Imbibe Live 2016 – the next generation of cocktail ideas

Imbibe Live is a show for the trade only, held at Kensington Olympia each year. I get a free ticket each year (obviously 😉 ) – well in truth all the tickets are free. However it is great for meeting people in the industry : distillers, wholesalers, importers, brand development companies etc. The key thing though for me is the chance to try new products and meet their makers, with a view to thinking about how to create stunning new cocktails. Obviously.

There are many companies whose products should get mentioned in dispatches. And none of these 3 are spirits or liqueurs, or indeed cocktail companies. I tried a great range of fruit juices with Franklin and Sons. I can recommend both the strawberry and raspberry, as well as the apple & rhubarb. They do tonics too.

Monin I’m sure you’re already aware of if you’re into mixology but they do a fantastic range of syrups and other stuff to give you a brilliant range of permutations when creating your own cocktails. The Lavender Martini was a major hit at a recent 40th birthday party. And new products coming out all the time, so keep an eye on them.

Finally, if you thought popcorn was for kids, well listen-up! This stuff from Joe & Sephs was truly amaaazing. No self-respecting bar should not at least have tried these. With Gin & Tonic popcorn, Caramel, Mirin, Soya & Sesame popcorn, Goats cheese and black pepper popcorn and even Marmite popcorn what’s not to try?!

And the winner is …….

Lanique spiritThe most interesting 2 new drink products for me were Lanique rose liqueur and in second place Solerno. Lanique is made with rose oil, which is more expensive than gold apparently and at the show I tried mixing it with Chambord and Prosecco. It goes well and I’ll be looking to develop it further.


Solerno blood orange liqueurThe Solerno comes in a fantastic looking bottle and is a great flavoured orange liqueur. It will make a great alternative to Cointreau or possibly Grand Marnier in cocktails. It is pricey though, and at nearly double the price of Cointreau, it’ll need to be very good to keep it’s place in the collection!  Still I suppose I’ll give it a go, and keep you posted.


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