Grand Marnier launches bartender programme to inspire cocktail innovation

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An extensive programme has been launched by Grand Marnier to inspire and challenge bartenders to create innovative cocktails.

Through Campari UK, the French liqueur brand has teamed up with creative bartending lab Crucible in London to run the Grand Alchemy Training initiative from June through to the end of the year.

Up to 10 bartenders will be invited each month to exclusive training sessions at Crucible, led by bartender and consultant Geoff Robinson under the guidance of its director Stu Bale. The pair (pictured below) have designed a series of challenges for bartenders to celebrate the “alchemy” and core values of Grand Marnier.

Stu said: “Grand Marnier contains 51% cognac, which means that it brings an intriguing twist to cocktails and drinks, giving a multi-layered flavour to classic serves.

“It is a spirit like no other, and its deep-rooted history of alchemy lends itself to many of the techniques we use in our lab.

“We challenged the bartenders to see the variety of ways that Grand Marnier can be used from distilling, to separating, whilst also ensuring that the core element, that it is a base, not an enhancer, is kept front of mind.”

Created in 1880 by Louis-Alexandre Marnier, Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge is a blend of cognac and the essence of bitter oranges – produced through what the brand refers to as “alchemy” – the forerunner of modern chemistry.

Similar to alchemy, the definition of “crucible” is a “situation in which different elements interact, leading to the creation of something new”. A crucible was also a vessel used in medieval alchemy.

Nick Williamson, marketing director at Campari UK, said: “2018 is an exciting year for Grand Marnier, communicating the unique principles of alchemy that created the liquid and inspiring bartenders to use Grand Marnier to create innovative cocktails.

“The bartender programme is designed to educate and encourage, as well as show our commitment and recognition of their role in our new vision for the brand.

“London’s Crucible really impressed us, engaging with how Grand Marnier can be used creatively. We are delighted to launch our collaborative training programme, to inspire a generation of bartenders to see where the art of alchemy can take their bar offering.”

Stu Bale Geoff Robinson Crucible

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