In this short video we take a look inside Crucible in East London, part laboratory, part work space, and part social club. It’s somewhere where bartenders can meet, exchange ideas and play around with high-tech equipment like centrifuges and rotary evaporation.

The man behind the operation is Stuart Bale. Originally from Glasgow, Stuart was training as a dentist but the lure of booze was too strong. He worked with Tony Conigliaro at 69 Colebrooke Row, where many of Britain’s most innovative bartenders cut their teeth. In the past, bars would closely guard their recipes and techniques but, according to Bale, “ideas are now swapped between bartenders around the world”. Crucible is a place where people can meet and magic can happen. One important thing before watching the video, don’t call it ‘The Crucible’; that’s a place in Sheffield where the snooker takes place! It’s ‘Crucible’, no definite article. Got that? Right, let’s cocktail!