For Small Business Saturday, we got in touch with our GOOD friend, Michael Garth, the master cocktail-maker behind Idle Hands! He shared some of the secrets behind the trade and how Idle Hands is helping everyone realise just how Good a Saturday Night In can be!
1. Let’s hear a bit about yourselves; how & when did you start your craft? What inspired you? Why did you start this?
Worked in hospitality since I was 16, started as a glass collector and worked my way up to restaurant manger, managed restaurants and bars around the city. I always loved seeing guest enjoy themselves wether it be the atmosphere of a night out or a dish / cocktail or event I’ve had a hand in creating. Myself and partner have wanted to start something together for a while, it seemed like the right time to do while we had some spare time during lockdown, although we don’t see Idle Hands as just for lockdown, I think people have changed their habits slightly and the way you can enjoy a bottle a wine or a few beers in the house we think the same should apply to Cocktails.
2. Your drinks look so delicious! How do you come up with recipes? How often do you use classic recipes and how often do you come up with your own twist? Will you ever run out of ideas?!
I’d say classic cocktails as a subject is so big its pretty much the base or idea for almost everything, the challenge and fun comes from trying different things, we like to draw on inspiration from everything from Art, Music and film when coming up with ideas and we are always developing new ideas and recipes.
3. Where were some of your favourite places in Liverpool to drink (before COVID!) and what do you think of how bars & restaurants have adapted to the rules of lockdown?
The Pickled Olive in Woolton, Nomad on Smithdown, Belzan, Papillon, Berry and Rye.. there’s tonnes of new places I want to try to but nights out are few and far between now with two little boys and one on the way.
4. What are your future plans for Idle Hands?
To continue with the delivery side of the business, change the menu seasonally and hopefully in the new year look to get some nights booked in doing takeovers and events and some of our fine cities best establishments.
"I’d say classic cocktails as a subject is so big its pretty much the base or idea for almost everything, the challenge and fun comes from trying different things, we like to draw on inspiration from everything from Art, Music and film when coming up with ideas and we are always developing new ideas and recipes."
5. How much did you plan the current success of Idle Hands? And what has been your favourite thing about seeing it so successful?
Honestly just wanted to see how things would work out, had hoped for it to be as busy as possible but we’ve been blown away by the support from local people and business and even some retail opportunities further afield, you can get ‘Idle Hands’ cocktails in Bakewell. Favourite moments so far has probably been the bespoke menus we’ve done for people, we’ve done birthdays, anniversaries, a couple who’s wedding had been postponed, I like to think we enhanced their big nights in!
6. Do you have any other exciting projects in the pipeline? Anything to get the Good people of Liverpool excited about?
I’m consulting on the opening of Murphy’s Gin distillery, very excited to be involved and working closely with another amazing local brand.
7. We are all about supporting our neighbours and local independents, if you could give any advice to other makers & traders, what would it be?
Just take the risk. The initial part is scary but once you get going and your doing something you love, there’s no better feeling than seeing it do well.
8. Being a Liverpool based marketplace, what do you think makes Liverpool so special?
It sounds cliche but the people make the city and the they are always quick to get behind something local, the amount of orders, support and positive feedback has been amazing.