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Inverness-based festival entrepreneur to launch new Alice in Wonderland-inspired Tuk Tuk bar Drink Me Events


By Federica Stefani


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Michelle Russel and her Tuk Tuk before the makeover.
Michelle Russel and her Tuk Tuk before the makeover.

AN INVERNESS-based entrepreneur will be launching the city's first Tuk Tuk bar service this summer.

Michelle Russell (37), originally from Gairloch, is now ready to launch her brand new venture after running marketing, photography and events businesses for over 10 years

Drink Me Events aims to bring a new Tuk Tuk bar and event styling experience to events and clients in Inverness and the Highlands, while focussing on showcasing small craft distillers and brewers.

Ms Russell said: "As far as I know there is not another similar thing in Inverness, maybe there is one further up north and of course there will be more going south but I wanted to bring something a bit different for Inverness and the Highlands.

"My background lies within event management and festivals, I have been running the North Hop festivals for a number of years and over the years I have been working with food trucks and pop up bars there was quite a few that had done different events. I have always offered the mobile bar option and I had all the equipment set up with me but because I had been busy with other things I wasn't able to really focus on it too much. So, when I started looking at the different options of mobile bar, I wanted something that was kitted out the way I wanted as such as that can change what you can offer.

A selection of craft gin and beers, as well as other spirits will be available.
A selection of craft gin and beers, as well as other spirits will be available.

The new venture's name is a tribute to a cult book and movie.

"I am very passionate about Alice in Wonderland," said Ms Russell.

"I have a tattoo sleeve in progress which is inspired by it and in the past I have been running Mad Hatter tea parties, so the thought was in my head about the potion bottle with 'drink me' written on it, and this what the branding and logo will revolve around.

"There will be the option of fizz on tap like frizzante, and also local beer and spirits. Over the years I have worked a lot with local breweries and distilleries, it will all be about local small producers – no big, corporate brands.

"On the cocktail front we can have fun and style them for different events. I'm also looking into bringing craft gin and rum as there are many new great rums being produced in Scotland.

"There will also be the option of getting a food and drink element all tied into one, like with sharing boards, cakes, so it can be a full experience that we can bring to them. "

Ms Russell picked up Alice the Tuk Tuk, previously owned by Suffolk-based The Gin Caddy, and is now working with graphic designer Stacey from Love Paper Co. on logo and branding.

She said: I need to get some other equipment installed, but it's good as it makes kind of a blank canvas and then I can style it. And this is another part of the business, the event styling will be tying along with it.

"I would hope we'll be ready to go at the end of April or start of May."


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