Company Update: Rob Breakwell, CEO

Company Update: Rob Breakwell, CEO

Company Update: Rob Breakwell, CEO - Reflecting on the past year.

I joined Niche Cocktails nearly a year ago. Well, what did I find when I arrived? Firstly, some pretty lovely customers who were already well onboard with the idea of being able to buy not just any ‘cocktail’ in a can but a pretty amazing cocktail in a can. In fact, a cocktail in a can that was so good I still can’t make a Mojito or a Margarita anywhere near as good from scratch (I no longer bother). I found a business that had the opportunity to reach out to the people that I thought were the most likely cocktail consumers and for them they wanted quality, authenticity, and little bit of luxury in their cocktail.

 

 

Niche already had quality and authenticity but how could we make it better? How could we convince people that you didn’t always have to go to the best places where the cocktails are made, you could bring the cocktail to the best place, which is usually wherever you might choose to have your good time.

 

We set out firstly to make the can and the brand look like it was really going to fit into your best occasion. We’ve always loved pinstripes (think deck chairs, beach towels, summer shirts, the races, the regatta) and they are always present at the very best British occasions. So, pinstripes it was.

 

 

Where we are based in East Anglia we have some of the worlds best distilleries. Adnams (where I spent a big chunk of my career) make what has been described as the best Gin and the best Vodka in the World so it made sense to mix our Gin and Vodka cocktails with Adnams. Just up the road from me is England’s very first Whisky Distillery, The English Distillery. Their English Sherry Cask has just won best Single Malt Whisky in the World, so we are very lucky to use their spirits in our Whisky and Rum cocktails. It feels like our collaborations with these great distillers adds a big chunk of the authenticity that is so important to what we do. It also meant that if you were not yet familiar with what we do then there is an instant mark of assurance on the can.

 

While we were hand finishing our brand and adding a healthy dose of award-winning gin, vodka, rum and whisky it gave us a chance to take a look at some new cocktails to add to the range. If there was one way to show off Adnams Copper House Gin, it’s in a Negroni. Now a Negroni is quite a serious drink. It’s taken quite seriously by those that drink them, so we had to get this right. We knew what the basic combination of Gin, Sweet Vermouth and Bitters needed to taste like but we wanted to add the perfect spritz of orange peel as well. Luckily for us after trying 26 different versions we ended up with our perfect Negroni. We thought that our orange of choice would be something unusual, exotic, or hard to find. In the end it was simply the same orange that you make your marmalade with for that perfect blend of citrus, bitterness, sweetness and aroma. For me a Strawberry Daiquiri is fun and frivolous. Ours also had to be both slightly naughty and elegant. We set out for a lovely light drink that is the very essence of Strawberry and could be the new definition of having a good time. It could be the one cocktail you must drink this summer!

 

 

Our business is growing. You will soon be able to find us on the trains as your travel to East Anglia from London. You might just find us at some of the biggest cricket matches this year. You will definitely find us at the Royal Norfolk Show where we will be showcasing our brand new and limited-edition Summer Pudding Gin Fizz which we are making using Gin from Bullard’s from Norwich and in collaboration with the Royal Norfolk Show Association. The Royal Norfolk Show is one of East Anglia’s biggest occasions of the season. It feels fitting to make a drink that features all the wonders of a summer pudding with a splash of Gin and a bit of sparkle. Something that might make you think twice about another well-known summer drink…….

 

As we grow, we are looking at the best ways to make our business as sustainable as possible. We are exploring schemes like B Corp to make sure we are the very best version of what we are and to try and always do the right thing. We’d be interested to find out what you think about what makes a great company and maybe what our aspiration should be.

 

 

When I started writing this, I was thinking about what my perfect cocktail would be. It’s hard to pick one as anyone with more than one child or one dog will tell you so here’s three that are always in my fridge: Negroni, Manuka Honey Whisky Sour and for the spring – well it has to be a Strawberry Daiquiri.

 

Cheers………..

 

 

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