Bid to build cocktail training bar launched

A UK charity has launched a campaign to build a cocktail bar to train the next generation of mixologists and provide invaluable work experience for the long-term unemployed.


James Drummond, managing director if the Institute Project, (left), and Conscian Morgan, Creative Director of the Institute Project.

The Institute Project, in partnership with The Prince’s Trust and The London Cocktail Club, have set a fundraising target of £50,000 in which to build a cocktail bar which will function as a training centre for mixology and provide trainees with a live working environment to hone their skills.

Long-term unemployed young adults will be referred by The Prince’s Trust for the opportunity to be trained as professional mixologists learning the art of mixology and how to recreate bestselling cocktails over two to four weeks.

Trainees will then be able to apply for a one-year apprenticeship with one of their mentors, during which they will be given an education in mixology and the hospitality industry, after which they will be placed in a position at a top London bar.

Vicky Yorke, outcomes manager at The Prince’s Trust and one of the project’s three founding members, said: “With more than 10,580 young people in London having claimed benefits for more than six months, we’re delighted to be involved in a project that will serve up success for long-term unemployed young adults. Not only will the mixology course give them a new qualification, backed by the British Institute of Innkeeping, but will also help them to secure an apprenticeship in one of the most respected bars in London.

“There are so many reasons to support this project – including being part of an exciting social enterprise venture that you can call your own. But the most important reason I can think of is that you’ll be leading a young person into a career, within a flourishing industry, that will enhance every part of their life – through new skills, confidence and security.”

James Drummond, manager at the Southsider cocktail bar in Clapham Junction and managing director of the Institute Project, said: “Supporting the Institute Project creates a genuine opportunity for us to tackle youth unemployment, one cocktail at a time.”

Mentors signed up to the project include JJ Goodman, owner of London Cocktail Club, who said: “I’m excited to be showcasing cocktail bar tending in all its glory, drawing in the next generation who will hopefully continue to push the industry forward.”

Bartender Jamie MacDonald has won a string of awards and accolades, including UK Standard of Service, Campari’s Cocktail Design and was winner of World Class UK Bartender 2011.

He said: “The Institute Project will be a true leader in training our next generation of professional bartenders. It is humbling to be a part of raising exceptional talent within a vibrant and growing industry.”

It is hoped The Institute Cocktail Bar will be ready to open in Autumn 2014.

For more information and to make a donation to the cause click here.

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