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The week in pictures

Belgian prime minister Charles Michel joined The Botanist Gin to try his hand at creating a Botanist and tonic at hospitality fair Horecatel, which took place in Marche-en-Famenne.

TGI Fridays bartender, Rizza Umlas of Manila, Philippines, was crowned champion at the 25th annual World Bartender Championship in Dallas. Umlas rose to victory with her “exceptional mixing expertise” and ability to display a high standard of recipe knowledge.

On Wednesday, SB headed down to the launch of Leman Street Tavern in Whitechapel where we enjoyed a Champagne reception, canapés and a mini masterclass on the ’sharpener’ – a shot of vodka, chased with a sugar-covered lemon doused in bitters – by Vestal Vodka. The new city hangout offers a comprehensive cocktail menu, along with a selection of more than 30 whiskies and a wine library boasting more than 200 bottles.

On Thursday night SB headed to the Legacy of Taste awards at The Grosvener Hotel, London. Pictured above is James Wright presenting the Yu Alderley Edge team with a Tier 3 Pagoda Award.

Ahead of Sunday’s Six Nations rugby game against France, Scottish distillery Glenturret in Crief, Perthshire, has created The Glenturret Haka – a dance to challenge the famous Haka war dance of the New Zealand All Blacks. The Glenturret Haka, which can viewed exclusively on Facebook and YouTube, celebrates the distillery’s hand mashing technique, and depicts stillmen from the site replicating the mashing movements and processes used to make whisky by hand.

On Monday, SB headed to Rothes in Scotland to explore The Glenrothes distillery. After enjoying a comprehensive tour which included a visit to the brand’s on-site ageing warehouse and cooperage, a sensory tasting in The Inner Sanctum, and an exclusive peek inside the now long-closed Cutty Sark visitor’s centre, our group headed to The Craigellachie Hotel for dinner and drinks. Pictured in the grounds of Rothes House, L-R: Rocky Lancer of, Fraser Allen of Hot Rum Cow, Sophie Donavan of Quercus Communications, Annie Hayes of The Spirits Business and Ronnie Cox of The Glenrothes.

The next morning, as is tradition in Rothes House, the three guests made breakfast and scored a respectable 3.75 Quaichs out of a potential 5 Quaichs. The group then headed out Sporting Scotland for a series of competitive activities in the hills including argo driving, clay pigeon shooting, rifling, and blindfolded 4×4 driving – of which SB was the triumphant winner! – followed by lunch at Archiestown Hotel. 

As the world celebrated International Women’s Day this week, Smirnoff’s international music platform, Smirnoff Sound Collective, launched a new documentary, called Tribes: Discwoman. The documentary showcases female DJ talent around the world, focusing on the “incredible energy” and “eclectic sense of style” that female DJs contribute to the scene. Pictured: Radio One DJ B-Traits performing at the premiere.

The UK brand ambassador for Luxardo, Mister ‘G’ Franklin, is taking over the bar at Nola in Shoreditch, London, every Monday throughout March. Following his first appearance at Nola last year, Franklin is presenting 12 original cocktails in the form of an Italian feast – aperitivi, primi, secondi, insalata, dolci and digestive.

Parisian bar Little Red Door hosted a ‘Mega Monday Takeover’ this week, hosting bartenders Sullivan Doh from Le Syndicat, Paris; Bar Shira from Imperial Craft, Tel Aviv; Vasilis Kyritsis and Nikos Bakoulis from The Clumsies, Athens. The group crafted 12 cocktails on the night, including three from Little Red Door’s soon-to-be launched Evocative Menu.

Speyside’s hidden distilleries are readying to open their doors for exclusive viewings to members of the public during next month’s Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival. Over the course of the event, more than 80 distillery tours will take place. All tours have sold out, along with more than 50 exclusive whisky tasting events.

Numerous liquor stores were invited to Tenn South Distillery in Lynnville, Tennessee, this week, as the site embarked upon a custom blending programme with its flagship brand, Clayton James Tennessee Whiskey.

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