In 2008 I was running the Light Bar in the St Martins Lane hotel. It was a few months after the recession hit and although I was technically an assistant manager, both line managers above me had been made redundant. As a result, I was asked to arrange placement on the cocktail and drinks menus for both the Sanderson and St Martins Lane Hotel food and beverage outlets. This meant developing cocktails with brands to sell for the coming season in five very individualistic bars and restaurants. One such drink was the Strawberry Split made with Akvinta Vodka.  It was a best seller and the company who represented the brand in the UK invited me to work with them, developing a training program that I could deliver to high-end hotels, bars and restaurants who wanted to stock the product. I did this alongside my full-time role at the bar but soon realised I had been bitten by the marketing bug…