Innovation is one of our core principles at Funkin and our Brand Ambassadors, Aiste and Luke, are at the heart of it. Recently, Aiste has been spending a lot of time at Crucible London, developing new serves and experimenting with new cocktail making techniques. She has put together a brief summary of her work at Crucible below.

'As a lot of you know, Funkin has been closely involved with Crucible, who have supported us at our UK Innovation Labs and Innovation Championship competition for nearly 2 years now.

As of recently, we became members of Crucible's flavour laboratory, a space to help us bring some of our own ideas to life in order to broaden the scope of cocktail making techniques - or in other words, showcase how Funkin flavours can be transmitted via different flavour extraction techniques. Our Brand Ambassadors and Innovation Managers have access to all the equipment provided at Crucible where we can spend time learning new techniques, bouncing ideas off each other and preparing large batches of cocktails.

One of the first independent on-trade projects we took on where the membership came in extremely handy was Funkin Innovation Lab set in the Republic of Ireland. 30 bartenders came to taste 15 classic cocktails with a modern twist prepared at Crucible, where Funkin purees and syrups played the key role.

As we are particularly well known for our Passion Fruit Puree, I decided to make a twist on a Porn Star Martini. This drink takes a bit of time and patience to make, however, it does pay off in terms of quality! The classic flavour combination of passion fruit and vanilla, laced with zesty effervescence is still present, however, the signature look is gone, aiming to confuse the guest into thinking this is perhaps nothing but a glass of Champagne. The cocktail prepared at Crucible combines vodka, re-distilled under vacuum with Funkin Passion Fruit Puree and vanilla pods.

The rotary evaporator, a.k.a. Rotovap, is a piece of laboratory equipment that enables one to distil in a vacuum, under much lower pressure than that of our Atmosphere (around 3 times lower). As a result of the low pressure, the mixture reaches boiling point and begins to evaporate under a much lower temperature - from 16C, thus creating a crystal clear passion fruit distillate where the refreshing, tropical flavour esters are preserved rather than cooked.

The recipe for the Crystal Porn Star is below:

  • 40ml Passion Fruit distillate
  • 20ml Verjus (unfermented grape juice)
  • 10ml Funkin Pro Vanilla Syrup
  • 20ml Cold Water
  • Carbonate in a syphon using 2 CO2 cartridges.

Crystal Porn Star

Recently Funkin also teamed up with Plymouth Gin Brand Ambassador where we put together a twist on a famous Gimlet cocktail (the original Gimlet is made with Plymouth Gin). We made a Funkin Pure Pour Lime cordial, which we then cooked sous-vide (in a vacuum bag, under constant temperature, thus preventing any evaporation) with Funkin Pro Sugarcane Syrup, Plymouth Navy Strength Gin, Rose Petals and dried Almond Blossom. Making a Funkin Lime cordial is easy, exceptionally cost-efficient and guaranteed longer shelf life than fresh lime. The cocktail came out abundantly zesty, fresh and floral, where Lime, Rose and Plymouth Gin formed the perfect pink-tinted marriage. Not only did Crucible give us access to the Sous-Vide equipment and the vacuum machine, but we also had enough space to make large batches of the Gimlet and take it out to our friends working at Central London bars.

Below is our Rose Gimlet served at Bar Swift.

To sum up, through our access to Crucible’s Lab, we are enabled to develop some progressive cocktail recipes which can inspire multiple uses of Funkin products across the bar community.'

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