'10 minutes with...' | NJAC
07919 096457 | njac.co.uk | Wiltshire
Time for a cocktail? I think so! Today we're catching up with Josh Pugh, owner of "Loved & Recommended" NJAC. We LOVE team NJAC here at LTW! and have had the pleasure of working with them on a number of occasions. Having sampled *quite* a few of their cocktails at many of our events (yep, love our job!), we can certainly vouch for their professionalism, dedication and downright delicious drinks! Josh... over to you!
1. Who are the faces behind the business? Tell us a little about NJAC. Where is, and who can we find in, the office
Josh is the face of the business, but NJAC is a family business run from our office within our family home in Salisbury. My wife Soffia does a lot of the admin and planning and even the kids get involved in loading up and cleaning the bars and packing away.
2. What’s in a name? Why ‘NJAC’?
It stands for 'Not Just Any Cocktail' - the idea is that an NJAC cocktail is the real deal and not just a packet mix cocktail or something heavily thinned down with mixers - we use only the best ingredients, fresh juices and recipes we have mastered over time!
3. What’s been your biggest achievement to date?
Our biggest achievement is probably being the first person to win the SWBOYA Young Entrepreneur Award... two years running! We were also quite proud to be interviewed by BBC Radio and to have made cocktails for some well-known celebrities we won’t name…
4. Spill the beans… how did you get into mixing cocktails and how long have you been running NJAC? What do you love most about your job?
NJAC has been running for over 3 years now and I gained my cocktail education just before setting up the business. It was very much with NJAC in mind when I was learning my trade, however I have always had a flair for cocktails and catering. I love the creative side of my job; I love to experiment with flavours and discover new pairings and new cocktails.
5. When it comes to wedding food and drink, there’s so much choice… what makes you unique and why should couples come to NJAC for their wedding bar?
We only got married ourselves last September and feel like we have this new found understanding of how important every detail is! We pride ourselves in what we do and also love doing it, giving you a flawless, stress-free bar so there is one less thing to stress over!
6. Briefly, talk us through a typical wedding consultation?
We really want to make the bar service as personal as all the other aspects of the day, so we like to get to know our Brides and Grooms and understand their theme from their prospective. So we like to meet with the couple and create a bespoke menu together with them, we normally look at flavours and options and have some tasters to get the right mix - we often even design a drink to go with the colour scheme or something that is personal to the couple!
7. Who or what inspires you? Do you ever come up with your own unique ‘NJAC’cocktails?
I am inspired by striving to be unique. Therefore creating our own cocktails is absolutely essential. For example I recently created a Lemon Meringue Pie cocktail which was absolutely delicious and is proving to be a massive hit on our menu at the moment.
8. Let’s talk trends… what kind of weddings are your couples planning? What are they looking for in bar hire?
At the moment there is a lot of country style weddings, Prosecco is high fashion, especially for the reception and we are seeing a lot of Prosecco Bellini’s and Apperol Fizz for reception drinks - cocktails over all are in fashion, Champagne is a thing of the past!
9. When you’re not busy working weddings, how else do cocktails feature in your business?
Weddings are only a part of what we do, we do a lot of garden parties, birthdays, corporate events or anything really. We host a lot of fun masterclasses which are brilliant for team building or hen parties - even non-alcoholic events! We also offer fantastic packages for the corporate sector and the MOD. Anywhere you could have a drink, we’re there!
10. If you weren’t a mixologist, what else would you be doing now/what job would you love to do?
I would be a football coach! I recently worked at Bemerton St John Primary School as a football coach, alongside NJAC and we won the league with the boys' and girls' team and the cup with the girls! However, NJAC is far too busy to keep that going!
11. Come on then… what’s your favourite cocktail(s)?
It’s an impossible question to answer! It’s like having to say which one is your favourite child!! Saying that, a properly made Mojito never goes a miss!
12. What exciting things can we look forward to in the future?
We always get asked about the future of NJAC and where do we see NJAC in a few years? And the answer is always... the sky is the limit! We started with a small one man bar in the back of a Clio - we now have 3 bars and are looking at investing in a couple of others. We now have 2 awards, a van, accept card payments and are serving at events we thought we’d never go to - we want to look back at that in 10 years' time and think that’s nothing!
Thanks so much Josh - right, we're off for a Cosmo! To find out more about NJAC's Wedding Bar Hire & Cocktail Package, click here
Pssstttt : if you're considering a DIY bar, that's great, but we recommend you read this first!