STAFF at a new vodka bar went flipping mad as they were trained in the art of mixology ahead of a grand weekend opening.
The SKYY Lounge, in Avenue Road, Hartlepool, is set to open on Saturday as Time & Tide’s transformation into a modern cocktail bar comes to an end.
Final touches have seen the eight new bar staff put through a tricky drink-making class by Sean Lineker, the nephew of former England striker Gary Lineker.
And Sean will be in the bar when it officially opens this Saturday, helping staff and showcasing his skills to revellers.
Tim Gilbert, from bar owners Wynyard Leisure, said: “The staff have no experience of this so they have had to learn from scratch.
“We had a few things dropped, but luckily they were just training with bottles of water.
“It looked hard, but they all seemed to pick it up really fast. Sean was really good with them and he’s great at what he does.
“It’s obviously a steep learning curve and they are not perfect, but I’m sure they will get better and better with time.”
Time & Tide, which served people for 12 years, had its last night on Saturday, February 26, before closing for two weeks to undergo a complete renovation.
Wynyard Leisure, which also runs Loons, Shades and Bar Paris in the town, joined forces with USA beverage firm SKYY Vodka to create the new look.
Mr Gilbert has stressed that the club will operate a strict Challenge 25 policy that will see anyone who looks 25 or younger being asked to prove their age as part of the police’s Respect Hartlepool campaign.
Door staff will also be operating a “dress to impress” policy, which will see anyone who turns up not looking their best refused entry.
Mr Gilbert added: “We are all set for Saturday and we are all excited that it is ready to open and people will get the chance to see what we have to offer.”
SEAN’S TOP TIPS FOR THE PERFECT COCKTAIL...
Making cocktails is a group thing, so get some friends together and have fun.
Treat your bar, kitchen work top or table as your stage. Good cocktails make good theatre.
Always use good mix ingredients and fresh fruit.
Maintain high standards and strive to make the perfect cocktail.
Be confident – and keep smiling.
Sean’s two favourite cocktails:
Mojito – the Cuban classic is a favourite in bars and clubs across the world.
Ingredients: 50ml Bacardi, 25ml freshly squeezed lime, 10 mint sprigs, soda, teaspoon of sugar.
Instructions: Mash the mint and sugar together, mix in the rum and lime juice and pour over ice in a tall glass. Top it up with soda and add a few mint leaves to top it off.
Tanqueray Blush – simple and easy to make yet tasty and refreshing to drink.
Ingredients: 50ml Tanqueray gin, 125ml cranberry juice, 50ml freshly squeezed lime, lime wedge.
Instructions: A simple cocktail to throw together. Simply shake all the ingredients together and pour over ice into a tall glass before adding the lime wedge to garnish.