Cocktail ingredient maker Funkin has launched a new sales arm in Los Angeles and is expanding the team at its London HQ.

As the recession boosts demand for at-home cocktail making, Funkin has expanded into the US with a new sales and marketing team headed up by company founder Alex Carlton.

Funkin already sells its ready-to-pour purées, syrups and cocktail mixes in the US through a distribution deal with American drinks group Beam Global Spirits & Wine. But chief executive Andrew King said having a permanent office in LA would accelerate sales, which last year reached £4m.

“Our US sales have been rather slow so we are bolstering the scene,” he said.

“It is a more mature cocktail mixer market than the UK but a lot of their products contain artificial flavours. The US premium spirits companies are getting behind us as well; for example, Bacardi has endorsed our mojito pouch.”

King revealed that Funkin is also trialling its products in Australia and will shortly begin trading with Cuba.

The international push has prompted the company to hire Amanda Widdison from Punch Pub Company as its first export manager. She will be based at the London HQ, which will be headed up by King. Other appointments include new brand manager James Wills and the addition of new roles in the sales team.

Funkin products are available at Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Ocado. King said the company had secured listings deals with two other multiples, due to be announced soon.