The couple behind Mixology Group in Hove is a cocktail expert Brighton News

THE Mixology Group in Hove is our Food / Drink Company of the Week. Nick Mosley asked Zoe Cunliffe about the Mixology Group.

I created Mixology Group with my husband and business partner, Myles, in 2010. We provide cocktail bars for events, offer bar advice, create content for beverage brands and organize trainings for consumers and bartenders at our bespoke mixology school in Davigdor Road, Hove, or onsite with individual businesses.

How do you work with the bar business locally?

We started the Brighton and Hove Bartenders Association around the same time as we started mixology. The aim was to create a community of local bar professionals and a focal point for representatives of spirits brands to engage with the pub, restaurant and bar business.

Our Facebook page now has 15,000 members. It is now managed by an excellent team of administrators and has grown to have its own separate jobs page where the hotel industry can advertise their positions as long as they provide a living wage in Brighton.

As the Mixology Group, we also offer a range of accredited and professional courses for people looking to get into the cocktail bartending industry or deepen their knowledge of spirits or mixology.

Putting aside your business-to-business activities, what do you offer consumers interested in the cocktail world?

During the confinement, we had to think on our feet, so we set up a virtual cocktail masterclass service. People can meet online with their friends or colleagues on Zoom and learn how to make three delicious cocktails, using the ingredients provided in our signature cocktail box.

It turned into gift boxes with QR codes tied to pre-recorded videos. It turned out to be a very popular gift.

L'Argus: Training at the school of MixologyTraining at the school of mixology

With the growth of the virtual in mind over the past year, we’ve taken our own “Introductory Cocktail and Mixology Course” online, which also includes a box full of goodies for the class.

We also now run Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Level 1 and Level 2 accredited courses online. They come with up to 30 spirits samples for you to try along with an in-depth knowledge of how spirits are created.

We are happy to say that our Mixology School in Hove is open again with monthly live lessons.

What general consumer trends do you foresee for the next 12 months?

Gin will continue to grow as we still see many new and emerging brands entering the market. Hard sodas – carbonated alcoholic drinks typically sold in cans – seem to be growing massively. And the alcohol-free and low-alcohol sectors are back now that we have decided we had drunk too much during the lockdown.

Sussex is famous for brewing and wine making, but we’ve seen plenty of artisanal distillers set up shop. Are new-wave stills offering anything different?

Sussex definitely stays at the forefront of the game with our selection of gin. We have a fabulous choice. From Brighton Gin, Madame Jennifer to Hove, Slake to Shoreham and Ditchling to – you guessed it – Ditchling to name a few.

This is not all we have to offer however. Ditchling has created one of the most delicious caramel vodkas I have ever tried. Madame Jennifer has a delicious coffee liqueur to create espresso martinis, and with the growth of the business not and weak, more and more consumers are discovering vermouth. Vermouth is a flavored and fortified wine that is used with mixers such as tonic or sparkling water. Considering the many wineries we have in Sussex we now have a great and fantastic selection of vermouths that should not be overlooked. Rathfinny has his Seven Sisters, which is divine, Albourne Estate has his 40 English Vermouths and Bolney with his Rosso Vermouth. All of them are definitely worth a try.

Where are your personal haunts in Sussex for a quality cocktail?

When we are lucky enough to leave our garden shed / nightclub we love a cocktail or two at Whiskey Rooms in Worthing they have a great selection of Bloody Marys.

My favorite is Gungho on Preston Street in Brighton, their attention to detail in using interesting seasonal produce is second to none. And we like to end the evening at the Merkaba of the My Brighton hotel on Jubilee Street, as it adds a little more fun to the evening.

The Argus: Myles CunliffeMyles Cunliffe

You co-host the BITE Sussex Surprise commercial cocktail competition to connect local bartenders and local producers. How’s it going?

We are really excited with the number of attendees we had and can’t wait to see how they use the local spirits provided to them. It’s really great to see the bars reopen and ready to compete and we hope to see their competition entrees on their menus, along with local produce for a long time to come.

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This notice was published: 2021-06-27 10:00:00

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