We speak to award-winning bartending bros Joe and Dan Schofield, who head up the pop-up vodka bar until October 14th
The Schofield brothers are on a roll.
Having this summer scooped International Bartender of the Year at the Spirited Awards, older bro Joe has just this week been named Bartenders’ Bartender of the Year at the World’s 50 Best Bars Awards, following stints around some of the world’s best bars, including The Zetter Townhouse and the American Bar at The Savoy in London, and The Tippling Club in Singapore.
It’s a cool coffee shop by day and a cocktail bar by night...
Meanwhile, Daniel has been carving out a reputation of his own, recently moving from Paris to London to run The Coupette, a French-inspired cocktail bar in Bethnal Green, recently voted amongst the top 20 bars in the world.
Not bad for two lads from Rossendale who started off knocking out grog at Liar’s Club in Manchester (not that there’s anything wrong with grog – ours is a Zombie).
Now, having made their mark on the circuit, the boys are heading home to launch a new joint venture in Manchester, but not before heading up Cafe Belvedere, a new ‘activation’ (that means pop-up) at Artisan in Spinningfields, as brand ambassadors of premium Polish vodka brand Belvedere.
“We’re here for two weeks until Sunday 14 October,” says Joe, “It’s a cool coffee shop by day and a cocktail bar by night.
“Me and Dan have curated the cocktail menu, which features a few much-loved signature drinks – like the Espresso Martini - plus a few of our own original creations, like the Copacabana with Belvedere vodka, desiccated coconut flakes, cold brew coffee and honey.”
“We’re doing some unique things here,” chips in Dan, “when people think of coffee cocktails they think of sweet, dessert-style drinks. But some of ours are a bit lighter, lower ABV, more health conscious.”
Health conscious cocktails… what ever happened to a bucket of Pina Colada?
“I think perceptions are changing,” says Joe, “not just towards the food we eat but also what we drink. Take vodka, the premium brands like Belvedere are becoming more and more popular – and not just with bartenders. People care more about the product, the flavour, but also where it’s come from.
"In this case, Belvedere comes from Poland, made from Dankowski rye. Vodka is typically associated with Russia, but Poland has been making vodka for around 1000 years - it’s deeply rooted in their culture.”
Having been away from Manchester for a number of years, what do the brothers Schofield think to the city’s growing drinking scene?
“Manchester has always had a strong drinking scene, it did when we worked at Liars Club five or six years ago, but it’s really kicked on since then,” says Dan.
“There are new F&B concepts popping up all the time with some serious London operators arriving in the last couple of years,” says Joe. “A few of our friends in London are looking at opening in Manchester too, it’s a very exciting time to be here.”
Café Belvedere is open from 11am to 11pm, at Artisan in Spinningfields until Sunday 14 October - find out more here