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'Phenomenal' demand for lockdown cocktails from Belfast bar


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16 May 2020 - Phill Reynolds of Belfast bar, Love & Death, delivering freshly made cocktails to customers.  (Liam McBurney for the Sunday Life)

16 May 2020 - Phill Reynolds of Belfast bar, Love & Death, delivering freshly made cocktails to customers. (Liam McBurney for the Sunday Life)

Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX

16 May 2020 - Lee Murphy of Belfast bar, Love & Death, deliver freshly made cocktails to customers.  (Liam McBurney for the Sunday Life)

16 May 2020 - Lee Murphy of Belfast bar, Love & Death, deliver freshly made cocktails to customers. (Liam McBurney for the Sunday Life)

Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX

16 May 2020 - Phill Reynolds of Belfast bar, Love & Death, delivering freshly made cocktails to customers. (Liam McBurney for the Sunday Life)

Lockdown cocktails are the latest trend to flow from the coronavirus restrictions with a number of outlets now offering drinks deliveries to spritz up our spirits.

Belfast nightclub Love & Death, on Ann Street in the city centre, was one of the first places to start delivering daiquiris to the door and owner Lee Murphy says demand has been "phenomenal".

He said: "It has been absolutely fantastic so far, they've been flying out the door. We have been caught with our pants down once or twice with so many orders coming in.

"We were just totally unprepared for how popular it was going to be. We ordered a thousand glass bottles for the first lot and ran out. We got 2,000 bottles for the second lot and ran out.

"Last time we ordered 3,000 and we're down to our last few hundred now, we have had to source even more glass bottles which isn't simple at the moment but we're sorted now.

"A lot of people are missing their freshly made cocktails and I'm actually surprised how many guys are buying them.

"It's value for money as well you get six fresh cocktails delivered to your door. It's great because I used to get stick for how much I love them."

The 41-year-old Belfast businessman says the most popular tipple is the Pornstar Martini with the people of Glengormley and Newtownabbey being his thirstiest customers.

He said: "Pornstar Martinis and Brambles seem to fly out, they're the most popular cocktails people are ordering at the moment.

"It's weird how popular Pornstar Martinis are, they make up about two-thirds of the business we're doing.

"I'm having to source a lot of passion fruit puree and finding bulk amounts of it is tricky right now but it's a good problem to have.

"We have customers all over and deliver way beyond Belfast but Newtownabbey and Glengormley are hotspots, they love it.

"We can do anything at all as well, it's not just restricted to the menu, we're still a fully functional bar and can make up anything people want completely to order, made fresh.

quirky

"That's a problem some of our competitors have in that they are doing batches rather than making them fresh, I suppose that's our unique selling point, the simplicity is part of the appeal.

"We've started teaming up with a few restaurants as well as they can't sell alcohol, we offer a discount to their customers.

"So far we have Jumon and Freight on board and we're hoping to start working with Bangkok Thai and a few others soon."

Quirky hideaway Love & Death usually relies heavily on its nightclub business but with the dance floor closed for the foreseeable future, Lee says the courier cocktails will keep on coming.

He added: "We will definitely keep doing the deliveries for as long as we can. The core of our business is the night club really, we are a bar attached to a night club which can't open at the moment so hopefully this keeps us afloat.

"We have completely changed everything around, the club upstairs is now a production suite and the kitchen is flat out putting cocktails together.

"It's keeping us going and getting the bills paid anyway, when we first got told to close we were sort of in the dark about what was going to happen so I kept it going on my own for a few weeks.

"Now we have been able to bring staff back into work and off furlough, hopefully in the next couple of weeks we will have them all in and be back to normal.

"I was keen to get the staff back in because we were concerned about their mental health too, it's not great being stuck indoors all the time. It's better than sitting at home anyway."

Belfast Telegraph