Funkin launches Innovation Lab – a new bartender programme

12 October 2017

Fancy taking part in a discussion led by industry experts? This month, Funkin is launching a new bartender programme, Funkin Innovation Lab.

Funkin Innovation Lab will focus on current and future cocktail trends, providing bartenders with an exclusive, hands-on experience led by the best in the business.

The first Lab will revolve around non-alcoholic cocktails with Alistair Kelsey, alchemist at Mr Lyan and Ericka Duffy, scent technician who works with top Edinburgh bars, including Bramble, leading the discussion.

Funkin Innovation Lab will explore the nuances of non-alcoholic cocktails including balance, sip-ability, flavour, garnish and most importantly how to reflect the intricacies found in a cocktail. There will also be discussion on the sales opportunity and perception of these alcohol-free drinks.

Ericka Duffy and Alistair Kelsey
Ericka Duffy and Alistair Kelsey

'Many people are becoming more health conscious and aware that alcohol can be damaging,' says Kelsey. 'We all love being in the cocktail business, but there is no reason why someone entering a cocktail bar needs to order a soda and lime if they are choosing not to drink.'

'A well-conceived and balanced beverage is not beholden to an ABV,' added Duffy. 'If someone is not imbibing alcohol they should be able to enjoy a splendidly conceived beverage, considered with the same principles that apply to cocktail making.

'Cocktail bars have bespoke vessels, beautiful ice and elaborate garnishes and it makes sense for them to accurately represent their ethos through all beverage offerings.'

As non-alcoholic cocktails are still a relatively new concept, there is some debate around what they should be called. At Funkin Innovation Lab, there will be an opportunity for participants to submit their name ideas, putting an end to the debate and decide once and for all how to refer to these alcohol-free drinks.

The event will take place on 17 Tuesday October at London’s TT Liquor at 12 pm.

Bartenders who wish to attend should email

Related content


Taste trippin’ with Funkin Innovation Lab

A food and cocktail flavour odyssey with Crucible’s Ally Kelsey and Michelin-starred chef Nurdin TophamThere’s a pinch of mathematics and a dash of ch


Funkin Innovation Lab 2018 launches with London's Crucible as partner

Funkin has announced its Innovation Lab for 2018 with plans to take its bartender workshops to Bristol and Manchester this May in partnership with Lon


Getting schooled at the Funkin Innovation Lab 2019

This year's Funkin Innovation Lab programme taught bartenders the finer points of sugars, acids, carbonation and beyond.


Funkin's bartender training programme returns for 2019

Top-level bartenders are thirsty – for great drinks, yes, but even more, for drinks knowledge.