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The week in pictures

Diane-Kruger-Martell-CognacActress Diane Kruger was unveiled as the new ambassador for Martell Cognac, as the brand celebrates its milestone 300th anniversary this year. In light of her new appointment, photographer Mary McCartney photographed Kruger at the iconic Palace of Versailles in Paris.


Prince Charles and Camilla, known as the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay in Scotland, gave new “single estate” Scotch whisky distillery Ballindalloch their seal of approval this week, officially opening the new site. The royal pair were also put to work fitting the bungs onto two casks during their tour of the Aberdeenshire-based distillery.

Swizzle-Masters-Vodka-CollinsPutting your own spin on a classic cocktail is no easy feat. But one bartender who undoubtedly rose to the challenge was Huy Trinh Quan, who we announced earlier this week as the winner of the most recent Vodka Collins round. Quan will now progress to the semi-finals in October with his “well balanced” creation, TET Calling, made from Stolichnaya Vodka, Wenneker Melon, pink grapefruit juice, lemongrass syrup, Champagne, strawberries and cucumber.

Asian-Spirits-Masters-2015This month, sb headed to the East End’s Bull in a China Shop where we were joined by a carefully selected panel of judges for The Asian Spirits Masters. From Scotch whiskies and vodka to gin and baijiu, there was a diverse and varied selection of spirits up for tasting on the day, much to our judges’ delight.

Carlos-Santana-Hard-Rock-CafeMusic mogul Carlos Santana, famed for his hits including Maria Maria and Smooth, celebrated his recent partnership with Hard Rock with an appearance at the Hard Rock Café Las Vegas. Two limited edition cocktails have been created to mark the joint venture, called Black Magic Press and Maria Maria Coronita. All proceeds from the drinks will be donated to The Milagro Foundation – a charity founded by Santana that works to support art, education and health programmes for families.

Noilly-PratWhen living in the UK, it’s important to soak up any rays of sunshine that come your way. So it was with great excitement that sb headed to London’s Café Pistou on Wednesday with vermouth brand Noilly Prat to sip aperitifs and sample canapés while basking the sun out on the terrace.

Spirit-of-Speyside-Whisky-FestivalWith the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival scheduled to commence at the end of this month, Mark Angus, retail sales manager at Gordon & MacPhail’s store, has revealed he will be hosting a chocolate and whisky-pairing event, Sweet Drams.

Spirit-of-SpeysideBut Sweet Drams won’t be the only food and whisky-pairing event at this year’s Spirit of Speyside festival – whisky and food writer Martine Nouet will be informing attendees how to season meals with single malt whiskies in her Glass to Plate cookery classes.

Chase-VodkaChase Vodka headed to E.J. Churchill Shooting Ground in West Wycombe, UK, with its series two Land Rover, which transformed into a Bloody Mary bar to provide much needed refreshments for the guests of Zeus Events.

hendricks1Gin lovers gathered at Victorian-inspired Mayfair bar Mr Fogg’s to get the first glimpse of The Hendrick’s Botanical Garden, a quintessentially British al-fresco drinking experience with a menu of whimsical gin cocktails in-keeping with the era of the venue.


SB’s editor Becky Paskin caught up with Eddie (left) and Jimmy Russell, co-master distillers of Wild Turkey, at Chicago WhiskyFest last Friday. Despite racking up 60 years of service in the Bourbon industry, Jimmy Russell insisted he is not near to retirement just yet.


Elsewhere at Chicago WhiskyFest, a queue was building at one particularly popular stand. Whisky fans keen to grab a taste of the rare Pappy Van Winkle lined up patiently to fill their glasses, although those gunning for a drop of the 23-year-old were left disappointed – the stand ran out of liquid (two bottles worth) in just 20 minutes.


Pappy’s popularity isn’t restricted to Chicago’s whisky aficionados – fans camped out outside the Liquor Barn in Lexington, Kentucky last night for a chance to bag themselves a bottle that went on sale today.

Image courtesy of WTVQ-DC

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