of flavour because it is a challenge,” Luke adds. “But, because of the hops, Dinner Ale does deliver and people can’t believe it’s only 3.3 per cent.” After being launched in cask and bottles, Dinner Ale can be found in bars such as Common in Manchester and some of Antic Group’s London outlets. It is also likely to be introduced in keg early this year, and Luke says more lower-ABV beers are being considered for 2013. Consumers’ scepticism about the flavour of lower-alcohol products has


been one of the barriers for their widespread take-up, suggests Michelle Whelan, managing partner at marketing agency Arc which works with drinks brands. “A crude analogy for these products would be between a normal burger and a skinny lettuce-wrapped one,” she says. “While consumers can see the benefit and are told it again and again, will it mean they sacrifice on what they are looking forward to and enjoy?” However, she points out that good lowalcohol beers and wines have been available across Europe without promotion. “There is already a great opportunity to take these existing and credible products into the on- and off-trade and use their location and heritage to sell them more convincingly in addition to the benefit of having a lower-alcohol content.” While the Government has halved duty for beers below 2.8 per cent ABV, it has not done the same with cider where sparkling ciders have the same duty up to 5.5 per cent ABV. However, lower-alcohol styles are emerging such as Aspall Lady Jennifer’s at four per cent ABV which, after its launch in August 2011, is growing at 107 per cent year on year. Aspall partner Henry Chevallier Guild believes it is the increasing level of duty on higher-ABV drinks that has led to growth in lower-alcoholic styles rather than messages about responsible drinking. “The positive here is that lowalcohol products are more widely available and there is certainly better choice than there used to be. Many consumers try lowalcohol drinks out of curiosity. Like with all drinks, if the taste is good enough they

are likely to drink it again. However, if the taste profile is sub-standard they are very unlikely to come back for more. What we have to remember is that alcohol is a really important ingredient as it gives body, flavour and complexity to a drink.” The biggest growth area for lower-alcohol drinks is in wine, with new products such as the 5.5 per cent ABV Delicate range from Blue Nun and Banrock Station Moscato, also at 5.5 per cent, from Accolade Wines. “Lowalcohol wine is an absolutely crucial part of the market that we all need to get behind,” says Ian Anderson, director of category development and insight at Accolade. “I hear a lot of negatives said about the quality of low-alcohol wine but the factual information about our products shows repeat purchase rates that are exactly the same as the ‘fullalcohol’ products.” According to Accolade’s new WineNation industry report, the biggest potential for growth comes from female consumers who are fairly established wine drinkers. “They are likely to drink wine two to three times a week and are very conscious of diet and calories,” explains Clare Griffiths, European marketing director at Accolade. This audience is targeted by Banrock Station Light’s advertising, which has helped it become the UK light wine category’s number-three brand worth over £2.6million in its first year of launch. “Light wines are relevant throughout the year as consumers are continually healthconscious, but there are occasions when light wines can be effectively promoted, for example in the summer for lunch-time alfresco drinking, and also around Christmas time when consumers often over-indulge and a lighter option is a welcome alternative.”

show preview

Be inspired From leading designers to new products, this month’s Hospitality show will provide inspiration and ideas


ore than 300 exhibitors will come together under one roof at the Hospitality show this month, offering ideas and products for bars, pubs, restaurants and clubs. Running at the NEC Birmingham from January 21 to 23, it is the UK’s largest foodservice and hospitality exhibition, showcasing the latest in catering equipment, interiors, tableware, food, hot drinks and technology. As well as a new look for 2013, the show features a new café and new programme of business briefings and mentoring sessions involving top chefs and the bosses of leading companies. Topics range from employment law and motivating staff to how to develop a pub or bar business. Speakers include Adam Marshall of Grand Union bars, Steve Haslam of TLC Inns and Kevin Charity of Bulldog Pub Company and chefs Luke Thomas and Brian Turner. Many of them will be available for free face-to-face mentoring sessions. The Design Inspiration Stage will offer a chance to learn about new design concepts in the hospitality sector. Speakers will include leading hospitality designers Shaun Clarkson, Tim Mutton of Blacksheep, Tina Norden of Conran & Partners, Sophie Douglas of Fusion DNA, Robert Angell, Ed Davies of GA Design International and Giles Robinson of Foster & Partners. Other specialists will include Darren Orrow of Into Lighting, Joa Studholme of wallpaper and paint company Farrow & Ball, Rob Wood of music programming experts Music Concierge and Chris Gunton of sound and lighting firm CGA Integration. The Interiors section will feature furniture, soft furnishings and tableware. GO IN (UK) will launch its 2013 catalogue and new products, such as the braid-weave


Urban collection from WMF Hotel

oven can be used for food throughout the Terrazza chair and the retro-style Elysée. day. Other interiors companies will include Andy Hoshizaki will demonstrate its latest ice Thornton, Satelliet Browns and StableTable. machines and refrigeration equipment, such The catering equipment hub will bring as the new IM N Series of ice makers which together more than 100 exhibitors. uses an intelligent control circuit that Nisbets will showcase its greatly reduces water consumption. KitchenAid and Waring In partnership with the Catering brands, such as the Waring Equipment Suppliers Association, the Margarita Madness Cocktail Innovation Zone returns to bring Blender which can blend together the latest cutting-edge three 16oz Margaritas in less equipment. Companies featured than eight seconds. will include Manitowoc with the WMF will present the latest Convotherm two-in-one mini addition to its automatic bean-tocombination oven, the compact highcup machine range, the 1200S. The tech Merrychef e2 for cooking entry-level machine is ideal for snacks and the Garland induction venues with small to medium range. demand for coffee, capable of Call Systems Technology will producing six drink options showcase high-tech products plus hot water for tea. It will including the new CLP from also launch the new WMF Waring Margarita Motorola – a discreet two-way Hotel Urban collection of Madness radio that clips on waistbands tabletop pieces for bars. Cocktail Blender or lapels – and its latest DECT For hot drinks, exhibitors phone handset. It will also demonstrate will range from coffee machine specialist how the ConnectSmart solution by QSR La Cimbali to brands Lavazza and Nestlé Automations can improve operations Professional, while water is represented by by linking epos, reception, waiters, chefs, Vivreau and Wenlock Spring. management and bar staff. First-time exhibitor Wexiödisk will The world-class culinary competition demonstrate its range of environmentally Salon Culinaire returns with new Live friendly warewashing equipment, from the Theatre classes ranging from Classical Fish WD-6D Duplus for professional kitchens to Dish to the Major International Soup & the WD-4 under-counter washer. Williams Sauce Challenge and the Seasonal Menu Refrigeration will present its broad range Masterclass in association with Rational. from merchandisers and display equipment Visitors can register for a free ticket, to back-of-house fridges. Rational will saving the £20 entry fee, at www. demonstrate on its stand how the SelfCookingCenter Whitefficiency combi

