Last week saw London Cocktail Week descend on our vibrant city, with hundreds of the capital’s bars celebrating the UK’s cutting-edge drinks culture. The fourth annual event played host to a number of sessions on everything from future trends and what is it that affects our sense of taste, to the art of hospitality and DIY cocktails, including several seminars from our client Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands. The drinks PR team attended a selection of sessions and picked up some great insights into the world of cocktails.

“Cocktails are all about the experience. Consumers don’t go to venues to see the bartenders but to enjoy quality drinks, therefore knowing the difference between shaking or stirring a drink, using egg whites and using the best ice all encompass the cocktail experience. Knowing your consumer also means you can tailor your menu to fit the needs of your customers.”
-Chris Batchelor on the rise of cocktails

“There are five elements to taste – acidic, salty, sweet, bitter and umami – and it’s fundamental to understand the way that the brain processes all of these as well as your own tolerances and taste preferences. When creating cocktails, bartenders should consider these factors, not be afraid to experiment with flavour pairings and substitute ingredients that have a similar taste profile.” – Jenny Choules on flavour science

“Many people are quick to dismiss Gin as being a flavoured vodka, but they’re wrong. What they don’t realise is that there is so much more to the spirit. It’s the different botanicals and as such, the various flavours used in Gin that give the spirit its flavour, making it a sum of its parts. While flavoured vodka is essentially made up of just a single flavour variant. This means Gin has a depth of complexity that works well in many cocktails.” – Mo Brownridge on classic cocktail bases

We leave you with a classic quote from David Embury, author of The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks: “A cocktail should stimulate the mind as well as the appetite. The well-made cocktail is one of the most gracious of drinks. It pleases the senses. The shared delight of those who partake in common of this refreshing nectar breaks the ice of formal reserve. Taut nerves relax, tired eyes brighten; tongues loosen; friendships deepen; the whole world becomes a better place in which to live.”