There are training sessions, and then there are next-level cocktail workshops that bring together top bartenders from around the country to learn and collaborate with each other. Sip & Savour, the first in a series of events from premium mixer brand Franklin & Sons, part of a year-long bartender advocacy programme, was no ordinary training session.

As part of the programme, Franklin & Sons has named The Mix, consisting of leading bartenders from every corner of the UK. Eight of these bartenders gathered at Callooh Callay in London for this interactive workshop, led by executive chef and author Jay Morjaria. Over the course of the day, they’d work together with a variety of ingredients, learn more about harmonising flavour in food and drinks, and create some impressive cocktails in the process.

Morjaria began by describing his vision for the workshop as a day of collaboration rather than a one-sided presentation. “What’s really important is what you bring today – your own experiences with these ingredients,” he explained. “You bring such a wealth of knowledge and skill to the table, and we want you to share that today.”

To that end, the assembled bartenders were teamed up in pairs, and each given a sweet ingredient, such as jam tarts or Oreos, to use in the creation of a dessert cocktail. They were given time to prep and begin any long-lead processes, with the aim of presenting their drinks at the end of the day. As they set to work, using an array of equipment, Morjaria noted that many of the techniques he was seeing wouldn’t be out of place in a kitchen.

Following a presentation about the science of flavour, and how this can be applied to food and cocktail creation, Marjoria introduced the second workshop of the day. He had used various Franklin & Sons mixers, such as the brand’s Elderflower & Cucumber Tonic Water and Pineapple & Almond Soda, as inspiration for a number of dishes. The task for the teams was to use one of these dishes as inspiration for a cocktail, completing the circle by incorporating the mixer that had originally inspired the dish.

To conclude the day, the four teams presented their finished cocktails, both their culinary-inspired creations and their dessert cocktails from earlier – a remarkable collection of drinks, particularly given the limited time they’d had to produce them. Some had incorporated fat washes, while others had somewhat miraculously created clarified milk punches. All of them demonstrated some truly innovative approaches to flavour pairing.

This was the first in a planned series of events for The Mix, which will be followed by Crafted Conversations, a series of events open to all industry professionals. These will be held in Manchester on 9 April, Edinburgh on 25 June and London on 13 August, featuring guest speakers and focusing on career and skill development, on the themes of technique, potential and advocacy. In addition, the Franklin & Sons team will host a session on the science of carbonation.

The Mix:

Tom Austin, The Milk Thistle, Bristol

Courtney Francis, Couch, Stirchley

Kane Gordon, Tabula Rasa, Leeds

Ewan Grieve, Lab22, Cardiff

Davide Leanza, Los Mochis City, London

Panos Ntalianis, GONG Bar, Shangri-La at the Shard, London

Reah Owen, Project Halcyon Distillery, Manchester

Elyse Von Ruinn, Charlie Brown’s, Glasgow

David Stanley, Speak in Code in Manchester

Chloe Yeung, Panda & Sons in Edinburgh