In this exclusive interview, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Steve Cooper, one of the brilliant minds behind the Artisan Drinks Company. As a co-founder, Steve’s entrepreneurial spirit and vast knowledge of the beverage industry have been instrumental in shaping the brand’s success. With his passion for creating exceptional mixers that stand out, Steve has helped Artisan Drinks carve its unique place in the market.

Join us as we unravel the entrepreneurial journey of Steve Cooper and discover the passion and innovation behind the Artisan Drinks Company, a brand that continues to redefine the art of mixing drinks.

How did the idea for the Artisan Drinks Company come about?

The founding story of an entrepreneur and an artist walking into a bar isn’t just a line or a joke; it actually happened. That’s where Steve and Al met Mikey and decided to set up Artisan Drinks.

What inspired you to create a range of mixers that stand out from the rest?

When the three founders met, they approached the project from different angles. Mikey noticed that the mixer ranges in his award-winning bars didn’t work well for the bar, lacked great taste, and were one-dimensional, mainly suited for gin. Al observed the dated appearance of the mixers behind Mikey’s bar, which didn’t align with the aesthetic of trendy bars. Steve, with his extensive knowledge of soft drinks, combined these elements and realised they could create something truly exceptional. Each of the founders broke away from large corporate working environments to pursue their passion, which led them to establish Artisan Drinks. As a brand, we always encourage that same independent mentality.

What sets Artisan Drinks apart from other mixer brands in the market? How do you ensure that your products add an exciting dimension to cocktails?

One key element is our premium look, which is achieved by having world-renowned artists design our labels. Additionally, our recipes are developed by Mikey, who owns the winner of the Best Gin bar in the world in 2020. With his vast spirits knowledge, Mikey ensures that our recipes pair well with a wide variety of spirits.

Could you tell us more about the Artisan ethos of “Why blend in when you can stand out…”? How does this philosophy influence your brand and product development?

This ethos guides our actions, particularly in marketing and customer approach. We always strive to stand out and provide others with the opportunity to do the same. We believe that having Artisan Drinks on the shelf or behind a bar allows the venue to make a statement.

Craft spirits have experienced significant growth in recent years. How did this trend stimulate your imaginations and drive you to create the perfect range of mixers?

This trend, especially in premium rum and premium tequila, has always aligned with our mentality of mixing with a wider variety of spirits. The recent trends have only further reinforced our standpoint.

What is the process behind developing a new mixer flavour or recipe at Artisan Drinks? How do you ensure that each product is equally delicious on its own?

All recipes start with Mikey, who is the driving force behind the ingredients and pairings of each flavour. We conduct competitor sampling, but our aim is always to exceed the taste of the competitors significantly. Our newest flavour, launching at the end of summer, is considerably better tasting than our competitors, although we may be biased.

Collaboration seems to be an important aspect of Artisan Drinks’ success. How do the different backgrounds and skills of the founders, Steve Cooper, Alan Walsh, and Mikey Enright, contribute to the brand’s vibrant and exciting identity?

Collaboration plays a vital role in our success, and it has grown significantly in recent months. We have partnered with a roster of spirit brands that we love, leveraging their versatility to showcase our own. Networking is crucial in our business, and Steve, Mikey, and Al each have an interesting network that we utilise to achieve success.

In what ways do your mixers enhance the drinking experience for consumers? Could you share some examples of cocktails or drink combinations that have been particularly well-received?

With the unique flavour combinations of our drinks, consumers often comment on how they elevate their beverages. Our key focus is ensuring that the mixer doesn’t overpower the spirit. For example, typical ginger beers tend to dominate due to the overwhelming ginger flavour. However, our Fiery Ginger Beer maintains that punch while balancing the ginger with a little chilli pepper, providing the desired spiciness without overpowering the spirit.

Sustainability is becoming increasingly important in the beverage industry. How does Artisan Drinks address sustainability in its production and packaging processes?

We recognise the importance of sustainability and have recently moved our production to one of the most carbon-efficient factories in Europe. We are a part of PlanetMark to officially demonstrate our commitment every year, and we are actively promoting our 200ml can products.

What have been some of the most rewarding moments or achievements for Artisan Drinks since its inception?

Recently, we won our first major national bar chain, The Alchemist. Seeing our products across the country in their bars was a significant achievement. Additionally, whenever we see our advertising on Ocean Outdoor screens, it fills us with pride.

Are there any exciting plans or upcoming projects that you can share with us? Can we expect any new flavours or product innovations in the near future?

We have a new flavour coming in late summer, which will complete our offering for the on-trade.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs or individuals looking to make a mark in the beverage industry?

Never be afraid to pursue what you love. There are plenty of supportive and friendly people who will help you along the way.

Our readers love to travel. What destination is at the top of your bucket list?

Artisan Drinks is available in 28 different export markets, and we’re working hard to expand into Japan, so that would be our top destination.

Where can people find out more?

For more information, please visit our website at or find us on Instagram at @artisandrinksco.


Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.

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