The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

New training platform for Auckland-based hospitality

The Parasol & Swing Company and Balling Drinks/Creative have come together to create a local training platform for Auckland based hospitality. Through a series of regular seminars and events, the aim is to provide the hospitality industry with the CHOICE to become more creative and professional.

Ballin Drinks is founded by Mikey Ball, former head bartender of the award-winning London bar, Dandelyan. The Parasol & Swing Company is owned by bar-scene staple Jason ‘Montreal’ Rosen and is one of the latest cocktail bars on the Auckland scene with a staff featuring multiple NZ, UK, and global cocktail competition champions.

As passionate and experienced members of the industry, Ball and Rosen feel an understanding of some of the more advanced tools and techniques than are commonly being taught or used in bars will help stoke the creative fires and lead to an awareness of how to build more ‘Hella Good Drinks’, while also fighting the stigma that is too often attributed to thinking outside the boston.

The first seminar series will begin this month and feature bi-weekly modules, followed by post seminar social events where even those not taking part in the seminar will have the opportunity to come try some drinks in a more social environment.

Although these initial seminars will jump a significant number of steps above the average training session, there will certainly be something for industry members of all levels, and you will also get to go behind the scenes of how Parasol & Swing, and Ballin drinks go about creating cocktails.

Each seminar will feature three cocktails: one collaboration, one showcase drink from Ballin Drinks, and one current menu favourite from Parasol & Swing. Seminar attendees will get to try the drinks, as well as learn how to make them for themselves. After the seminar, the drinks will be available for purchase by anyone attending the social side of the event, which is also open to the general public at no cost.

The first four seminars are on Monday evenings, on the following dates from 7-9pm:

  • May 14th: Acids & other citrus substitutes
  • May 28th: Textures, Fats and other washing methods
  • June 11th: Carbonation/Pressure/Infusion
  • June 25th: Batching & Fermentation

The small cost of these seminars will be $20 per session, or $50 for all 4. This is merely to cover the costs of running the sessions and the prep work involved. Space to the seminars are very limited, but from 9pm it is open to anyone to attend and have some discounted cocktails, talk shop and start your week with a bang.