Spending most of his time working on Disaronno and Tia Maria, Rod will generate brand awareness and trial by training bartenders on the perfect serve as well as promoting the brands’ versatility and widespread use in cocktails. He will also host masterclasses and consumer-facing events for the brands.
He will also work with Isolabella, a contemporary premium sambuca that is from the same producers of Tia Maria and Disaronno, Illva.
Rod has joined First Drinks with more than 10 years’ on-trade experience behind him. Most recently, he owned and ran his own bar, The Old Fire Station in Brentford, west London, but has also worked for Pernod Ricard and Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands in brand training roles.
Over the years he has won and been a finalist at various industry awards, as well as sitting as a judge for various cocktail competitions. He came second in the London heat of this year’s Disaronno Mixing Star competition.
Sam Bovill, brand manager for Disaronno at First Drinks, said: “We are thrilled to have Rod on board to further build Tia Maria and Disaronno in the UK. Having someone in this role on a full-time basis further demonstrates our investment and commitment to the brand in the UK.
“As well as having an engaging personality, crucial for ambassador roles, Rod has an impressive and comprehensive understanding of the on-trade and some great training experience on major spirits brands. We hope the combination of this, along with his passion and enthusiasm, will help build our presence amongst the trade.”
Rod added: “I am really excited to be working with First Drinks on two of the biggest non-cream liqueur brands in the country. Both brands already have a strong presence in the on-trade and I look forward to meeting and engaging with the trade and consumers alike to further build on this success.”