bar essentials

ServaClean expands its range of mobile bar units Bar fitments manufacturer ServaClean has expanded its MOVERBar range of mobile bar units to include two compartment “economy” models and an increased selection of structural finishes. Prices now start at £1,520 for a basic mobile base with a twocompartment upper structure ready to be fitted with the customer’s choice of counter top and decorative panelling. Standard ServaClean finishes are Traditional Oak or Satin Finish Stainless Steel counter tops, with matching front and side panelling or, for certain promotional applications, with a strap-on canvas or PVC panel available in an extensive range of colours and with a logo or advertising slogan if required. Pictured is a top of the range front counter option, for keg beers, glass storage and insulated ICEChest drinks mixing facility. Call 01274 390038 or visit for more information.

Be Smart, ConnectSmart

Keep in touch

As more restaurateurs accept the huge benefits of restaurant automation, the ConnectSmart solution by QSR Automations will be on display at Hospitality 2013. It connects the restaurant together – epos, reception, waiters, chefs, management and bar – and, by speeding up service and reducing wastage, delivers cost savings and enables tables to be turned more effectively. It is marketed and serviced in the UK by Call Systems Technology. Visit stand 755 at Hospitality or or call 0800 389 5642.

At Hospitality 2013, Call Systems Technology (CST) will show the remarkable CLP from Motorola – a two-way radio that is discreet, quiet and small. Users clip it to lapels, pockets or waistbands, while the antenna and tiny microphone within the earpiece wire allow hands-free operation. CST will show its latest multi-function DECT phone handset (pictured) which can be used as a digital cordless phone but also as a radio, pager and personal alarm with location finding. Visit stands 526 and 755 or, or call 0800 389 5642.

All day with Rational

Grab and go

The working day is the theme on Rational’s stand 511 at Hospitality 2013. It starts with croissants and breakfast grill, moving on to steaks, pizzas, vegetarian options and chips for lunch followed by afternoon muffins. Throughout the day Rational will demonstrate how the SelfCookingCenter whitefficiency cooks everything to perfection. The overnight roasting programme means there will be fresh samples of roast meats throughout the day. Call 0800 389 2944 or visit

Williams Refrigeration will focus on its rapidly expanding range for the Grab & Go sector at Hospitality 2013, with a selection of front-of-house merchandisers and display equipment as well as back-of-house storage units. Williams has evaluated every component during development of the new range, incorporating the latest energy-saving features. The latest Gem RS100 Multideck merchandiser (pictured) features new energy-saving sliding front doors, allowing easy access while maintaining uniform temperature.Visit stand 258 or

Top-quality towels

New display units

Established over 20 years ago, Brennard Textiles is a leading supplier of fine-quality contract towels, bath mats, bathrobes, bed linen and table linen. Headed by a team with backgrounds in the textile industry and customer service, it works with clients such as hotels, drinks companies and promotions companies. Its portfolio includes specially interwoven towels, printed towels, golf towels and interwoven and screen-printed bar towels. Call 01706 868444 or visit

Optimax from Victor Manufacturing is a new range of refrigerated, heated and ambient retail display units. These patisserie-style displays are available in three sizes in both self-serve, open to the front, and assisted service fully enclosed. They feature a number of energy-saving features to keep running costs to a minimum whilst the refrigerated units perform to EN ISO 23953 standard, providing M1 cabinet class conditions and exceeding climate class 3 environment of 25ºC at 60% RH. Visit or call 01274 722125. |43




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interior design

Dach & Sons

Bold graphics and lighting at Baa Bar in Leeds

Looks ahead From industrial-style furniture to bold graphics and colours, Mark Ludmon examines the trends set to inform bar interiors in 2013


esign is at the heart of the success of the expanding Baa Bar Group, says its chief executive Elaine Clarke. “With 11 bars already, and plans to open a further 10 in

Conic The stylish Conic and Conic Lounge ranges of furniture were chosen for clubs and bars last year, such as the refurbishment of The Penthouse nightclub in London’s Leicester Square and Forman’s Fish Island next to the Olympic Stadium. The pieces were supplied by Flexfurn, the specialist in folding and stacking furniture, which changed its name from Lamata Contract Furniture this month. The sleek Conic table is made of polyethylene with a white translucent acrylic table top, available in white, black or red, with options such as an inset champagne cooler.

the next five years, our brand identity has never been more important.” For the design of its latest venues, the company is working with Neil Dawson of Snook Architects, with a commitment to be innovative. “Bar design and the perception of a brand work very much hand in hand: one can’t exist without the successful delivery of the other,” Neil explains. “You could have the strongest and most focused brand in the industry but if your venues don’t reflect the aspirations of the brand then all that hard work is wasted.” Baa Bar Leeds, which opened in October, features creative lighting, bold graphics, interactive displays and group seating areas designed to create a venue that is relaxed and comfortable for the daytime as well as dynamic and vibrant at night. But Baa Bar brand manager Iain Hoskins adds: “There is a balance to be struck between innovation and consistency and we acknowledge the importance of tailoring each of our bars slightly, dependent on the location. All of our sites are instantly recognisable as Baa Bars but we think using different ‘shades’ of certain brand aspects is important to retain an element of independence.” A new survey confirms that décor as well as atmosphere are the most important factors for consumers when choosing a bar or pub for a night out. While drinks and pricing have some influence, over 76 per cent of respondents said that bad

