Bittered Sling Bitters | Bars as Co-Operatives – A New Way of Working
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Bars as Co-Operatives – A New Way of Working

Coconut Cane cocktail beside Lem Marrakech Bitters

Bars as Co-Operatives – A New Way of Working

by Leon Wilkes Back

Co-operatives’ idea isn’t a new one, but something I can see is slowly coming into the hospitality communities’ forefront. Co-operatives are various associations and persons united to meet their shared economic, social, cultural needs and aspirations.

In our hospitality community worldwide, we’ve seen this done in the past through guest shifts, pop-ups and residencies. Now, as we navigate through a global pandemic, one space, in particular, has stuck out to me on how a new way of co-operative working has brought a community together.

Nauticus, a cozy neighbourhood pub in the heart of Leith, embodies a co-operative working mindset by converting the front of their bar into a kitchen space and providing a takeout “Hatch Series” through their window. This space has allowed other restaurants and small street market vendors in the area to share the space and remain in business. Initially only operating as a pub, the owners have realized the importance of having multiple revenue streams. Co-operative working has been another way to have revenue in these trying times.

Co-Owner Kyle Jamieson told me – “We always chatted about doing a hatch situation as we have seen how popular to go drink were and, of course, we were still unsure when and if we will open again.”

The first Hatch pop-up was with a friend who runs a street food venture called The Peruvian, who could not operate due to the UK restrictions, but thanks to the “Hatch Series,” was able to serve food once again to the community of Leith and Edinburgh. Since October, Nauticus has done thirteen ‘Hatch Takeover’ series, a testament to Kyle and his team’s dedication and great hospitality.

Working together with people to form co-operatives is fantastic to see. It brings a collective of people together to achieve something, and I am seeing it now in my local neighbourhood, Hackney in East London.
The rest of the UK is slowly beginning to see what a great thing this is to do and how it keeps bringing smiles, delicious food and drinks to their community while times are so tough.

Coconut Cane
The coconut water provides incredible body and a touch of salinity to the drink that harmonizes so well with the sherry.

1.50 oz | 45ml Dry Vermouth
1.50 oz | 45ml Fino Sherry (Tio Pepe)
1 barspoon | 5ml Coconut Honey Syrup*
2 Dashes Bittered Sling Lem Marrakech Bitters

Stir down, serve up in a cocktail glass garnishes with a grapefruit twist.

*Coconut Honey Syrup:
300 gm Honey
100 gm Coconut Water
Whisk ingredients together until homogenous. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.