Mark Ludmon looks at the case for adding premium soft drinks and mixers to the menu At bars such as Lost Society, The Lost Angel and Citizen Smith in London, The Lost Group has gained a reputation for innovation in cocktails. But it has also seen enormous growth in premium soft drinks and non-alcoholic cocktails …

Beers, ciders and wines that are lighter in alcohol are gathering momentum, reports Mark Ludmon When 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 …

Every January, increasing numbers of people give up alcohol to “detox”. This once meant bars and pubs were a no-go area but that is changing thanks to the spread of non-alcoholic cocktails. “Soft cocktail” ideas are now actively promoted by the likes of premium soft drinks brand Fentimans which has put together recipe ideas in …

As Christmas gets under way, here is a last look at some of the festive cocktails that we have come across over the past few weeks. The Maestro himself, Salvatore Calabrese, got into the Christmas spirit with a menu of five cocktails designed to embody the tastes and scents of the festive season. They include …

Ten years ago, the only way anyone drank energy drinks in bars and pubs was with vodka. Now, the “Vodka Red Bull” bar call has been replaced by the ubiquitous bomb serve, plus increasing use of energy drinks as a cocktail ingredient. “There is still an element of the vodka energy serve that introduced energy …

We all love a good story, and that is particularly true when it comes to vodka. With so many brands vying for attention in top-end bars and clubs, they need an engaging “story” to succeed. “It’s a difficult sell to consumers because of the massive price differential in that sector,” says Paul McFadyen, spirits brand …

Recipes for drinks featured in the report on Christmas and New Year in the December 2012 issue of Bar magazine Christmas and New Year are a time for celebration, especially for licensees who come up with ideas that ensure they make the most of the festive opportunity. A range of new serves using Freixenet cavas …

The average price of a bottle of wine in the on-trade has increased by 2.36 per cent to £15.31 over the past year in the face of rising duty, according to the latest WineNation Report. The average price of non-branded wine in the on-trade now tops £17. Price rises have contributed to sales falling by …

Drew Mayville has been blending whiskey since 1980, first at Seagram and then at Diageo, before arriving at the Sazerac Company in 2004 where he is master blender for the likes of Buffalo Trace. He shared his passion for the spirit at a fantastic new pop-up bar in London’s Covent Garden last month, the Buffalo …

Innovation in cask selection and wood finishes are part of continuing excitement and exploration in the whisky category in the UK, reports Mark Ludmon Whisky may have been pushed by vodka into second place as Britons’ favourite spirit, but there is still a thirst for it. Even before Ardbeg Distillery released its 12-year-old Galileo in …