Vintage industrial furniture was selected for Dach & Sons, the restaurant and bar that was opened in Hampstead, north-west London, last year, by Fluid Movement. The restaurant’s interior combines distressed timbers, white coursed-brick butcher’s shop tiles and bare bulb light fittings. Furniture sourced from contract furniture supplier Andy Thornton includes heavy-duty factory refectory tables with steel bases, legs and tops in a distressed painted finish, each with six bolt-on swing seats. It also supplied industrial-style pub tables, console tables and unique factory bar stools with worn tan leather seats. Upstairs in the bar, Flat P (pictured), Andy Thornton supplied industrial-style bar stools with steel frames in a satin pewter finish with polished timber seats, which complement the panel-effect bar front and embossed gold-painted ceiling.

décor would deter them from returning to a venue, with seating cited as the most significant factor. Over 80 per cent confirmed they were more likely to stay in a bar or pub if it had comfortable seating. “Pubs, bars and restaurants need to look at how they get customers through the door,” says Rob Price, managing director of hospitality furniture specialist Trent Pottery which commissioned the survey. Despite economic gloom, investment in new bars, clubs and restaurants was at phenomenal levels in the UK last year, particularly in London and other UK cities such as Manchester, and this looks set to continue as we enter 2013.Vintage designs have been very much in vogue, such as midcentury furniture from the 1950s and 1960s. Ken Smith, managing director at bespoke joinery specialist Crafted & Co, notes that |45

interior design this vintage trend continues to “reinvent” itself. “It not only creates a fashionable interior but is popular due to the costeffective nature of using recycled materials such as old tiles and fabrics.” Linked to this is the dominant trend for industrial style in furniture and interiors, from exposed pipework and metalwork to lighting recycled from factory fittings. Hospitality furniture specialist Andy Thornton continues to report big demand for its Urban Vintage collection which was launched last year, ranging from armchairs and sofas in aged leathers and fabrics to heavy-duty cast-iron refectory tables. It is a look inspired by bars in Manhattan and Brooklyn, says Dan Einzig, director of design agency Mystery which has worked

Drake & Morgan This year will see bar operator Drake & Morgan add two new sites to its estate in the City of London. The Happenstance will open this summer in the new One St Paul’s development, followed by The Haberdashery in Sixty London, Holborn, in the autumn. The interiors of other sites such as The Parlour in Canary Wharf were inspired by restaurants on America’s west coast while The Drift (pictured) was subtly influenced by Beirut and Istanbul. Working again with Fusion Design & Architecture, the management team are taking inspiration for the new sites from bars and restaurants in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo, such as Unlisted Collection. Operations manager Taskin Muzaffer travelled with managing director Jillian MacLean and designers Sophie Douglas and Katie Whitfield to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing for research. While the interiors of the new sites have not been finalised, Taskin says they were impressed by the “lavish” design experience. “Drake & Morgan is built on taking inspiration from a lot of areas around the world and bringing them back,” he adds. “Each site is unique. We don’t copy a style but it’s more about capturing the mood of different places around the world. It’s important to us to stay ahead of our industry in the UK in both our design and our offer.”


on the likes of Adventure Bars and Giraffe. “I have seen the trend for industrial-style interior design mushroom through 2012 with an explosion of New York loft exposed brickwork, industrial salvage lighting, peeling plaster and textured wall finishes to the point where London feels more like New York now than New York.” However, he adds. “Ironically, it can be a very warm style where customers feel comfortable and relaxed, not feeling out of place or like they are not smart enough for the bar. It’s the sort of style that you can dress up or down, and it represents a certain urban lifestyle that people aspire to. My fear is that it’s becoming a bit generic and, unless they have strong distinctive brand identities, it’s starting to be hard to tell the difference between several places.” Dan’s predictions for 2013 include a revival in personalised interior graphics. “Bars that distinguish themselves by creating a unique personality will prosper as their customers connect with the brand experience. We’ll start to see more pop-ups finding permanent homes and a subsequent trend for lo-fi make-overs using paint and graphics to transform a space at low budget, rather than investing heavily in expensive finishes.” He says Mystery is working on two examples of this: a bar in Farringdon, London which will be flooded with a collage of imagery, and another in Croydon which will become a secret destination location. “The standard corporate replication of generic interiors has had its day,” he adds. “I understand that businesses need to create scalable concepts, but there is always a need for an element of personalisation for each location to ensure the design is tailored to connect with the local market.” The rise in street food concepts with more casual dining environments last year is influencing restaurant and bar interiors, says Abi Perry-Jones, principal interior design associate at Catering Design Group. “What this means from a design perspective is that consumers are now happy to eat perched on a bench, sharing a table with strangers.” The spread of South American cuisine in the UK in 2012 is also impacting interiors, she adds. “What this means for design trends in 2013 is that you can expect a light-hearted but carefully styled mix of bright colours against a backdrop of low-cost and recycled materials such as ply, stainless steel and plastics. This trend has a real urban feel which is becoming extremely prominent in bars. It is complemented by a laid-back approach to graphics and logos with graffiti styling and large sociable space-saving bench seating against long tables.” However, Abi notes some once-popular design trends are on the way out, such as velvety, shiny fabrics with contrasting furniture. “We’re also moving away from that home-from-home domestic feel,” she

Verdon Oak flooring from Moduleo

adds. “Consumers are looking for escapism, an experience that in no way reflects their home environment. We have at last started to see less monotone and restrained colour palettes which I believe will continue to emerge. Splashes of carefully placed colour are especially welcome. We’ll also be seeing bars go for a more eclectic feel. Mixing fabrics and textures is definitely the biggest trend for 2013. As to flooring, there is so much choice spanning ceramic tiles, patterned and mismatched.” Classic floor finishes have been in great demand for hospitality interiors in 2012, and this is likely to continue, says David Bigland, managing director of flooring company Moduleo UK. For Moduleo, which produces a range of vinyl floor tiles in different

The Caledonian A luxurious refurbishment of Edinburgh’s iconic hotel, The Caledonian, was completed last year after becoming part of Hilton’s Waldorf Astoria portfolio. The public spaces at the hotel, nicknamed “The Caley”, were designed by Fox Linton Associates. The long-established Caley Bar (pictured) retained its classic feel, themed on the grandeur of the Caledonian Railway in the 19th century, with overtones of the plush furnishings of the Orient-Express. The new Peacock Alley bar was inspired by the grand social promenade that connected the original Waldorf and Astoria hotels in Manhattan.

