Between Zoom, takeaway coffee and gym sessions in the park, there’s a lot we can do during lockdown to imitate “real” life.
However, good cocktails are more elusive.
That’s why Ed Loveday has co-founded Big Mood, a new beverage brand with one goal: to craft bottled cocktails as good as the ones you’d drink in your favourite bar.
Save 20% when you buy two or more Broadsheet books. Order now to make sure they arrive in time for Christmas.SHOP NOW
It’s a side project for Loveday, whose day job is special project manager at Solotel, where he looks after the compelling drinks programs at Barangaroo House, Opera Bar and Avi’s Kantini at The Bank. Previously, he co-owned forward-thinking venues Acme and Bar Brose.
“During last year’s lockdown, I started making some bottled cocktails for friends and realised it was a vibe worth exploring,” Loveday tells Broadsheet. “It took the better part of six to 12 months to build the brand and we obviously had no idea we’d be back in lockdown again this year … but, well, here we are.”
There are seven cocktails in the Big Mood range. At the classic end there’s a Negroni, and at the more out-there end there’s the Rosé All Day, which brings together rosé, strawberry, hibiscus and Aperol, and just needs topping up with soda or prosecco when you’re ready to drink.
In the middle is a bunch of twists on old faithfuls, including the Passionfruit Margarita with dragonfruit; an Old Fashioned made with rum, salted honey and chocolate; and the Raspberry Daquiri, with white rum, fresh raspberries and kaffir lime. Big Mood is also bringing the Lychee Martini back from the noughties – but this version is a delicate gin, elderflower and lychee number.
“There’ll also be seasonal drops, with the spring range landing in just a few weeks,” says Loveday. “This is where we’ll get a bit more spicy, so expect a few more unusual flavour combos.”
Every cocktail is made with high-quality spirits and seasonal produce. A few tricks help keep the quality high during the bottling process, such as replacing lime juice with Supasawa (a combination of five acids) and adding water from the start. Minimal effort is required on the drinker’s part. All you have to do is pour your cocktail over ice and, if you’re fancy, add a slice of citrus.
“Big Mood is equal parts solo self-care and crowded-party fantasy,” says Loveday. The cocktails’ branding is the antithesis to the minimalist, medicine-bottle-style labels that emblazon many other batched cocktails: they have bright-yellow seals and are splashed with flowers, abstract shapes and cocktail glasses in block colours.
“As a brand, we’re curious, fun and ambiguous,” says Loveday. “Big Mood is technically a pre-mixed cocktail, but it’s also so much more. We live at the intersection of design, fashion, art, music and good food, so expect some collaborations with artist and designer friends in the near future.”
Big Mood cocktails come in 500-millilitre bottles. Get them delivered by Drnks or find them at Native Drops Bondi and Surry Hills; The Clock, Surry Hills; The Sackville Hotel, Rozelle; Annandale Cellars; Deus ex Machina, Camperdown; and The Borrowed Table, Kellyville Ridge.