Carl Anthony Brown, founder and creator of CROSSIP, is an award-winning bartender, mixologist and has been a drink’s expert on shows such as Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch and ITV’s This Morning. Some of Carl’s accolades include winner of ‘The Young British Foodies’, IMBIBE ‘Drinks List of the Year and many more. Having 17 years’ experience working in the bar and drinks industry, Carl is most known for creating the drinks concept across the Dishoom group. Carl’s love for beverage history has helped him to become creative and experimental in his relationship to drink.
Great to meet you
I owe you a drink!!
Talk me through a typical day?
As in wake up, brush teeth etc…
CROSSIP is non-stop for me. We are a small tight knit team, our teamwork keeps the cogs going. My core responsibility is production. We literally make every ingredient for CROSSIP, taking in the raw materials and turning them into the liquids to blend into the final product.
It’s a solid 12hr day out at the ‘Steep’. This is our production facility, named after the fact, we steep the ingredients here
What’s your fave mocktail to make?
Well forgive the bluntness but I hate the word “Mocktail”. A cocktail is about flavour, not how trashed you can get off it, so for me cocktails can be alcohol free or boozy. My fave right now would be a slightly (very) overly fancy Garibali, Possible boarding on becoming a Bitter St Clements. Maybe you should choose the name and I’ll make you one.
- 35ml Crossip Pure
- 20ml Lemon
- 20ml Honey Syrup
- 100ml Orange juice
Shake it with ice, Strain into a tall glass……Ahhhh delicious.
What’s your fave ingredient to use?
PEACH!!! God I love it. It’s incredible for bringing flavour out in other ingredients. Although right now with the limited edition release of Rich Berry, I’m loving Damson.
What’s the biggest misconception about alcohol free drinks?
That there can’t be a mature flavour with depth and balance OR that they should be cheap because there isn’t any booze. I wouldn’t want to start a long winded rant, but we have spoken about these subject on our blogs at www.crossipdrinks.com
Do you think gen z are more conservative than Gen x when it comes to drinking?
I think conservative is the wrong word. The difference between Z & X begins with being able to get served. For X it was very much you look close-ish to 18 you could get away with it. For Z its challenge 25, So your less likely at 16 tried to sneak into the bar. The explosion of social media, almost controlling your life with the image you portray also has a huge factor. Yes the statistics say that a much higher % of gen Z don’t drink, but I don’t believe this is because they are more conservative, just more conscious of what they want.
I feel like the U.K. has quite an unhealthy relationship with alcohol would you agree?
I’m a drinker, I love the flavour and do indulge. I’m also mindful of what I drink and how much keeping a healthy lifestyle with exercise. Drink is part of our culture, do people abuse it? YES, Is it everyone? NO, how could we improve it? Education about drink, not just saying it’s bad for you. It would also be a good starting place to look at how drink is controlled. What’s better? going to a bar where a drink is £5 and its the venues responsibility to ensure you aren’t drunk and where the bartender can educate or going to a supermarket and buying 8 drinks for £5. Supermarkets should have stricter serving hours and be forced to charge high cost on booze. Personally seeing more people in bars and less costs on those bars to keep them in business is definitely better.
Why is it that alcohol free beverages are the same cost as alcoholic beverages?
This is a long one to answer and here’s my blog on it www.crossipdrinks.com – In Summary, buying high quality ingredient, in 5 times the amount as you need for alcohol is expensive. What are you comparing it to, CROSSIP is priced in the same way premium spirits are. So if you compare it to a basic spirit then it would seem expensive. Alcohol naturally kills off bacteria, germs etc, where as making alcohol free is a complicated process to ensure this doesn’t happen.
I love a negroni or a Margarita in summer – which mocktail would you recommend for me?
Well I’ve got you sorted.
The margarita – make it peach!
- 10 dandy
- 20 fresh
- 15 lime
- 15 Honey Syrup
- 40 peach Cordial
Shake or slushy.
- 25 Crossip Pure
- 50 Pentire
- 25 Nine Elms
Stir and a big wedge of orange.
Who or what inspires you?
Well I love old historical cocktail and recipe books I love how people discovered something new and so people like Harry Johnston and Jerry Thomas, my hospitality friends who power on through such hard times inspire me and for the past couple of years I’ve been inspired by my two crazy business partners for taking a leap with me and Making CROSSIP a thing.