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interior design

Interiors UK Chesterfield from Geometric Furniture

colours and finishes, some of its most popular finishes in 2012 were the classicstyle Country Oak,Verdon Oak and Classic Oak, available in traditional luxury vinyl tile (LVT) construction or a Click system. However, David adds: “While traditional hard-wood finishes will no doubt continue to be popular in 2013, there is a growing trend for slightly unusual and exotic finishes. An example of this is our product, Ethnic Wenge, which has proved extremely popular and is based on a rare, tropical wood from the Congo.” He adds that environmental factors are gaining increasing importance, driving demand for environmentally friendly products in 2013 and beyond. Classic design trends are reflected in new furniture being launched by GO IN (UK) at this month’s Hospitality show at NEC Birmingham as part of its 2013 catalogue. It expects the retro style and flowing lines of its transparent Elysee chairs to make them popular for both indoor and outdoor use, with waterproof cushions available in a wide range of colours and materials. It will also showcase its new braid-weave

Terrazza chair, a weatherproof twist on a classic design. Its ergonomically designed aluminium frame allows the weave in the seat and backrest to adjust to the shape of the body, offering comfortable seating for long periods. Classic and industrial styles are in demand for hospitality interiors from contract specialist Geometric Furniture. Examples include a dining table that has been given an industrial look by putting its solid ash top through a series of sanding processes to create a distressed finish. Creative staining adds to its rustic feel, while it has a single pedestal base made from cast iron with decorative anchor bolts welded onto it. For the more classic look, Geometric’s distinctive Chesterfields are particularly in big demand, says furniture designer Jennifer Brobbin. Built over a hardwood frame, the sofa has a sprung back and seat, with options including luxurious deep buttoning, piping and Renaissance-style studding, as shown in the three-metre-long Chesterfield pictured on this page. “It is also available in an aged leather look where our leather worker carefully takes the hide through several

The annual show for interior design, Interiors UK, returns on January 20 to 23 at Birmingham NEC, showcasing products and ideas for both home and commercial interiors. It features more than 600 exhibitors this year, covering furniture, lighting, flooring and soft furnishings. They include companies operating in the hospitality sector such as Elstead Lighting, Febland Group, Morris Furniture, Timorous Beasties and Classic Furniture (which supplied the new BrewDog Bar in Bristol, pictured). Show highlights include a seminar programme and a champagne bar designed by hospitality specialist Shaun Clarkson. More details and free registration at The last three days of Interiors UK coincide with the Hospitality show at NEC (see page 42).

stages to replicate the look of authentic antique leather,” Jennifer adds. “The original styling makes it extremely versatile, lending itself to both traditional and contemporary interiors.” With Chesterfields still very much in demand, classic-style furniture and industrial-style interiors look set to continue well into 2013.

Taj Crowne Plaza The Hamptons lobby bar at Taj Crowne Plaza London St James, close to London Victoria and Buckingham Palace, has been revamped as part of a redevelopment of the groundfloor lobby. Design practice Broadway Malayan drew on the late Victorian and early Edwardian architecture of the building by introducing modern but classic furniture and lighting pieces, such as eccentric wing chairs in velvet upholstery. The Hamptons Bar is managed by Daniel Crebesse, president of the UK Bartenders Guild.


Elysee from GO IN (UK)

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employment London Bar Consultants trains staff at Village East

Come train and shine

Apprenticeships and other training are helping bar operators to stay ahead during tough times, reports Mark Ludmon


t 19, Charlotte Bonser has risen from team player to deputy general manager at The Polite Vicar in Newcastle-underLyme in just one year and now manages a team of 30 with her general manager. During that time, she not only acquired her personal licence and BII cellar management qualification but also completed a level 2 Apprenticeship in Food & Beverage Service, thanks to her employer Spirit Pub Company. Last month, she won the national award for intermediate apprentice of the year in the Hospitality Guild Apprenticeship Awards. “I’ve got a passion for the hospitality trade and I feel extremely motivated to go further in the industry, with the aim of taking a general manager position in the near future,” she says. Charlotte’s apprenticeship was provided by Charnwood Training Group, which has been working with Spirit for twoand-a-half years and just had its contract renewed. Since it started, the companywide apprenticeship has seen 80 per cent of apprentices remain with the business and 40 per cent progress their careers. Despite benefits such as these, Charnwood’s managing director Gerwyn House says employers are still missing out. “With all the noise in the trade media about apprenticeships and the myriad funded training available, I’m amazed by the number of operators we meet who have an outdated view of training. They still think their employees will need to take time

out of the business and go to an external training centre. And they still think it’s going to cost them a lot of money. There’s a big pot of government money available to pay for training, and employers would be daft not to use it.” Accredited by the Skills Funding Agency, Charnwood draws down millions of pounds of funding each year for training for employees as young as 16 and in all areas of front and back of house. Options range from apprenticeships to work-based learning, including the BII Apprenticeships Programme. Support is also available through the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers, providing funds to employers with fewer than 250 staff who have not had an apprenticeship within the last 12 months. Available through providers such as Charnwood, it has been popular but is due to end in March. Access to funding for apprenticeships and work-based training means it is proving attractive to small and medium-sized operators, says Jill Whittaker, managing director of HIT Training, a leading provider of training and apprenticeships for the hospitality industry. “We work with lots of smaller employers who find that, when their staff get qualifications, staff turnover goes down, staff efficiency goes up and staff have more self-esteem. Employers worry that, if they train staff up, they will just leave them but that isn’t normally the case as it brings an element of loyalty.”

