Tales from the Larder: Stories of resilience from Scotland's food & drink sector - Catalogue Spirits
Jonny and Harvey are flatmates living in Leith who decided to start a cocktail delivery service in lockdown as a response to being placed on furlough from their hospitality industry jobs.
Blending their knowledge of the industry and adding a twist saw Catalogue Spirits served up.
They took inspiration from various pop up bars and alcoholic drinks companies that Jonny had worked for in the past and now mix a set range of cocktails on licensed premises, which get delivered in 75cl bottles to customers in Edinburgh pre-diluted, ready to drink.
All the customer has to do is chill and enjoy.
We asked them to share the ingredients and recipe for their new drinks business.
“The selling point is the simplicity of the product. The customer doesn’t have to have any cocktail making knowledge, special ingredients or tools, just a fridge and a glass. We even provide a garnish,” explains Jonny.
“Obviously this is a big selling point in lockdown as people are more wary of popping to the shops, especially just for a lemon or a lime or a specific ingredient. So we offer the chance for people to enjoy hospitality industry standard drinks with ease from their own home.
“It also cuts down on the age-old problem of people having to buy unusual spirits or liqueurs to make cocktails at home that they might not like or be able to use quickly enough and that then go to waste. Or simply lie opened but gathering dust in the cupboard for years.”
While Catalogue’s service is perfect for lockdown easing garden parties and celebrations such as lockdown birthdays and ‘would-be wedding’ dates, they believe that even when people are allowed to gather as normal their products will be great for bulk party catering and as a cost-effective alternative option to the usual beer and wine at events.
“There are bars and restaurants looking to resell their signature cocktails as a home delivery service,” says Harvey.
“However, in our view these offerings are a temporary cash flow improvement measure only and that continuing outside of lockdown will not be cost-effective for most bars.
“Reformatting their existing cocktails will ultimately have cost them a lot more to produce than Catalogue Spirits’ offering because ours were created specifically for a home delivery service with ease of production, delivery and consumption in mind.
“In order to keep the business growing and keep up with demand we are already looking at evolving what we do moving forward, and that will likely include more focus on supplying bigger events when they come back and expanding our range to include non-alcoholic drinks.
“The last few months has obviously been challenging for many people, ourselves included, but we hope this is the start of something that can endure in the long run.”
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