Founded by spirits and hospitality industry experts Patrick Fogarty and Tom Cullen, Dark Bar Drinks has evolved into a leading ready-to-serve cocktail company for hospitality operators.
DBD works alongside award winning bartenders & Michelin Starred chefs to develop premium cocktails that are handcrafted in batches using only the finest ingredients and spirits.
The range of complex drinks has been created by Patrick Fogarty along with the assistance of his Doctor Inks Curiosities management team.
Having spent over 20 years working in and running some of London’s top bars and private members clubs, Patrick returned to his hometown in Devon and launched Doctor Ink’s Curiosities in 2016 with his business partner Tom Cullen. In the last 5 years, Doctor Ink’s has been short listed twice (2018 & 2019) for ‘Imbibes Drinks List of the Year’, winning the ‘Best Themed’ category in 2017. The bar was also in the final for the ‘UK’s Most Sustainable Bar’ in the 2019 ‘Class Bar Awards’. These are the highlights for the bar alongside editorials in the national press and a plethora of other South West awards and achievements.
In March 2020, as Doctor Ink’s Curiosities and all other venues in the UK closed due to Covid 19, Cullen & Fogarty launched Stir Crazy®; a weekly online cocktail masterclass with ingredients boxes which included batched & Ready To Drink (RTD) cocktails.
From the first weekend of Lockdown 1, the business went from 100 boxes per week to 1000 in less than 2 months. By Christmas, Stir Crazy® was producing over 6000 cocktails per week that were sold across the UK and EU with accompanying masterclasses – it also featured in the Telegraph & the Guardian as the best lockdown masterclasses.
Dark Bar Origins
On a research trip to New York’s ‘Craft Bar’ scene 20 years ago, Patrick witnessed the emergence of pre-batching cocktails as a growing trend to speed up service and allow the creation of complex drinks in a high paced environment. This was the catalyst which saw Fogarty implement similar concepts to bars he was running at the time in London’s West End.
This ‘batching’ of drinks but in miniature became the heart of the concept for the Stir Crazy® drinks boxes.
The challenges of recruiting highly trained bartenders outside of metropolitan areas has always been tough but it is now exasperated by the twin trials of both Covid 19 & Brexit. In the spring of 2021, as the UK began the slow unfurling of the most recent lockdown, Cullen and Fogarty identified through their own businesses and that of their peers, that a ‘solution’ was very much needed for the Hospitality Industry.
The amalgamation and the evolution of these concepts led to the creation of Dark Bar Drinks...