Heliot Bar After the £40million redevelopment of the Hippodrome Casino in London’s West End, its owners have been investing in motivating their staff. The workforce, including those in the Heliot Restaurant, Bar & Lounge (pictured), are offered an integrated voluntary benefits scheme through P&MM Employee Benefits. It includes exclusive discounts, childcare vouchers and a cycle-to-work initiative. Presented at employee inductions, it had a 100 per cent take-up after the venue reopened last July. James Malia, head of P&MM Employee Benefits, adds: “Employee benefits are increasingly being utilised by those employers keen to help support and improve the lives of their staff, at little or no extra cost to the business. The importance of offering a good work-life balance to employees is now well-recognised and accepted by employers as an effective way to drive staff engagement, and maintain a motivated and loyal workforce.” |51

employment Charlotte Bonser (right) with Suzy Jackson, executive director of the Hospitality Guild, and chef Brian Turner

Drake & Morgan

For the licensed trade, most of HIT Training’s learners go through the Food & Beverage Service Qualification, leading to an NVQ Level 2 diploma, which includes training in serving alcoholic and soft drinks including cocktails and wine as well as hot drinks plus options such as cellar and table service. However, Jill stresses that training can be tailored to match the needs of any workplace and role, adding units such as book-keeping or reception. She admits there is “still a long way to go”

Industry push on work placements Pub and bar companies across the country aim to create 15,000 work placements for young people in a drive to showcase the career options that are available throughout the industry. The new initiative will run throughout 2013/14 and equip young people with foundation-level qualifications and prepare them for entry into employment via an apprenticeship or as a stepping stone on a structured career path. Employers are being urged to register their support for the programme by The Perceptions Group, a collective of industry executives dedicated to raising the profile of the industry. They are asked to contact the Hospitality Guild, which is funding the programme and will launch a website in March, at


to ensure training budgets are not cut when times get tough, with more action needed by the Government to ensure the perceived cost “risk” of training staff is completely removed. “Enlightened employers recognise that, if you have a properly trained workforce, that gives your bar a USP. If you have bar staff trained in customer service and how to do their job really efficiently, these employers know that the bar is going to get repeat visits again and again.” Many operators tap into the free training resources of drinks suppliers such as the training teams at Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands and Maxxium UK’s Mixxit. On-trade wine supplier Enotria provides a range of training for different types of bars, such as Serving Wine with Confidence for bar staff with little or no previous knowledge of wine, which can last just one hour or up to four hours. With effort put into making sessions lively and engaging, it also offers more specific ones such as champagne and sparkling wine and courses by region or country. “The single most effective way to improve your wine sales is by giving staff confidence through effective wine training,” explains Enotria communications manager Ben Smith. One of the biggest investors in bartender training has been The Living Room, part of Orchid Group and now run by Eclectic Clubs & Bars. One of its former bartender trainers Nate Brown has set up The London Bar Consultants with fellow ex-Living Room bartender Lewis Hayes to provide training and other consultancy for bars. They are working with clients such as the new Cold Distillery bar in the City of London [see page 14] but have already put together structured training units for operators to build up tailored programmes. Their four core products start with Bartending 101 covering the basics, moving on to The Big Six, covering six classic cocktails in a way that will help bartenders to make other drinks. The other two are

London bar operator Drake & Morgan has continued to develop its training after growing to five sites and a workforce of 300 since 2008, with two more due to open this year. Andrew Lawson joined as “head of people” nearly two years ago, and the company has also taken on its own in-house trainer. Over the past year, training has focused more than ever on “delivering exceptional customer service”, Andrew says, which is covered by modules from the first month of an employee joining the company. As well as a one-day induction for all joiners, there is now a structured programme of learning for all joiners for the first three months, with training plans, tests and validation. Drake & Morgan also trains supervisors and managers in training new recruits as well as providing management development training to retain and promote good people. “In a transient place like central London, we have a core of fantastic staff who are very loyal and have two or more years’ service at different levels,” Andrew adds.

Speed and Rapport, covering customer service, plus other tailored units such as spirits training. “We work closely with the venue operators to develop a bespoke package that instructs the staff in how to deliver the personality of the establishment and how to maximize the guest experience,” Lewis explains. They are working with Village London, which operates The Garrison and Village East in Bermondsey Street and Riding House Café in the West End. As well as implementing modules at all levels, they have trained staff to carry out in-house programmes for the long term, although the pair will continue to oversee it. Lewis adds: “So many people say to us they can’t afford £500 for a day’s worth of training when they are struggling to make a profit, but it’s an investment for the future. The idea of training is all about increasing value. Standards are increasing in bars but every single venue could make improvements whether it is speed, or customer service or their menus.You cut training costs at your peril.”

Wrights Fine Furniture Ltd, Stretton Heath, Yockleton, Shrewsbury SY5 9QQ Tel: 01743 821800 Fax: 01743 291826 Email:

Tibbatts Abel Interiors Architecture

Designers of Buddha Bar London 0121 747 1111 www.

