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Mixing with the very best: Joe Schofield and Fentimans have teamed up to extol the virtues of a fastidious, ingredient-led approach to drinks making.

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Fentimans are pleased to unveil the first edition of a new multi-part mixer campaign ‘Crafted for Mixing,’ telling the stories, inspiration and journeys behind the craft of the world’s best chefs and bartenders.

In Part 1, we speak to world renowned and award-winning bartender Joe Schofield. Having worked in multiple venues across the world, Joe recently returned from Singapore to his hometown of Manchester to open SCHOFIELD’s BAR with his brother Daniel.

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Cocktail maestro Joe Schofield and leading mixer company Fentimans share a fair bit in common. They’re both big on quality ingredients, proud of their Northern roots and like to keep it in the family, with Schofield running his Manchester bar group with his younger brother Daniel and Fentimans now a fourth-generation family business.

“There are a number of crossover points in terms of values for each company,” the Bury-born mixologist explains. “But the key reason we stock it is that its tonic performed far better than the competition in a blind taste test we ran. It was a clear winner: the flavour profile is perfect for a G&T and the carbonation level is just right.”

To appreciate why Fentimans’ tonics - and indeed the rest of its mixer range - differ from other brands one must look back to the origins of the business. Fentimans was born out of an unpaid debit. In 1905, Thomas Fentiman - an iron puddler from the west Yorkshire town of Cleckheaton - was approached by a fellow tradesman for a loan. A deal was struck and a recipe for botanically-brewed ginger beer was provided as security. The loan was never repaid so Fentiman became the owner of the unique recipe, which he began using to produce Fentimans Ginger Beer.

More products followed, but all used the same seven-day botanical brewing technique, which results in drinks characterised by an exquisite depth of flavour, luxurious mouthfeel, and silky texture. Sourcing is also key to Fentimans success, with the company devoting considerable effort to scouring the globe for the finest natural ingredients. Fentimans attention to detail when it comes to procurement gives it complete traceability of all of its ingredients, from botanical to bottle.

“It’s botanical brewing and our sourcing practices that sets us apart from the competition. It underpins the Fentimans brand promise and delivers unsurpassed quality. Over 100 years since my great grandfather started making natural botanical drinks, the business continues to flourish and is still in the Fentimans family,” says Fentimans owner Eldon Robson.

“We have been received numerous awards, we have been leading the way in the development of a premium soft beverage category, but most importantly we consistently delight our consumers with our delicious natural drinks.” 

While Fentimans’ multi-award-winning mixers are now paired with spirits in over 85 countries around the world, the business remains 100% independent and family owned. Relative to Fentimans, Schofield and his brother are at the beginning of their journey together, but it looks set to be a highly successful one.

The pair both possess stellar bartending CVs. Schofield’s includes time at The American Bar at The Savoy and working with acclaimed chef Ryan Clift at Singapore’s Tipping Club, where he attracted a string of awards including International Bartender of The Year in the Tales of The Cocktail Spirited Awards and Bartender’s Bartender at The World’s 50 Best Bars 2018. His brother - meanwhile - has worked the bar at top venues including Little Red Door in Paris and Coupette in London.

Last year the pair launched two bars in Manchester city centre, the classically-minded SCHOFIELD’s BAR and ATOMECA, a wine and cocktail bar inspired by European drinking culture. “The site is perfect so we pushed the button despite being in the middle of lockdown,” says Schofield. “We faced the challenge head on offering drinks to take away initially. We’ve been extremely busy since we’ve been allowed to be fully opening, it’s going incredibly well. At SCHOFIELD’S BAR and ATOMECA the approach is refined and classic. The aim is to deliver the very best takes on classic drinks.”

Fentimans plays a key role in several the brother’s drinks, not least the VP&T, a take on gin and tonic made with Fentimans Premium Indian Tonic, Bombay Sapphire gin, apple aperitif and vine leaf. SCHOFIELD’S BAR also offers straight-up G&Ts with a range of gins and the full range of Fentimans tonics, including Fentimans Connoisseurs Tonic Water, Fentimans Naturally Light Tonic water and the aforementioned Fentimans Premium Indian Tonic. For a perfect G&T, Schofield recommends frozen glassware, a single piece of quality ice to minimise dilution and a higher-than-normal ratio of gin to tonic (he uses one part gin to three parts tonic).

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Like Fentimans, Schofield is fastidious when it comes to his ingredients, going so far as to get his ice made to an exact specification for each drink the bar serves. Passion for quality and an unshrinking attention to detail can be added to the list of things that Fentimans and the Schofield brothers have in common, making their partnership a mix made in heaven.

For more details on Fentimans’ premium range of tonics and other mixers head here. [https://www.fentimans.com/] 

Fentimans launch part 1….

Fentimans are pleased to unveil the first edition of a new multi-part mixer campaign ‘Crafted for Mixing,’ telling the stories, inspiration and journeys behind the craft of the world’s best chefs and bartenders.

In Part 1, we speak to world renowned and award-winning bartender Joe Schofield. Having worked in multiple venues across the world, Joe recently returned from Singapore to his hometown of Manchester to open SCHOFIELD’s BAR with his brother Daniel.

In this video, Schofield tells us about the inspiration behind opening Schofields and the importance to him of family, heritage and attention to detail. He also explains what he thinks is most important when creating a mixed drink and why he chooses Fentimans as his mixer of choice.