Amathus invests in Sales & Marketing excellence to hit its next milestone of 100m by 2019

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Harry Georgiou, founder-CEO of Amathus Drinks Plc, continues to strengthen his new executive team with the appointment of not one, but two Sales & Marketing Directors – Fraser McGuire and Simon Bradbury.

Comments Harry: “Since our acquisition of Bablake Wines last year, we’ve now got a national footprint but we’re still very specialist and I felt we needed two heavy hitters to bring the Amathus brand to a national customer base.” Explaining his plans, he continued: “This puts us on course towards our next milestone of £100m in sales by 2019. Fraser’s well respected in the on-trade and brings huge energy. Simon brings a great record and a fantastic knowledge of the off-trade. It’s a dream team for me and I’m delighted they’ve come on board.”

Simon Bradbury has spent more than 25 years in the Drinks Industry most recently holding senior positions with Enotria and Codorniu Ravenous. He said “I am joining Amathus at a hugely exciting time with ambitious growth plans and relish the opportunity to build on our strong core business. There are new regions we want to move into and with our excellent portfolio of exclusive wines, spirits and beers we can offer a real quality alternative.”

Fraser McGuire is a 20-year industry veteran and held senior positions with Enotria and Whyte & Mackay. He said, “I’m really thrilled to be joining Amathus at this time and driven by Harry’s vision Amathus has established itself as a leading player within the Premium On-trade in the UK. Amathus is a family owned, forward thinking, decisive & nimble company, which I believe will help give us the edge within an industry where the landscape will continue to evolve through wholesaler consolidation.”

Commenting on the consolidation in the sector throughout the last 12 months, Harry said: “The Bablake Wines acquisition enhances our reach. We want to take our brands to a national customer base. I don’t wake up thinking about being the biggest. But I do get excited about developing undiscovered niche categories in spirits such as Mezcal, Aquavit and Pisco in the UK. And in recent years we have earned respect in developing new and emerging wine regions as diverse as the Yamanashi Prefecture of Japan with its Koshu, to Greece’s trending varieties such as Assyrtico.

The appointments follow David Smith in the Finance seat a year ago, as part of Amathus’ drive to its next milestone of £100m revenues.

The Georgiou family grew Amathus from start-up to £40m revenues to earn an uncontested position in the front ranks of the specialist on-trade. Headquartered in Park Royal, it has warehouses in Coventry and Bristol and a substantial delivery fleet capable of supporting small independents to servicing wholesale customers. It also has 4 distinctive wine and spirits boutiques aimed at knowledgeable drinkers and the trade. In 2015, it acquired Bablake Wines for cash. Group revenues now exceed £60m.

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Gins to the World!

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Gin lovers of the world get ready as World Gin Day returns for its eighth year running on Saturday, 11th June. World Gin Day is a global celebration of all things gin, where for one whole day we have the best excuse to drink plenty of gin!

Whether you like the traditional G&T, mixing it in a cocktail or served over ice – there’s so much choice out there, which gin do you pick? As its World Gin Day, we’ve chosen our favourites from all over the world… from the Netherlands to Germany, Spain and Sweden; it’s time for you to discover a world of amazing gin!

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Ferdinand’s Saar Dry Gin is fun, delightful to the palate and offers all spirit enthusiasts among us a product they can play with, experiment with and be proud to have added to their collection. Infused with carefully hand-picked Riesling grapes from the steep shale slopes of the Zilliken estate, make this gin an impressively unique tasting experience.

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Meet the delightful Bobby’s Schiedam Dry Gin – a balanced blend of botanicals – juniper, rosehips, cloves, lemongrass and cubeb peppers amongst others, create this extremely unique gin from The Netherlands.

Bobby’s is at its best in a Bobby & Tonic, served over ice and garnished with an orange peel studded with cloves.

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On the island of Hven located in the strait of Öresund between Denmark and Sweden lies the Spirit of Hven Distillery. Their Organic Gin is a true handcrafted distilled gin produced from the finest quality organic grain spirit infused with fresh botanicals.

The result is an outstanding luxury gin with the delicate aromas and taste of citrus, juniper and grains of paradise – pushing the quality & taste one step further, above the rest! Best served on ice with lemon and tonic or on its own with a splash of water.

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Established in 1880, Rives have been making their Special Gin in El Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain since 1980.

Rives Special Gin is a super-premium handcrafted gin, with a unique taste that will blow your mind! The careful selection of 11 botanicals, naturally harvested from around the world, creates a powerful and complex flavour that is guaranteed to wow you all!

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Following the traditional London Dry gin style, A.v.Wees produce this smooth gin, distilled with just 2 botanicals – juniper berries and lemons. Although the recipe sounds simple, you’d be surprised how flavourful this Dutch gin really is. It mixes extremely well in cocktails and makes a very impressive Dry Martini! It just shows that sometimes keeping it simple is key!