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Money talks Raising funds for improvements or cutting costs of energy bills could be life savers in 2013


ith Government cuts, falling pay levels and rising inflation, 2013 could pose challenges for some in the licensed trade. If business becomes tough, it is essential to act as soon as possible, says Ben Robson, managing director of insolvency and business recovery specialist Bridge Newland. “Often companies come to a practice like mine when it’s too late to take any action other than to sell off the company’s assets and go into liquidation. If a firm acts when the first warning signs appear, then it is possible to turn it around and make a potentially disastrous situation into a positive experience.” Covering the licensed trade in the Midlands, Bridge Newland works with bars and pubs and specialists such as finance houses, solicitors and business advisers to help businesses get back on track. “Warning signs to look out for include getting behind on paying taxes, fewer sales than forecast, declining profit margins, threats of legal action and exceeding your overdraft limit,” Ben adds. Cash advances are proving a shortterm solution for some bars and pubs, according to Ashley Business Cash which was launched last summer to work with the hospitality sector. Part of Ultimate Finance Group, it can provide cash injections of up to £25,000 based on future sales. Bar owners then make repayments through debit and credit card sales, typically over a six-month period, using their existing PDQ terminal. “These are challenging times for businesses in the hospitality sector, particularly in terms of accessing finance because a lot of the banks are still reluctant to lend money,” says managing director Colin Samuels. Ashley helped licensees Emma and Mark Flaherty to carry out improvements at their pub, The Highlands in Uckfield, East Sussex, and to clear an outstanding VAT bill. They bought a glasswasher, a cellar cooler, glassware and crockery and made general


electrical improvements and renovated the exterior of the pub. Emma says: “It was unusual compared to the loans and overdrafts we had already considered, and we were drawn to the flexibility of being able to pay it back via our PDQ machine as it allowed us to have quieter periods and busy periods without worrying about a fixed payment coming out at the end of the month.” Boost Capital also provides cash advances to pubs and bars that are finding it difficult to access finance from traditional sources, allowing them to use future credit card sales to access unsecured funding. Businesses that accept credit and debit cards can qualify for £5,000 to £500,000 in 24 hours and receive funds in five to 10 days. “Business cash advances are a fast and flexible form of finance which is paid back through a small fixed percentage of daily credit or debit card transactions,” says managing director David Abbott. “The repayment structure is dictated by the business’s performance, ensuring that sufficient cash flow remains in order to operate the business. Because the payback is dependent on daily sales, a bar or club owner is never in a position of being overburdened with excessive repayments that they may not be able to afford.” He adds that an accessible and flexible approach to funding is key to growth for small businesses such as bars. “If capital isn’t readily available, then a business can miss out on growth or cost-saving opportunities when they present themselves.”

Save cash on energy bills Bar owners could save money through better deals on gas and electricity bills, according to Lauren Pope of business energy broker Business Juice. “If you run a bar, you should treat energy like you would spirits, beer or wine – don’t pay more than you need to for it, and don’t waste it,” she says. “With energy, you have a wide choice of suppliers and tariffs, and there are big savings to be made, so be sure to compare prices. It might seem time-consuming, but it could be well worth the effort because of the savings you make. Using an independent energy broker or comparison site is a good option if you want to save time.” Lauren suggest you should also think about how much energy you use in your bar. “If one of your beer taps had been left running, you’d switch it off rather than watch your profit drain away, and electricity and gas shouldn’t be any different. Think about how you can be more energy-efficient. It could be simple free changes like getting your staff into a routine of turning off everything they possibly can when they’re closing up, or low-cost changes like installing motionsensor lighting for areas such as cellars, offices and stockrooms, or a long-term investment like more efficient heating and cooling equipment.”

DON’T SQUEEZE YOUR OWN COMPARING BUSINESS ENERGY CAN TAKE TIME, SO LET BUSINESS JUICE DO THE SQUEEZING. Tailor-made for businesses, Business Juice helps you find the right deal for you with advice that’s reliable, impartial, free – and could save you up to 70% on your business energy rates. Whether you’re a small wine bar, or a much larger establishment, we’ll help make sense of the market, and secure the best deal for your business – whatever its size, and whatever your tipple. Business Juice makes it easy, now isn’t that refreshing?

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Door of duty Technology is adding to the arsenal of solutions for tackling crime and managing safety at bars and clubs


uring last year’s recession, fear about crime grew. According to a survey by insurers AXA, 46 per cent of business owners became more worried about violence to them or their staff compared to the year before. Last year also saw a growth in the number of companies turning to private security companies, with market research group MBD indicating that revenues in this sector were up by around seven per cent year on year. Operators of bars and clubs are also turning to security companies because of concerns about the 2009 Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act, says Tommy Atkin, managing director of ProTouch Security, which works in the licensed trade. “Put simply, if a business has chosen a member of staff as a key-holder for alarm response situations and they haven’t been fully trained, if they become involved in a severe incident with fatal consequences, then that business is vulnerable to prosecution,” he explains. “The Association

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of Chief Police Officers’ policy requires that every alarmed premises must have at least two key-holders, one of which must always be available and have transport, and if a business doesn’t comply with this, the police will withdraw response from the premises.” When using staff as key-holders to deal with alarm activations out of hours, Tommy says operators need to ensure the individuals are fully trained and insured to

SIA licensing Standards of door security at Britain’s bars and clubs continue to improve, with new training requirements and constant monitoring by the Security Industry Authority (SIA). From February this year, all door supervisors with a qualification obtained before summer 2010 will need to pass the new “Up-Skilling for Door Supervisors” award, covering areas such as physical intervention, before they are able to renew their SIA licence. “Being trained in the appropriate techniques and how to use them will help door staff to manage difficult situations, minimising the risk of injury to members of the public and to themselves,” explains the SIA’s development manager for competency, Tony Holyland. The SIA continues to work with police across the UK to carry out spot inspections at bars, and clubs. Last month, it joined with the Police Service

of Northern Ireland to check that door staff at venues in Belfast, Lisburn and Newtownards were properly licensed. Over a Friday and Saturday night, they visited 50 sites, finding three unlicensed doormen and breaches of SIA licence conditions. Also last month, the SIA cracked down on people flouting licensing rules in London in association with the Metropolitan Police. Focusing on Hackney, Havering, Redbridge and Sutton on a Friday night, they visited 20 pubs, clubs and bars, identifying just four offences.

