Our regular round-up of industry news, for September 29 to October 2, 2014
Operator triumphs in Manchester awards
Living Ventures picked up four awards in this year’s Manchester Food & Drink Festival Awards. Its year-old venue Manchester House (pictured) received the titles of restaurant of the year, newcomer of the year and bar of the year. The Howard and Ruth Award for Outstanding Achievement went to Living Ventures co-founder and chief executive Tim Bacon. The award for best pub was won by The Dockyard in MediaCityUK in Salford Quays.
Expanding Eclectic boosts earnings and sales
Sales and earnings are up at Eclectic Bar Group as it continues its strategy of steady expansion with a new focus on increasing revenue from food. It reported a 14.1% rise in earnings (EBITDA) on continuing operations before exceptional costs to £2.6million for the year to June 29 alongside a 11.7% increase in revenue on continuing operations to £23million. Chief executive Reuben Harley said Eclectic planned to add two to three new sites per year, with a strong pipeline in place.
Bars to celebrate National Vodka Day
Revolution bars across the UK are to celebrate National Vodka Day on Saturday by offering every customer a free flavoured shot. Now in its 18th year, the bars are also celebrating the group’s sale of its 2,000,000th bottle of flavoured vodka.
Colourful cocktails for London Cocktail Week
Slug and Lettuce will be marking London Cocktail Week with a special list of drinks at its bars across the capital. The 15 bars in London will offer a mini list under the banner of “Colours” with six cocktails and four shot-tails, all created with colour in mind. London Cocktail Week runs from October 6 to 12.
BBFB runs week-long sessions for trade
Seminars, cocktail competitions and other activities are being organised by leading drinks company Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands (BBFB) for London Cocktail Week. Its training team and brand ambassadors will join with master distillers and other industry experts to run sessions in Seven Dials in Covent Garden.
New cherry flavour for Absolut
Absolut is expanding its range of flavoured vodkas in the UK with the introduction of a new cherry variant, Launching on October 9, Absolut Cherrys is made using 100% natural flavours and, as with the existing flavours range, contains no added sugar. It has a striking and modern bottle design inspired by art.
New amaretto flavour for Cîroc
An amaretto flavour has been added for Diageo Reserve’s Cîroc super-premium vodka. Cîroc Amaretto is the fourth flavoured variant in the UK after the success of Red Berry, Coconut and Peach. Nick Temperley, head of Reserve Brands at Diageo, said: “Our new variant evolves Cîroc flavours from the more classic fruit into an even more sophisticated, complex, yet highly mixable flavour territory, making it appealing to a wider audience.”
US Midwest brewer’s Bock comes to UK
Leading supplier World Beers is building on interest in American beers in the UK by strengthening its portfolio with the addition of Huber Bock – a dark lager from the USA’s second oldest brewery. With ABV of 5.5%, it comes in 33cl bottles. It follows the success of Minhas Craft Brewery’s Huber Premium in the UK.
Spiced winter cider returns with cocktails
Rekorderlig Winter Cider has been brought back, supported by a campaign featuring premium point-of-sale materials such as a bespoke branded urn for serving it hot. The spiced apple cider is infused with cinnamon and vanilla flavours and can be enjoyed cold over ice or warm with a slice of orange. Cocktail recipes have been created by global brand ambassador Joel Persson.
Liverpool bartender is nation’s favourite
Connor Bloomfield from Aloha in Liverpool has been confirmed as winner of the title of the Nation’s Favourite Bartender after a poll run for Sailor Jerry rum. More than 16,000 people voted for bartenders across the country throughout the activity which ran from June 18 to August 31. It tied in with a campaign calling for a Bartender Appreciation Day.
Portobello Road Gin links with top bars
Three bars will be offering special cocktails made with Portobello Road Gin to celebrate London Cocktail Week. They are the Blind Pig in Soho, The Savoy’s American Bar and Portobello Star in west London where the gin was originally created. The Savoy’s cocktail will be made with its own house gin, based on Portobello Road Gin but with extra botanicals.
The Famous Grouse mixes with Mixxit
The versatility of whisky in cocktails is to be demonstrated by the team of mixologists from Mixxit, the training arm of drinks company Maxxium. They will be part of a residency by The Famous Grouse whisky in Covent Garden throughout London Cocktail Week.
Final challenge for bartenders with Monin
Monin UK is celebrating London Cocktail Week with free events, competitions and master classes including the UK final of the annual bartenders’ Monin Cup. Other highlights will include the grand final of the Underground Punch Pong League (UPPL) Bartenders Challenge Cup and master classes on smoking cocktails.
Green styling at Midori pop-up salon
Midori melon liqueur is to take over Be At One bar in Shoreditch for London Cocktail Week, offering free hair styling with a limited-edition Midori hair chalk. From October 8 to 10, the bar will offer a Midori Twist cocktail, based on a classic Sour, alongside a pop-up salon created with Models Own. They developed the My Midori hair chalk in a vibrant shade of green that reflects the colour of the drink.
Ukrainian vodka to demonstrate cocktails
Bartenders will be on hand in leading off-licences for London Cocktail Week to show people how to make cocktails with super-premium vodka Staritsky & Levitsky. The Ukrainian brand has joined forces with Nicolas and Spirited Wines stores across central London for the festival.
Search for candidates to chair BII
The BII has launched a search for someone to chair the organisation and oversee the next stage of its strategic development. The part-time remunerated role is to support chief executive Tim Hulme in implementing the company’s ambitious plans to drive growth and to re-establish its position as the leading membership and qualification awarding organisation in the licensed retail sector. Details at www.bii.org/chairappointment.
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