Since lockdown arrived, we have loved collaborating with other small businesses close to home. East London Liquor is the perfect example of this, as it’s literally on the doorstep where Freya lives!
We’ve created a series of highball serves to pair with East London Liquor - a simple kombucha + spirit combination, to keep it nice and easy for a cocktail at home. So scroll to the bottom of the Q+A for an east kombucha highball serve, the perfect dinner party pleaser.
To dig a little deeper into ELLC, I was thrilled to catch up with Alex Wolpert, the founder, for a Q+A behind the empire he is building!
1. How did you get started in the world of drinks?
I started off working in a bar in Shoreditch 12 years ago, as a jobbing actor, and soon became more involved in the bar scene, running one bar and then several bars and pubs across central London.
2. How did you start learning about spirits, was there a key person of influence on your journey?
I was really lucky to learn a lot from Ben Reed, whose cocktail and spirit knowledge is frighteningly in-depth, as well as of course the 3 founders of Barworks who took me on in the early days and then rather wonderfully backed me with East London.
3. What is the philosophy of East London Liquor Co?
East London Liquor Company has always stood against expensive mediocrity. Everyone should have good booze for good prices from good people. It sounds radical, but it really shouldn’t.
4. How did you go about getting started with the business - and growing from 1 person... to a team?
I was always exasperated by customers calling for only expensive brands to make the perfect drink and wanted to see if we could champion affordable excellence but without the vanity pricing and packaging. I borrowed against my flat, convinced the bar owners of Barworks (my bosses at the time) to invest in the vision. I found a disused glue factory warehouse-cum-boozer that had closed down, next to Victoria Park. We then ordered two copper pot stills from Germany and found a 23-year old chemical-engineer-turned-distiller, Tom Hills, and an east London bartender, Mikey Pendergast, to help start the business.
5. Has there been a pinch-me-moment that’s kept you inspired?
Our LA brand ambassador sent me a picture last week of a gin jigsaw with our gin in it, which made me chuckle.
6. At the distillery, what are you experimenting with at the moment?
We’ve been playing around with quite a few really tasty ready to drink options over the past few weeks.
7. What’s your drink of choice this week?
A white Negroni – a great twist on a classic and just launched in our shop made with the wonderful team at Vault Vermouth in South London.
8. What’s next for ELLC?
We have some more exciting can developments coming out over the summer
9) Where can people get their hands on a few bottles of the finest, East London Liquor?
On or online shop: eastlondonliquorcompany.com