carry out those duties. Other factors to take into account are whether it is part of their employment contract, whether enough has been done to protect them, how long does it take to sort out, and will it mean they can function properly at work the next day. “What happens if they are off sick, on holiday or out for the night or the weekend,” Tommy adds. He points out that a lot of insurance providers will offer lower premiums to a business using a professional security company. Advances in technology are enhancing the ability of CCTV to fight crime both inside and outside a venue. Smarter security measures for protecting staff and customers include IP-based surveillance using highdefinition TV (HDTV) network cameras, says Atul Rajput, retail business development manager for northern Europe at CCTV camera specialist Axis Communications. “HDTV network cameras have at least a three times better resolution than analogue CCTV cameras that exist in many bars and clubs today, and maximise the probability of gaining positive identification and evidential quality video,” he explains. Axis also offers Lightfinder technology which generates crystal-clear colour images in low light conditions. Atul adds that other benefits include HDTV cameras’ significant “zoom” capabilities which can read the denomination on a bank note if there is a dispute over a transaction. As it is IP-based, |57

security it can be accessed remotely via the internet, enabling security personnel or bar managers to receive live images on a mobile device, so they can react to potential incidents or simply monitor customer traffic, Atul adds. “With the spread of 4G networks in the UK, this benefit is set to accelerate, offering remote access to deliver high-quality live video anytime, anywhere.” He points out that high-tech CCTV can also help operators with intelligent analytics such as measuring people and performance levels across a chain of venues to ensure the best allocation of staff. It can also be used to identify any health and safety breaches and, by using “heatmaps”, help managers improve the flow of people by identifying where bottleneck hotspots occur. CCTV and epos systems can work together to help bar and club owners to combat fraud, says Richard Dorf, managing director of PXtech, a specialist in information technology for the licensed trade. “The latest innovative software solutions, which sit on top of existing epos systems and can also link with in-store CCTV, provide bar managers with access to real-time business critical data from web-enabled devices, delivering accurate analysis of transactional information, from anywhere in the world, 24/7,” he explains. “CCTV integration also provides users with fraud detection and prevention powers – users can pull up the till receipt alongside surveillance footage to analyse the nature of the transaction.” Bar and club owners can also choose to receive alerts, via text or email, which instantly flag up unusual transactions and identify fraudulent trends. “In a fast-paced environment, where few customers tend to ask for a receipt, this real-time feature allows management to make proactive, rather than reactive, decisions immediately,” Richard explains. He adds that business intelligence solutions like these can grow with a business and also be tailored to the specific demands of an individual outlet. “For example, locking down unnecessary override till functions and making senior members of staff accountable for high-risk purchases are effective methods of reducing fraud and making a business more efficient.” Alongside CCTV, another solution for managing queues and bottlenecks is barrier systems. One of the leading specialists in this area, Tensator, reports a rise in demand from licensed venues for its post and rope stanchions which enable bars and clubs to create a discreet queuing system. “Customers can be put off by queues for drinks or cloakrooms, so a sleek and stylish barrier system that is easily integrated into a venue’s environment allows for the subtle guidance and movement of patrons,” points out Tensator general manager Kevin Hickson. “VIP areas in bars and clubs


Facewatch Facewatch, the technology-based crimefighting initiative created by bar owner Simon Gordon, continues to grow, with the launch of a new app for the public to report thefts. Using their smartphones, people can report a theft of personal belongings and get an instant insurance crime reference and the option to cancel their bank cards, free of charge with one call. If CCTV is available, the victim can provide details of the premises or CCTV owner. The information will go straight to the relevant police force via the Facewatch system which was created by Simon Gordon of Gordon’s Wine Bar at Embankment, London. Facewatch is being used by nine police forces across the UK, allowing businesses to report thefts immediately via the web. More than 6,000 business premises, including many pubs, bars and clubs, are registered or committed to register on the system. Last June, the Facewatch ID (pictured) app was launched in London and Surrey, with more forces to follow shortly, allowing users to view images of people in their postcode area who the police would like to identify.

often require barriers to segregate off a section of a venue from the general public. Tensator’s post and rope products create an aesthetically pleasing and flexible solution, meeting the ever-changing demands of licensed premises.” Pressure on operators is set to increase this year thanks to new powers introduced for police and local authorities last October. With the threat of late-night levies and early-morning restriction orders to tackle alcohol-related crime and disorder, good security will be more vital than ever.

New app helps Luminar on the door Luminar has launched an iPhone app that will help clubbers at its 56 nightclubs across the UK to get straight to the front of the queue. The unique new digital passport gives clubbers the ability to buy and store e-tickets, vouchers and offers on their iPhone and scan tickets at the box office. The app was launched at parties across Luminar’s estate, supported by pointof-sale marketing and on-screen and on-web advertising, hanging mobiles and posters. It led to more than 7,000 customers signing up in its first weekend. Using technology developed in partnership with TXD and leading hospitality epos company Zonal Retail Systems, it is due to be extended in 2013 to allow cashless transactions at bars and at box offices. An Android version of the app is being launched this month. Luminar’s head of marketing and central operations Tim Howard said: “We know that our customers don’t like queuing. With this new app, they’ll be able to browse events, choose when they want to visit and buy the package they want. All transactions are stored within the app, so they don’t even need to print off vouchers. When they’ve bought their ticket, they can just walk straight to the club’s main entrance without queuing, as the voucher is instantly recognised by our epos system.” The new app is also a customer communication and engagement tool which links to the company via social media such as Facebook and Twitter as well as its own databases and epos. More at