So in a world with so many different types of gin from here, there and everywhere – it’s no wonder we need a day dedicated to celebrating this great spirit.

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An Italian tradition of making liqueurs & bitters since 1870

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Recently Matteo Meletti, producer of the wonderful Meletti Liqueurs and Bitters, paid us a visit and what a week we had planned for him – from staff & customer training’s to cocktail competitions & masterclasses here, there and everywhere!

The Meletti family has been producing extraordinary handcrafted liqueurs and bitters for generations. Silvio Meletti started the company in 1870 when he endeavoured to produce an anise-flavoured liqueur that would rival or surpass the best products of Italy and France.

As with any great product, the quality of the ingredients is what sets the best above the masses, that’s why Meletti selects only the finest herbs and botanicals to create all of their products – Sambuca, Anisetta, Amaro & Limoncello.


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On Wednesday the 11th May, following Matteo’s arrival in London on the Monday, we’d organised a very special masterclass & cocktail competition at Loves Company in Shoreditch. We called upon all restaurants/bar owners, bartenders and anyone else working in the trade to come along and taste, as well as learn about all the Meletti products from Matteo himself.

The masterclass was followed by a very impromptu cocktail competition, where everyone who attended the masterclass could experiment with the Meletti products in cocktails, with the added bonus of winning some prizes. We knew we were in for a treat with bartenders attending from some of the coolest bars in London, including LeBab in Marylebone, Art Club & Shoreditch Grind.

The only rule that applied was the use of at least one of the Meletti products in each cocktail, the rest of the ingredients was entirely up to them. We stocked the back bar with plenty of ingredients for them to use as well, including Rives Gin, Cartron Liqueurs, Tovaritch! Vodka, Ron Barceló and many more…

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As usual the competition was very high but in the end, we managed to narrow it down to one lucky winner. Congratulations to the winner Jay, who is actually one of the bartenders at Loves Company – don’t worry it wasn’t a fix!

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He amazed the judges with his Bramble Boozecencello cocktail, made using Meletti Limoncello, Rives London Dry Gin and Cartron Crème de Mure. Fabulous!


After the cocktail competition had finished, it was straight on the tube and off to our Soho shop to get ready for Meletti masterclass number 2. This time, it was open for anyone to attend & again on tasting was the Sambuca, Anisetta, Amaro & Limoncello.

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What a great day out with Matteo Meletti, thank you very much for hosting both of the masterclasses for us & for being one of the judges of the cocktail competition. A special thank you also goes to Loves Company for letting us take over your bar.

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Brass Monkey becomes the second official Mezcaleria in the UK!

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Brass Monkey, located in the heart of the Nottingham’s Lace Market District, has been declared the second ever official Del Maguey Single Village Mezcaleria in the UK. This has been awarded as recognition of the great work they do to raise the profile of mezcal and champion premium, single village mezcal.

Brass Monkey opened its doors in 1999 and 17 years later it still remains one of the hottest places in town. Boasting one of the best back bars in the city, Brass Monkey stands out from its peers offering a unique drinking experience with its quirky interior, live music and creative cocktail menu.

Becoming proud owners of this title, allows Brass Monkey to stock the full Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal portfolio – the second bar in all of the UK to be given this honour. To commemorate this they’ve been awarded with a shiny blue plaque, which now hangs in prime position above the door.

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It couldn’t be more fitting with the grand revealing of the plaque, taking place on the 5th May, otherwise known as Cinco de Mayo – a celebration of Mexican heritage & their victory in The Battle of Puebla in 1862… so what better way for Brass Monkey to celebrate this day than with a Del Maguey Vida cocktail competition followed by a Cinco de Mayo party into the early hours.

Manager of Brass Monkey, Liam O’Brien comments ‘Being awarded and recognised as a quality Mezcaleria is great, it’s not something we thought we would achieve but it’s something we’ve certainly been aiming for. At Brass we love agave spirits and have been stocking and serving only the best spirits we can find. With good quality spirts, hardworking staff, great service and fantastic hair you’d be surprised what you can achieve with a building that’s held together with duct tape, Blu-Tack and good intentions!’

About Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal

Del Maguey is a collection of fine, rare, unblended mezcals made by individual family producers in small remote villages scattered throughout the state of Oaxaca in Mexico. With one exception – the rare Tobala – they are all produced from 100% espadin agave and according to traditional processes, which dates back over 400 years.

Each Del Maguey Mezcal bears the name of the village where it is produced, and is unique with flavours expressing the personalities, culture and the history of the village. Described as smokey, true, deep and warm, Del Maguey Mezcals are something special.

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London Wine Week here we come…

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London Wine Week will take over our city in a matter of days for its 3rd year running; kick starting on the 23rd May until the 29th May.  The whole week will be jam packed full of all kinds of wine tastings, events, masterclasses, as everyone, including us, wants in on the action.

