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Inverness entrepreneur off to a great start with new Tuk Tuk bar venture as Drink Me Events takes over Taste of Grampian


By Federica Stefani


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Michelle Russell with Alice the Tuk Tuk at Taste of Grampian.
Michelle Russell with Alice the Tuk Tuk at Taste of Grampian.

INVERNESS' first Tuk Tuk bar business was off to a great start as it kicked off with a major event in the North.

Alice the Tuk Tuk showed off on duty for the first time after its makeover at Taste of Grampian in Aberdeen.

The Tuk Tuk, which is the centrepiece of the newly launched company Drink Me Events, was there for a brand takeover for Blackford Craft Distillery.

Michelle Russell, founder of Drink Me Events, said she was very pleased with the success of the first event.

"It was incredibly busy, we basically didn't move from the cocktail bar the whole day and basically there was a queue from 10.30am to 5pm.

"I was never at Taste of Grampian before and I didn't quite know what to expect. Seeing so many drinks stalls I was a bit nervous for the competition, but we ended up being super busy.

"We heard very positive comments about Alice and our set up. People were drawn to it and they seem to really like the references to Alice in Wonderland, which were there but were not too much according to some of the attendees I spoke to.

"We were doing a brand takeover for Blackford Craft Distillery who just launched their new gin and they seemed very pleased with how cocktails and overall sales went! This will be one of my main focus points going forward, offering a platform for brands who want to showcase their products at fairs and events like this.

A fine gin selection.
A fine gin selection.

"There were a few last minute issues with design before the event but in the end all managed to be ready on time. I am still looking into doing some changes and tweaks going forward and adding a new cocktail bar section to the one we have, but overall I am really pleased with how it went."

Ms Russell, who originally hails from Gairloch, will be hosting her second event in Evanton on June 25 and 26 in collaboration with Kiltearn Guest House for her first Drink Me Afternoon Tea Event.

Fizz on tap is one of Alice's main features points.
Fizz on tap is one of Alice's main features points.

"I am looking forward to a more paced event and one in which we can bring in the atmosphere of an Alice-themed afternoon tea," she said.

"We will be using some themed tea cups and there will be fizz cocktails or beer on arrival before the afternoon tea, and then teapot cocktails will follow. Attendants will also be able to enjoy drinks in the garden or conservatory after leaving their table."

The future looks busy for Drink Me Events, which is one of several events and marketing businesses run by Ms Russell.

"I have made several contacts at Taste of Grampian of people interested in garden parties and other events. It was a really good networking event, and now that the set up is ready I can start reaching out to brands myself.

Michelle Russell with Alice the Tuk Tuk at her first event for Drink Me Events.
Michelle Russell with Alice the Tuk Tuk at her first event for Drink Me Events.

"What I like about this venture is that is something I can organise around my other work commitments.

"Some of my friends ask me when I manage to sleep! I am one of those people who thrives on having different projects going, that gives me the energy!"


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