Bittered Sling Bitters | Yet Another ‘New Normal. Down on the Upside with Scottish Hospitality
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Yet Another ‘New Normal. Down on the Upside with Scottish Hospitality

Pouring Vodka Martini into coupe with Bittered Sling Lem Marrakech Bitters bottle beside

Yet Another ‘New Normal. Down on the Upside with Scottish Hospitality

by Leon Wilkes Back

England is currently two weeks into a second lockdown, which is due to last for four weeks. This is unfortunate for many bars and businesses and maybe more challenging than the first. It will be a hard watch on the side-lines for many as we have to remain closed. Having a lack of detailed explanation of financial assistance from the government, restricted hours of operation and revenue loss. It makes a business harder and harder to run as the timeline remains unknown.

In Scotland, there have been more extreme measures than in England so far. Bars and restaurants in the central belt in Scotland were forced to close for 23 days. 
This was a shock for all of the Scottish hospitality, but the response was truly remarkable. Bar owners, bartenders, bussers and servers came together as a collective community to send a message peacefully to the Scottish Parliament. On the final day of normal operations, all of these hospitality workers took their leftover ice from service that was in their machines and wells that would be closed down and dumped it in front of the Scottish Parliament building (masked and observing social distancing rules) to show that hospitality had become the scapegoat of Scotland and the United Kingdom effectively putting it on ice.

Through adversity can sometimes show a real powerful message. As a member of the British and Scottish hospitality industry, I found the response truly inspiring. I hope that the UK and the rest of the world follow suit in showing how professional and responsible our industry is and how we should not be treated as a lesser tier career. 

There are shimmers of hope and inspiration out there with bottle shops, delivery cocktails and cocktail kits being more available now for consumers to buy. The DRINKS DROP  has lead quality cocktail deliveries since early in the first lockdown. They have been cranking out drinks to go and have supplied many people through London Cocktail Week with delicious libations from all of our favourite bars.  

There have been so many changes in legislation, regulations and laws that we must abide by, and when this all began, we all said how interesting, difficult and challenging it may be to adjust to the “new normal.” I believe now we should abide by the laws given to us, work hard where we can to support one another and understand that the very nature of a pandemic is something we have yet to live through like we are now. These are unprecedented times, and therefore our response as communities as neighbourhoods as industries should be equally unprecedented. The power of community can truly change the landscape that we are in, and now more than ever, our community needs us. Support local help those you can and stay safe.  

Leon Wilkes Back is a Scottish bartender living in London, England. Leon is a part of the dynamic team at Bar Swift.

Vodka Martini
Simple, delicious and a reminder that it’s good to take a minute in these times to step back and breathe. 

50ml vodka
20ml dry vermouth (softer option- Aecorn dry) 
2 dashes Bittered Sling Lem Marrakech Bitters

Stir down, serve in a cocktail glass garnished with a lemon coin.