If you've ever had a cocktail in London, chances are that everything from the fruit purée, the squeeze of lime, the garnish and even the ice has come, in some form, from New Covent Garden Market.
As the UK's biggest premium fresh produce wholesale market, many of its expert fruit and vegetable businesses supply London's top cocktail bars, hotels and restaurants with fresh produce and more.
Whether you're ordering a classic mojito in Aqua Bar on Regent Street, a bellini at The Dorchester, a Miami Mule at The Ned, or a passionfruit martini at Annabel's, London's top mixologists will be keen to tell you that freshly squeezed fruit juice is the key to great taste, texture and the overall cocktail experience.
New Covent Garden Market is home to 170 British fruit and vegetable businesses serving the hospitality industry, with their combined expertise being second to none.
You'll find businesses who specialise in supplying freshly squeezed juice or fruit fit for juicing. Bar Fruit Supplies are one of these businesses, supplying everything from limes and fresh mint to passionfruit, biscuits and even Haribo.
Having been based at New Covent Garden Market for years, Bar Fruit Supplies was one of the first businesses on the market to move into new, modern purpose-built food distribution units as part of the market's £275m redevelopment project.
Two of New Covent Garden Market's traders:
Speaking of their new home, managing director Grant Stanton says: "We're a family-run business, originally based in Battersea. The company was started by my grandad, making me the third generation of greengrocers in the Stanton family, going back 80 years."
"We were forced to close for nine months last year because of Covid's impact on hospitality, but this gave us plenty of time to move into our new unit."
Mark Riley of Zummo London is a customer of New Covent Garden Market, buying hundreds of boxes of citrus fruit every week to be pressed by its award-winning machines and delivered to cocktail bars, hotels and department stores like Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason.
Mark says: "Our customers expect great-quality, sustainably sourced, 100% pure juices. For us, the obvious choice is to source our fruit from New Covent Garden Market."
Even the ice used to make most cocktails in the capital comes from New Covent Garden Market.
Even the ice used to make most cocktails in the capital comes from New Covent Garden Market
No cocktail would be complete without ice, and the technology used by New Covent Garden Market-based Icebox ensures the capital's bars are well equipped to serve chilled cocktails faster and more economically than ever before. Whether it's crushed, cubed, or moon balled (the latest craze), it's got all needs covered.
As we return to London's bars this summer, know that whatever you choose on the drinks menu, some or all of the ingredients will likely have come from New Covent Garden Market. Check them out at @marketfood on Instagram and Twitter and @newcoventgardenmarket on Facebook.