Funkin Ambassador: Aiste Valiukaite

Our newest Funkin Ambassador and our 2017 Innovation Champion, Aiste is the latest addition to our team as our London based expert. Aiste was able to show off her skill and love for Funkin products during the Innovation Champion competition and so we knew we had to keep her with us! Here is what she had to tell us about her life before Funkin, her best cocktail experiences and favourite cocktails…

Other than being our wonderful Innovation Champion for 2017, what were you doing before you took on your role at Funkin?

Immediately after winning the Innovation Championship in 2017, I decided to move to Belfast to take on a role at a 5 star Merchant Hotel which is home to the legendary Cocktail Bar, a luxurious, Victorian cocktail oasis in the middle of the Cathedral Quarter. I also spent time developing my skills as a bartender in London and graduated with a law degree.

Talk us through an average day for you!

Every day is different, which makes my job wonderfully versatile and happy. I'm still learning the ins and outs of the role, but so far my days have been busy with drinks development, working with our secret new products, meeting interesting people and visiting exciting bars.

What is the most exciting part about being a Brand Ambassador for Funkin Cocktails?

Spending so much time talking to the cocktail industry peers and trying intelligent and thought-provoking drinks that inspire me. Doing it was always a hobby of mine, and being able to intertwine it with my own cocktail development sessions and creative progression is super rewarding, both personally and professionally.

What are your favourite Funkin products and why?

Tough one! I guess I'd have to say Funkin Pro Strawberry Puree which tastes just like tiny wild strawberries with some sugar my grandma would serve as a dessert when I was little. I can drink that puree straight - so nostalgia is strong! But I'd also have to mention Jalapeno Syrup, which is incredibly complex and interesting - super savoury, as well as sweet (it's a syrup after all) and with a proper fiery kick. It's not for the faint-hearted.

What is your favourite cocktail?

French 75. I love a simple, clean and effervescent cocktail.

What's your top tip for creating a great cocktail?

Sometimes I'll come up with a flavour combination, write it down and get back to develop it further in a week or two. I find that this way I let my mind refine the idea better and come up with the best solution. If you have the luxury of time for creativity, use it.


Best cocktail experience ever?

Enjoying a French 75 at Three Sheets, in the warmth of the sun outside, people-watching (it's in Dalston, so there's lots to see), with my partner by my side and the bartender making us feel right at home. So simple, but kind of heavenly. It's all about the right people, moment and drinks and stars definitely aligned on that one!

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Funkin Cocktails caters for both professional bartenders and at home cocktail lovers.