This year, similar to last, we will be hosting an array of masterclasses, throughout the week, in all four of our stores. From sparkling’s to Australian favourites, we’ve got a masterclass to suit all.

So lets see what’s happening when and where…

Knightsbridge

24th May – Knightsbridge – 6.30pm-8pm

Burgundy vs. The New World 

 Wines from a number of Burgundy’s most famous villages will go head-to-head in this tasting against some of the top Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs from the New World.

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25th May – Soho – 6.30pm-8pm

Sparklers of the World 

A top line-up of exciting, new wave, traditional method sparkling wines from around the world will take on the king of this category, Champagne, in a battle for supremacy.

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26th May – City – 6.30pm-8pm

An Australian Odyssey with Woodstock Wines 

 Woodstock has for decades been one of the leading players in the Australian wine region of McLaren Vale. This tasting will feature a diverse selection of wines from the Woodstock portfolio –white, red, sweet and fortified, not to mention their limited release flagship ‘The Stocks’ Shiraz produced from 110 year old vines!

Shoreditch

27th May – Shoreditch – 6.30pm-8pm

Chardonnay: A Journey of Rediscovery 

Chardonnay is undoubtedly one of the greatest wine grapes on planet earth. But is it also the most misunderstood? This tasting will provide an opportunity to rediscover the versatility and magnificence of this noble grape by featuring six Chardonnays from iconic regions such as Champagne, Chablis and California.

All masterclasses are free for LWW wristband holders to attend and a charge of £15  will occur to anyone who doesn’t have a wristband.  If you haven’t got your wristband already, there’s still time. Visit the London Wine Fair website & register now.

To reserve your place RSVP to Alex Down – alex@amathusdrinks.com.

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Two Bartenders, One Cocktail!

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The Skinos Mediterranean Cocktails Challenge 2016 (MCC) has officially begun! For the 6th year running MCC, the biggest international bartenders’ competition with a Mediterranean theme is back and this year it is being hosted and organised by Skinos Mastiha Spirit, the leading Greek/Mediterranean spirit.

The concept of this year’s competition is “Team Challenge”, where bartenders are invited to participate in teams of two. Bartenders from all over the world, including Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Lebanon, Bulgaria, the Netherlands and the UK are to find a fellow teammate and create a unique Mediterranean recipe, inspired by the ingredients, flavours and aromas of the region!

Each team is asked to submit their recipe (www.myskinos.com/mcc), which will be presented to the MCC jury during the semi-finals in each region. The winners of the semi-finals, from each region will then travel to Athens for the final. The winning team of the Mediterranean Cocktails Challenge 2016 will then win a trip to Berlin and the BCB (Bar Convent Berlin) to present their winning Skinos cocktail. The judging panel consists of two of the best known Greek bartenders: Dimitris Kiakos, owner of the legendary The Gin Joint and Alexander Sourmpatis, award winning bartender and bar manager of Spinte Bar in Thessaloniki.

Participation in the Mediterranean Cocktails Challenge is for teams of 2 bartenders only. To register, please submit your recipe online by visiting www.myskinos.com/mcc. Deadline for entries is the 31st May 2016.

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The results are in…

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Following the Bank Holiday we spent Wednesday, 4th May, in Liverpool for the Bobby’s Collins Cocktail Competition final. Hidden down a back street, in a fabulous basement bar was where all the action took place – Jenny’s Bar.

So just to re-cap – in the run-up to the final we selected 12 lucky finalists from a long list of entries who would battle it out on the day to win a trip to the Bobby’s Gin Distillery in the Netherlands.

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The competition kick started at 2 o’clock with each of our finalists making and presenting their cocktail to our panel of esteemed judges, who were looking for an original interpretation of the classic, Tom Collins Cocktail, the only rule being the use of 35ml of Bobby’s Schiedam Dry Gin. Cocktails were judged on taste, presentation and originality. Everyone brought their A game and the competition was on!

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Once each contestant had presented their cocktails to the judges it was decision time. Who would be the one to wow us all with their Tom Collins? After a lot of back and forth the judges agreed and all that was left to do was to announce who’d won.

So without further ado, the winner of the 2016 Bobby’s Collins Cocktail Competition was Will Meredith from The Black Cat Cocktail Bar at El Gato Negro, Manchester. He stole the show with his 15 Hour Collins Cocktail, made with Bobby’s Gin (of course), cubeb pepper infused lemon juice, Pedro Ximenez Sherry, Jerry Thomas Bitters and homemade orange and lemongrass soda. Spot on!

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I’d just like to say a big thank you to everyone who took part in the competition and also to our 4 judges, job well done. Special thanks also goes to Jenny’s Bar for letting us take over your bar and for being such brilliant hosts. What a fantastic day!

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