Hyppolite Civins
Hyppolite Civins

CLASS talks to Hyppolite Civins, brand ambassador at FUNKIN COCKTAILS about its Heritage Competition. 

Please introduce FUNKIN COCKTAILS’ Heritage Competition to our readers.

This year is a big one for FUNKIN COCKTAILS as we celebrate our 25th birthday! With our roots firmly in the on trade, we’ve been working alongside our trusty partners for a quarter of a century now – and it’s safe to say we’ve built up a solid reputation as the UK’s number one cocktail brand.

To celebrate, our Heritage Competition is back and bigger than ever. This competition invites bartenders to create a cocktail that pays tribute to the past while also bringing in modern techniques and ingredients, including our range of liqueurs which launched last year. It’s all about honouring where we’ve come from and where we’re going in the world of mixology.

The idea is to create a cocktail that honours the past while also incorporating modern techniques and ingredients – what were the stand out cocktails from last year?

Last year’s competition was fantastic! We saw a huge variety of cocktails, from modern twists on classic drinks to completely unique creations inspired by personal stories. Each finalist brought something special, blending flavours and visuals in really creative ways.

The winning cocktail, ‘Aguas Claras’ by David Antunes from Be At One, was a real highlight, featuring Funkin Passion Fruit Liqueur, Patron Silver, Bruxo Mezcal No.4, agave, acid solution, and vanilla bitters. Inspired by the classic Margarita, ‘Aguas Claras’, which means Clear Waters, it beautifully captured the essence of Mexico's stunning beaches and tropical landscapes through a harmonious blend of earthy, smoky mezcal with the crisp clarity of tequila over the tropical sweetness of passion fruit. A clear cocktail with a subtle sand-coloured tint over an oblong ice cube resulted in a pristine drink which perfectly emulated nature with every sip.

The competition focuses on FUNKIN’s liqueurs range which came out last year – tell us about the range and how they work best for mixing?

We’re really proud of the liqueurs, the incredible reception we’ve had so far and the exciting further potential they have across the industry. The trio is inspired by, and perfectly complements, our market-leading purée range and importantly, was created for and approved by bartenders. Just like the rest of our range, the liqueurs are made with real fruit rather than artificial flavourings. This makes them perfect for cocktails as they blend seamlessly with other fruit components and really elevate any drink’s flavour.

The range includes Passion Fruit (18% ABV), Peach (18% ABV) and Triple Sec (20% ABV) designed with the growing trend for tropical flavours in mind. Our Passion Fruit liqueur is particularly special because our signature Passion Fruit purée was used by the pioneering Douglas Ankrah when he created the Pornstar Martini, so we created a liqueur which seamlessley accompanies the original recipe and its ingredient counterparts. It’s vibrant and tangy, the perfect addition for the UK’s favourite cocktail . The Triple Sec is great for Margaritas – which of course, remain a firm favourite on menus across the nation – and our Peach liqueur makes brilliant classics like Sex on the Beach (the UK’s #2 cocktail), or even a delicious twist on a Margarita, Mojito, or Martini.

The competition is part of FUNKIN’s quarter of a century anniversary – tell us what else you have planned to mark the occasion…

Alongside the Heritage Cocktail Competition, we’re throwing a trade party for friends of FUNKIN as a thank you to our industry partners who have stocked us over the years. Held at the Palm House in London, it’s going to be an amazing night with a nostalgic ‘Party like it’s 1999’ theme as a nod to the year we were created. Expect iconic pop music, karaoke, trivia, themed snacks, and a special ‘90s-inspired cocktail menu.

If you’re a trade stockist of FUNKIN and want to join the celebration, please RSVP to marketing@funkin.co.uk as soon as possible. Spaces are limited and filling up fast! This party is our way of saying thank you to our partners and celebrating 25 years of fantastic cocktails and even better relationships.

The on-trade has always been FUNKIN’s roots. How has Funkin’s offering evolved and adapted to the fast-advancing UK cocktail market?

You’re totally right, bartenders and the on-trade have always been at the heart of FUNKIN’s story. Our journey started with our signature purées, which quickly became a staple behind bars across the UK for their quality and consistency. As the cocktail market evolved, so did we.

We expanded our range to include syrups, responding to the demand for more versatile ingredients that could elevate any drink. Our recently launched Pink Grapefruit syrup is a current favourite for hot on-trend cocktails like the Paloma.

Recognising the need for efficiency and consistency, we introduced a range of pre-batched cocktail mixers. These made it easier for bartenders to serve high-quality cocktails quickly, without compromising on taste. Simply add spirit to 100ml of mixer, either shaken or stirred and you’re good to go with a bar-quality cocktail.

To give the same fantastic offering to consumers at home or on-the-go, we launched Ready-to-Drink cans and bottles, offering a premium cocktail experience that can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere.

And finally, last year we launched our incredible real-fruit liqueur range to perfectly elevate both fruit and core spirits within any cocktail.

Throughout all these innovations our number one commitment has always been to support the on trade, providing products and education to help bartenders create amazing cocktails efficiently. Our ability to adapt and innovate with the market has kept us at the forefront of the UK’s cocktail scene for the past 25 years, and we’re excited to see where the next 25 will take us.