‘Make friends and learn about cocktail making’: An interview with Lancs Cocktail Society
‘The response has been overwhelmingly positive so far’
The most surprising thing about the Lancaster Cocktail Society is that it didn’t exist sooner. Many Lancs students will devote their evenings to downing pitchers at Spoons or emptying their balance at Tipple, so the absence of a society for this was bizarre, to say the least. However, thanks to Psychology student Alice Madeley, Fine Art and Design student Brooke Williams, and Physics student Prana Karthikesu, the group is up and running and has already attracted many members.
Offering events, mixology tips, and the chance to mingle with fellow cocktail fanatics, it is no wonder that the society is one of the fastest-growing on campus. We spoke to its finders to gain an insight into how they achieved this success, how they look to build on it, and most importantly, how Lancaster students can get involved.
‘It was an opportunity to gain leadership’
When we asked the society’s exec what made them start the group, they echoed our astonishment that there wasn’t already a cocktail society at Lancaster. All being second years, Alice, Brooke, and Prana appreciate how difficult it can be to meet people outside your college (especially in a pandemic) and therefore took the initiative to form the society.
“As 2nd years, last year we found it hard to meet people within our colleges and courses due to the covid restrictions. We missed out on a lot of typical uni culture; therefore, we created this society to help people like us make up for a less than desirable 1st year.
“We decided to focus our society on cocktails because it’s something we enjoy making and sharing with other people. It was an opportunity to gain leadership and work effectively as a team. We want to help other students who had a less than ideal university experience last year make friends and learn about cocktail making.”
‘Just over 80 people turned up to our very first social’
While the exec knew that demand was clearly present for a cocktail society in Lancaster, they had no way of anticipating just how successful their first few weeks would be, sharing that “just over 80 people turned up for our very first social at Mint cocktail bar last week.
“We’ve now accumulated more than 500 Instagram followers, and we are continuing to receive interest and suggestions from our growing society.” They elaborated that they looked to build on their popularity by arranging other events, heavily encouraging member input.
‘We have a lot of exciting ideas coming up’
After seeing the success of their first social, the exec drew up plans to offer future events for its growing army of members. “We are hoping to plan a lot more socials in the future and collaborate with other societies on joint events.”
They went on to explain that “we have a good relationship with Mint cocktail bar and are planning on holding socials there around once a month. We have a lot of exciting ideas coming up, including themed cocktail nights and cocktail making classes. We’re currently in the process of hiring execs and will let you know more in the coming weeks.”
‘A Sex on the Beach or a Pina Colada’
Naturally, as heads of the Cocktail Society, we expected the exec to have some strong opinions on the field of mixology. A quick glance at the soc’s Instagram page will inform you of their various cocktails of choice (Alice’s a Cosmopolitan, Brooke’s a Blue Lagoon, and Prana’s a Long Island Iced Tea). However, we were still curious about the exec’s opinions on underrated and overrated cocktails.
A “Blackberry Gin Fizz” was their response when asked about their most underrated cocktail, which apparently includes “50ml blackberry gin (see tip below), 25ml lemon juice, plus lemon slices to serve, two tsp sugar syrup, one small egg white, ice, sparkling water and one blackberry or thyme sprig, to garnish.”
However, they don’t hold Sex on the Beaches or Pina Coladas in such high esteem, which they label as the most overrated classic cocktails.
‘Mocktails did really well on the night of our first social’
Those who enjoy the culture of drink mixing or the general camaraderie but don’t consume alcohol may be concerned that they’d be unable to get involved in a society such as this. However, the exec has accommodated for this and will be offering mocktails at the same discounted rate as their cocktails at socials.
There were clearly a handful of sober patrons at the last social, as the exec were told by Mint management that mocktails sold well on the first social so that teetotalers will be in great company.
‘Our main port of call is our Instagram’
Readers interested in joining the society can do so formally or informally. Applications for additional exec members are currently open, set to close on Friday. “We’re open to suggestions and ideas about future socials. Our main point of call is our Instagram DMs, where we run polls and surveys to help us plan our events. We want the socials to be for everybody so that we would like their input in the decision-making process.”
Anyone looking to get in contact with Cocktail Society can reach them via their Instagram