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Commercial microwave ovens tick all the boxes When a pub or bar wants to serve delicious meals, lunchtimes and evenings, seven days a week, kitchen equipment needs to be reliable, flexible and easy to use. Commercial microwave ovens tick all these boxes as well as being fast and energy efficient. Commercial microwave ovens come into their own at peak periods when kitchen staff are pushed to their limits. Many chefs find that if they cook desserts such as jam roly-poly and sponge pudding in advance, they can be quickly reheated in the microwave with no loss of quality, and diners are not kept waiting. They are also perfect for steaming fresh vegetables and reheating all types of casseroles and pasta dishes

as well as pre-cooking baked potatoes. Samsung’s latest CM1929 is a tough, efficient microwave especially designed for the commercial catering market. With a capacity of 26 litres, it has 35 per cent more usuable cooking space than comparable microwaves on the market so can accommodate large plates and serving dishes. It has an overall power output of 1850W, a redesigned soft-touch control pad, seven power levels and a digital display showing status and mode of operation. Visit microwave

A simple solution to your glasswashing problems A constant supply of hygienically clean, sparkling glasses achieved with minimum space, minimum effort and minimum cost: that’s the promise of the Streamline rotary brush glasswasher machine. It is a popular choice with customers who recognise it is a very good alternative to the cabinet machine, and is very competitively priced. The Streamline machine’s mechanical brushes clean all shapes of glasses inside and out, removing all traces of grime and even lipstick.

It is economical to run and will cope with large volumes of glasses (around 700 per hour) or the occasional couple of glasses as it can be instantly ready at the flick of a switch. The Streamline machine is portable and versatile, making it ideal for temporary locations and outside events. It can be easily installed where space is limited. Call 01252 820026, visit www. or email sales@ |61




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Door staff at some of Belfast’s most popular bars were giving out hugs last month as part of a campaign to raise money for Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children. Customers were offered a hug in return for a donation at Botanic Inns venues such as Apartment and Scratch. The Hugs Not Thugs initiative was the idea of doorman Paul McDonald from Apartment. “You know, doormen get a lot of flak in this city but underneath it all we are just big softies,” he said, adding: “A hug in return from a big burly bouncer is optional but, let’s face it, who doesn’t feel better after a good cuddle.” Paul is pictured with Karen Stanex and her five-year-old son Jake who is fighting leukaemia.

If you are reading this, the end of the world did not go ahead as scheduled on December 21. In the run-up to this apocalyptic date, drinks company Bibendum enlisted a top archaeologist to explain why the Mayans’


Mixing it up >>

ancient calendar ominously ends on our winter solstice. Gathered in the 13th-century crypt of a London church, we heard from Mayan expert Professor Elizabeth Graham from University College London’s Institute of Archaeology how the date is the end of the “13th B’ak’tun”, marking 5,128 years since the Mayans’ estimate of when the world began. While ancient carvings suggested December 21 would also herald the arrival of angry god Bolon Yukte, Prof Graham – and modern Mayans – saw it as no more than an excuse for a millennium-style celebration of new beginnings. Whether we felt reassured or not, there was the comfort of great cocktails made by Bibendum’s Paul McFadyen (pictured) and Simone Warneford using Crystal Head Vodka. Its skull bottle design is inspired by crystal skulls discovered by archaeologists around the world, including one supposedly found under an altar in a Mayan temple.

It is many years since many of us has had an Orgasm, but some of the cult classics made a comeback at the now-annual competition organised by Bacardi BrownForman Brands (BBFB) for its brand ambassadors and trainers. The Ghosts of Bartenders Past event, which

took place at Lab in London’s Soho, challenged them to create drinks from the iconic 1988 Tom Cruise movie Cocktail (pictured). From a Kamikaze to a Singapore Sling, they put on a great show throughout an entertaining night compered by the “last barman poet”, Jake Burger of Notting Hill’s Portobello Star. The BBFB team proved – more or less – that they still had what it takes to tend bar, impressing judges Claire Smith, head of mixology for Belvedere Vodka, mixologist Craig Harper of FeverTree, and Giles Looker of consultancy Soulshakers. The winner was Rich Hunt, global brand ambassador for Oxley Gin, who created a Death Spasm – a cocktail that is only mentioned in the film and has no standard recipe, allowing Rich to come up with something loosely based on a Snowball.

Everyone is offering cocktail masterclasses and wine tastings these days, but the team at Bunga Bunga in Battersea, London, have come with a different idea: life drawing classes with a nude model. Launching on January 15, the 90-minute classes will be led by teacher and life model Isabella Franks in the upstairs private dining room. People will be provided with drawing boards and art materials but also a constant supply of cocktails starting with a Bellini on arrival. As it is winter, the model will not be totally naked – she will wear a Bunga Bunga cap to help her keep warm.

Daniel Carvalho, new bar manager of rooftop bar Vista at The Trafalgar Hotel in London’s Trafalgar Square


look forward to the year ahead as bar manager for Vista. As we move into the new season, this will be reflected in our menu, so embracing the diversity and vibrancy and magic of London will be the undercurrent of what we will offer to our customers. I’m very passionate about what I do and continuously aim to create new and inspired experiences. Consistency is vital. I’ve worked in a variety of London bars from classic to contemporary and Michelin-star venues and have experience working abroad in Australia, Ibiza and Dubai and it’s from these experiences that I’ve drawn inspiration for my new role. As we move into 2013 I’ll be focusing on “keeping the magic flowing” and delivering excellent service. With regards to the drinks menu, I’m looking to keep the same level of elegance and personality in the drinks created. There will be some classics but with a twist, complementing the sophisticated, vibrant atmosphere that can be enjoyed on Vista. Seasonal ingredients will feature on the menu, from fresh, aromatic clear notes to more savoury influences to excite the palate. I’ll be providing customers with a variety of cocktails to appeal to the many different tastes, combining flavours from citrus to floral, intense herbs and seasonal fresh fruits. All the drinks on offer will be contemporary but yet steeped in history to reflect the modern, boutique style of Vista and The Trafalgar Hotel. Inspiration derives as much from the influence of the seasons to the food being served as the two go hand in hand. So working closely with executive chef Paula O’Neil, the new drinks menu will complement the food as well as be inspired by the food in terms of textures, ingredients and tones. Creating a memorable moment and experience is key for us.

Bar Magazine January 2013  
Bar Magazine January 2013  

Bar Magazine January 2013