We re-branded and re-launched Sip 'n' Swig with a focus on delivering our mobile bar service for weddings and events, particularly in Stratford-Upon-Avon and around Warwickshire but also knowing that between Giles and I, we have a wealth of experience and knowledge that we could apply to other related services.
We decided to hold our first relaunch event at Longfellows Restaurant in Solihull and after some discussion, we felt a Gin Tasting night would be perfect! We set about researching gin and other gin tasting events whilst taking bookings from gin lovers all across Solihull. We found that most of the guests came from Facebook and Facebook Advertising, some even from their friends liking the event! We learnt about each gin, the perfect serve for each and got in contact with head distillers and company owners to discuss their gin and how they would like us to serve it for tasting. We even got to find out the names of some of the stills and some great back stories.
The event saw guests at 6pm who were serious about their gin but didn't realise how much different condiments or even ice altered or brought out different botanical's and tastes in the gin. They had a shared table and even made new friends! The next group were mainly friends out together for an evening that was a little different and to enjoy tasting gins that they wouldn't normally get to taste without buying a full bottle. We offered everyone the opportunity to fill in feedback forms about each taster and it was interesting to see the differing opinions. Some of the gins were definitely Marmite, either loved or hated! Longfellows provided a wonderful array of tapas for tasting and all guests enjoyed the food, as much as they did the gin!
We came across Hidden Curiosities gin whilst researching for the event, absolutely loved the branding and labelling and after a good chat with Jenny, Giles was very pleased to confirm that the gin tasted as good, if not better than it looked. We were delighted to take on stock and have been happily and enthusiastically spreading the word around the Midlands ever since!
We also had Pickering's Gin to taste and whilst discussing the event with them, we were reminded of the 2016 viral sensation of Gin Baubles! We were very happy to also take on stock of these Baubles but by the time we received our first box full the day after official launch, we had already sold out! Our next box full arrived last week and we have already sold half of these. You can now purchase them directly through the website!
We are delighted to have arranged our next Gin Tasting event at The Salmon Tail, Evesham Road, Stratford-Upon-Avon later this month. We are looking forward to finding some new and interesting gins to share with you there, as well as introducing some of our favourites to the gin lovers of Stratford.
We have been chatting to some local venues who clearly love gin (encourage gin of the week or month!) about serving the gin that we stock and this has been very well received.
All in all our main focus so far has been Gin!!
There are many families getting ready for Weddings in 2018 and even 2019 and although the bar is often the last thing people think about, we are pleased to say that we already have some events booked in for the Wedding Season. We have even been approached about just supplying cocktails to wedding guests after the meal and heading to wedding venues to create cocktails as venue staff aren't trained or able to do these for many guests.
Giles and I joined the team at a few festivals in Birmingham as both bar staff and cellar staff. The manager commented on how everything always runs much smoother with Giles around.
Picol of Kapanski Catering got in touch with us to provide bar staff for a wedding in a marquee at a home in Daventry. We provided bar staff for the Wedding Day and staff to welcome guests and friends back the following day and serve wine and water with the meal. We are looking forward to working alongside other caterers in the area.
We were very grateful to be offered the opportunity to exhibit at Stratford Business Forum's Business Show. Jodie enjoyed speaking to other businesses about how we could work with them for example creating a cocktail list for a local restaurant to compliment their food and training staff on how to make these, fundraising events where we donate a percentage of the bar takings and gin tasting events for WI Groups. It was great spending the afternoon talking to other business owners and employees who were all passionate about helping each other and full of new ideas!
So what next?
We are bursting with ideas and would love to bring you everything you have suggested and requested! The attendees of the first Solihull gin tasting are already asking when the next event will be. We have noticed new gaps in the market that we think we would be able to fill including beer festivals, rum tasting events and tasting events held at people homes. We are hoping to have a full calendar of weddings and events over next Summer, be this a full mobile bar and bartenders for a wedding or Cocktail Masterclasses for Hen Parties. We are ultimately seeing where you and your requirements take us!
Giles would love to make sure every local event runs smoothly with us at the helm, that every pub in Stratford's cellar and bar is working at it's optimum and that quality cocktails and beers are being served around the area.
Jodie loves to ensure the finer details are seen to, that our service exceeds expectations whether we are proving a member of staff for an hour to work on a bar, managing the wedding bar service or setting up and managing a festival bar. Oh and if I get to try a cocktail or two along the way, it's always a bonus!
Giles and Jodie
Sip 'n' Swig