An initiative has been launched by mixer specialist The London Essence Company to bring together talented bartenders to “explore and build creative potential”.
Under the banner of “The Essence of the Season”, it will work with seven bartenders from London – where the brand has its roots – on a “collaborative forum” for the autumn and winter season.
It will support them in the creation of their own unique seasonal expression with industry mentors Nick Strangeway, Stu Bale, photographer Addie Chinn and forager/alchemist Jemma Foster.
The Essence of the Season programme will launch with a workshop at Crucible London – the new creative hub created by Stu Bale in Haggerston, London, to provide bartenders with access to high-tech equipment for experimentation and innovation.
Participants will be chosen by Hamish Bremner, brand ambassador for The London Essence Co and the originator of this season’s theme, along with Stu.
For the seven bartenders selected, these ideas will be cultivated further during a day of inspiration. The collaborative sessions will cover foraging, amplifying the theme of “Winter Forestry” with tools including a rotovap, water bath and ice cream maker, with a Winter Forestry feast to inspire further creativity.
Participants will have access to the lab and equipment during the two-week period that follows and then regroup to share final creations and get tips from leading drinks photographer Addie Chinn on how to take phenomenal images of drinks.
The London Essence Co will support the further development of each participant by promoting them and their creations within the industry and by offering training in social media and presentation skills.
Participants can become mentors in the future within the growing community. After launching in London, the initiative will be rolled out to other UK cities in future seasons.
Applications for the programme will be promoted on the London Bartender Association Facebook site and The London Essence Co social feeds.
Application forms can be accessed by expressing interest to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hamish said: “As a bartender myself, I know how important it can be to express creativity. Whether it is creating drinks for people off the cuff or designing drinks with a team.
“With our seasonal project we are creating a support structure that will grow, change and be a rewarding for years to come. I look forward to exploring new ideas with my peers.”
Ounal Bailey, co-founder of WiseHead Productions which launched The London Essence Co last year, added: “The spirit of collaboration is at the heart of everything we do and we’re delighted to bring together fresh faces with established mentors in the bartending community to spark creativity from season to season. Our ambition is for this community to evolve with the changing needs of modern bartenders.”
The London Essence Co’s premium range of distilled tonics and mixers has been created in collaboration with world-renowned experts including Nick Strangeway. They comprise Classic London Tonic, Grapefruit and Rosemary Tonic, Bitter Orange and Elderflower Tonic, and Delicate Ginger Ale.