Maxim Schulte launches Laiba bottled cocktails

Bartender Maxim Schulte has partnered with bottled cocktail producer Laiba Beverages to develop a line of ready-to-drink serves.

The set is the first release in Laiba's Special Edition collection, through which the brand will team up with well-known bartenders to create bottled cocktails. Schulte, the former head bartender of the American Bar at The Savoy, now runs London's Kol Mezcaleria. He previously worked in several prominent hotel bars in Asia, and first met Laiba CEO and co-founder Alexander Petersen in Bangkok. Schulte said: “My Laiba Special Edition reflects my experience previously in Bangkok, Hong Kong and Macau, really showcasing Asian flavours and what they can do in a cocktail.” Schulte's set features six 90ml bottles: three of a cocktail called Oriental Reviver, and three of the Piña Colada Old Fashioned. Oriental Reviver is a riff on the traditional Corpse Reviver No. 2 and features gin, triple sec and mandarin. "The mandarin replacing the citrus is connected to my past of working for a long time in Asia and really loving the continent, the people, the culture and the flavours," Schulte explained. Meanwhile, the Piña Colada Old Fashioned marries rum, pineapple and coconut in a stirred-down version of the classic tropical drink. The set is priced at £59 (US$81.17), available to order on the Laiba Beverages website. Laiba Beverages launched in Asia 2017. The business is the brainchild of Michael Chen, previously the bar manager of Sydney's The Roosevelt, along with Petersen, Mark Connolly and Lars Battefield. Its products are now available in the UK, with plans to roll out globally this year.