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Lagos cocktail gathers experts for the business of cocktail series

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Participants at the event

Participants at the event

The Founder of the fast growing “cocktail culture” platform, Lagos Cocktail, has released a statement with a plan that is set to shake how Nigerians view cocktails for years to come.

It is not news that Nigeria is number one on the map from Africa in terms of our consumption habits for “convivial beverages”. This, coupled with a market so untapped in terms of “archiving” and “skill showcasing” has led to the brand’s decision to further expand its Lagos Cocktail concept to the “Business of Cocktail”.

“The Business of Cocktail will roll out several planned exercises that will be geared towards showcasing the industry and its very key stakeholders. The first activity under the segment was our participation in the EDC Forum during the Global Entrepreneurship Week. We invited stakeholders key to the industry to join me to discuss the subject of “Cocktail Making as a Viable Business”….

Brand spokesperson Tobi Fasuyi from Chivas Regal had been invited to give the company’s take on how viable business operations are in these markets. The formidable brand is the world’s original luxury whisky and one of the two strategic global icon brands within the Penard Ricard range.

Other panellists such as Funke Awobokun (the Chief Mixologist of Cocktails In and Out Limited (CIO), a company that has steadily carved a niche for itself in the industry and growing to become a pace and trend setter in mobile cocktail bar services, and Caesario De Medeiros, a certified wine and spirits educator, off-duty bartender and Founder of Africa Hospitality Group, the promoters of the International Bartending Academy, the first bartending academy in West Africa to be accredited by the WSET, was also on hand to treat all questions and discussions on “acquiring the skills set and execution”.

On the panel as well was Imad Kanaan, CFA and Group Managing Director of The Blowfish Group. Blowfish Group has over three known restaurants under their belt. Some of which include The Izanagi, The Purple Restaurant, Velvett Grill and Lounge, La Veranda Italian Cuisine and so on. Last but not least was Ajibola Olubiyi, a conviviality specialist who has coordinated Private Soirees for Moet Hennessy group and providing consultancy services to Hennessy Moet Nigeria and a host of many others.

Her company, Ayana Services Nigeria Limited, has been instrumental in setting up some bars/lounges in Victoria Island and Lekki environs and are Project Managers for Butterscotch Evenings. All our speakers were on the panel to share their expert knowledge of the skill acquisition and value added in terms of viability,” says Lara Rawa, of the Lagos Cocktail Week.

Lara Rawa is also the Head Mixologist at Eventi Cocktails, a Lagos-based cocktails design and consulting company, a certified Mixologist and currently the drink stylist for Baileys Nigeria Diageo Brand. As far as Nigeria is concerned, Rawa is a name to reckon with as she is set to revolutionise not only the cocktail consumption culture in Nigeria but also encourage skills acquisition and journalism on the subject matter as the “Founding Organizer” of Lagos Cocktail Week.

The statement also went on to reveal that the Lagos Cocktail had conceptualised the “Business of Cocktail series” with the Strategy Specialist Firm, World PR Media Limited. Tayo Afolabi, the Chief Executive Officer was the official “moderator” for the panel discussion and we were informed that that “discussion” will certainly be making history for the journey of Lagos Cocktail culture.

Highlights of the conference included the Chivas Regal brand laying emphasis on the required skills to attract and retain the attention of brands such as themselves. They also went on to reveal that the brand will also actively seek to allocate discounts and potentially “other strategic alliances” to Mobile Cocktail Specialists whom they have found to not only have the required “mixologist” certification but are consistently setting standards in the trade. The Group Managing Director of the Blowfish Group concluded his session by highlighting that “one of the keys to their business growth has been having the right business structure, good staffing regime, upgrading their modules according to growing trends as well as perseverance despite challenges”.

In terms sustaining the viability of the trade of “mobile cocktail business”, industry experts Caeserio and Funke both agree on the unbreakable rules to quality. Some of these rules include – Never using cheap ingredients, always use the specified ingredient in any “designed” recipe, three different kinds of vodkas result in three different kinds of cocktails. Educate yourself, invest in utensils that are crucial to your trade, respect your ice and so on and so forth. Guests were also educated on how to obtain trainings to hone their craft.

In her closing remarks, Lara Rawa concluded by adding that, the skills required to be a “certified mixologist” are lengthy due to the various attention to the details of learning the ingredients and the ratios and people should stop falling for companies who claim the skill of learning how to be a “cocktail specialist” can be acquired in a one-day intensive coaching.

Tayo Afolabi closed the panel discussion with information on how the guests can become a part of the revolution as well as attend future Business of Cocktail series. More information can be derived from www.lagoscocktail.com.


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