Grand Marnier celebrates alchemy through innovative bartender engagement programme

29th August LONDON:  Launched in June, Grand Marnier’s Grand Alchemy Programme at Crucible London has attracted some of the country’s best mixologists, with bartenders from The Mandrake, The Savoy and Oblix attending the sessions to learn more about the unique alchemy behind Grand Marnier – the combination of the finest Cognac with exotic bitter orange essence.

Designed by Crucible’s Stu Bale and Geoff Robinson, industry-renowned for their creative techniques, each Grand Alchemy session challenges bartenders to re-imagine Grand Marnier using a range of signature techniques, which include distilling and separating Grand Marnier – ensuring all mixologists keep front-of-mind that the liquid is a base for cocktails, not an enhancer.

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The Alchemy sessions that take place at Crucible London are designed to inspire a generation of bartenders to celebrate the brand’s ‘Grand Alchemy’ and share their vision of reinventing a classic that has been served in the world’s most prestigious bars since 1880.

Victor Maggiolo of The Beaufort Bar at The Savoy took inspiration from the programme to add an eccentric twist to a classic – the iconic Moonwalk Cocktail, which uses Grand Marnier as a base –  created in 1969 at The Savoy’s American Bar by legendary bartender Joe Gilmore, in honour of Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon.

Victor’s creation – To the Moon and Back - is a perfectly-balanced combination of Grand Marnier, Campari, grapefruit essence and rose water, topped up with champagne. 

Victor Maggiolo comments ‘Mixology and alchemy are closely linked, and the Grand Alchemy session really captured this.  Experimenting with Grand Marnier and how it can be used allowed us to engage with the spirit of the liquid and celebrate its intriguing complexity of cognac and bitter oranges. Inspired by this, I wanted to create a twist on a classic –  and there is none more appropriate than The Moonwalk, a Savoy icon that heroes Grand Marnier.’

London’s Crucible is the perfect partner to bring the alchemy of Grand Marnier to life because of the industry-famous lab’s understanding and passion for the brand, and the synergies they have with one another at their heart. For instance, like Grand Marnier’s alchemy, the definition of ‘Crucible’ is a ‘situation in which different elements interact, leading to the creation of something new’. 

Consultant Geoff Robinson leads the sessions and has been impressed with the impact, commenting:

 “It is really exciting to see Victor’s cocktail creation come out of our Grand Alchemy sessions.  The programme aims to not only help bartenders re-imagine Grand Marnier, but also inspire them to use the principles of alchemy to create cocktails in their bars.  Victor’s cocktail being available for a limited time at The Savoy is the first of many and we hope to see more as a result of the Grand Alchemy Programme, giving eccentric twists on classics that showcase the techniques learned at the training with alchemy at the heart”.

Bartenders can apply to take part in the sessions through their Campari UK representative or sign up here INSERT LINE UP NOW LINK.

The training sessions at London’s Crucible will be taking place monthly until December.  For more details on the training please contact grandmarnier@cohnwolfe.com or follow us on Instagram @grandmarnier_uk.

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Last updated Sep 12 2018