Meet The Maker - Pritesh Mody, World of Zing

Time to get to know the dude you see on your telly every Sunday morning

He's one of the pioneers of the bottled cocktail movement, has been telling the nation what to drink for the last 5 years and started his biz in BarChick's 'hood. Time to meet the founder of World of Zing: Pritish Mody

Let’s start at the beginning: who are ya and what are you the maker of?

I launched a company called World of Zing way back in 2014. Fundamentally, we’re about pre-batch and bottled cocktails. I’d like to think we were the first company out there to really do it on any serious scale.

Tell us about your background with booze - when and why did you decide you wanted to start World of Zing?

Before launching World of Zing in 2014, the bills used to be paid for with a career as a booze marketing consultant and occasional food and drink writer for over 10 years. Essentially, I was paid to spot trends in the drinks industry, so when I came to a career crossroads, I decided to put my experience to good use by launching World of Zing.

You’ve got a pretty epic collection of World of Zing cocktails… which one do you find yourself reaching for the most?

Behind the scenes, World of Zing provides bespoke cocktails to around 300 hospitality operators nationwide, ranging from bedrooms of The Langham Hotel and carriages of the Belmond Pullman to Everyman Cinema and Bill’s. As such, we literally developed hundreds of cocktails over the years, so it’s pretty tough to pick. However, from our classics, our Bordeaux Cask Aged Negroni is pretty epic, whilst more recently, the Leather & Walnut Old Fashioned created to tie into James Bond at Everyman Cinema is both an incredible drink and awesome collab!

Tell us about the process behind creating your cocktails – how much experimentation goes into making them and where do your ideas come from for the serves?

The cornerstone to World of Zing is innovating with flavour, so ironically we actually take more inspiration from the food world than from drinks.

Moreover, with 12 hardcore food and drink enthusiasts in the team, we’re never short of inspiration. Ideas can come from a simple walk down the supermarket aisles to see what’s new for the general public to dishes and drinks at new restaurants. 

Which one do you think is the most popular with consumers, and why?

Great cocktails are very much about escapism and conviviality, with the combination of ingredients creating tastes and aromas that can transport the drinker into a whole new world – whether that’s evoking holidays on the beach or providing the conversational lubricant amongst friends. As such, we’ve got two very distinct audiences at World of Zing – those who enjoy the fun modern cocktails, such as our Salted Caramel Espresso Martini, Persian Lime & Nori Margarita and Rhubarb Cosmo to the hardcore classic cocktail aficionados such as our Bordeaux Negroni and our Leather & Walnut Manhattans.

RTDs and bottled cocktails were the saviours of lockdown. Do you think their popularity is here to stay?

Premium bottled cocktails have taken huge chunks of sales away from wine, beer and classic Spirit and Mixer style drinks and I can continue to see this trend continuing as consumers continue to demand ever more interesting experiences from the food and drink. For us, the biggest indication of the size of demand is getting our cocktails listed with Majestic Wines. I don’t think anyone pre-Covid would have thought a small-batch cocktail company could be found in over 200 stores nationwide!

What cocktail isn’t currently in the World of Zing fam that you’d like to introduce?

We’re experimenting with more tiki drinks at the moment and I’d love to see a version of a Pina Colada on our list… watch this space!

Your World of Zing roots are found in Brockley Market – we’re South East London gals ourselves – where’s your favourite place to grab a drink in S.E London?

Indeed, there’s an incredible food & drink scene down here now so I’m often somewhere different. However, my recent faves are The Good Neighbour in Peckham Rye for cocktails and nibbles. Closer to home in Forest Hill, I’m also giving a massive shout out to the Perry Hill Pub, which reopened under new owners during lockdown and has pretty much everything a local needs – from a solid drinks list and great food to a massive beer garden, crucially including play area for the kids, so I can have a pint in peace!

We can often see you shaking up drinks on Sunday Brunch – which celeb would you most like to make a drink for?

I’m fortunate to have been presenting a segment on Sunday Brunch since 2017, so I’ve met loads of incredible people. However, if I’m making a drink for anyone, it would probably be Boris Johnson, so that I can get him loose and hopefully get him to reveal WTF is going on in his crazy floppy head! 

If you could teleport yourself to any bar in the world right now, where would you go, what would you order, and who do you hope is there to share a drink with?

I’ve never been, so I’d love to head to Singapore for a bit of a cocktail tour of the city. I would basically order any drink using ingredients that I’ve not come across and, like the best nights, acquaint myself with all of the bartenders for random chats throughout the trip. 

We’re thirsty. What cocktail would you make especially for BarChick?

I’m saying Cosmopolitans are coming back in a strong fashion, so let’s do some Cosmo Royales to get into the spirit of Christmas. Then, we can finish off with a Mince Pie Rumhattan nightcap!

What has been the biggest challenge creating and launching World of Zing?

Finding the right people to keep up with the needs of our growth is the biggest challenge. Our small-batch philosophy and methods of playing with flavour are still unique in the industry, so finding people with the passion and enthusiasm to be both creative but also understand cocktail batching is still very much a rare combination of skills.

And what has been the proudest moment in your journey?

Seeing some of the incredible hospitality clients we work with still makes me pinch myself – from The Pig and Langham to Everyman Cinema. Our deal with Majestic Wine was also pretty crazy!

We’re 10 years in the future – what do you think we’ll have seen from the world of drinks by 2032?

All these 20-year-olds who are currently abstaining from drinking realise they’ve actually led a really dull and sheltered life, have their first sip of cider in the park and go crazy for all of the drinks!

 

Pritesh's World of Zing cocktails can be purchased direct from the website. Work in the Trade? Get World of Zing cocktails stocked here.