The week in picturesBy Owen Bellwood
Northumberland-based gin producer the Moorland Spirit Company welcomed the Prince of Wales to its distillery this week.
Prince Charles was taken onto the moors around the distillery to inspect the wild green juniper that grows there, and he also helped plant a baby juniper tree.
The prince was then taken around the distillery by head distiller Chris Garden to learn about the triple-distillation technique that the Moorland Spirit Company utilises. Prince Charles also sampled the distillery’s gin neat and in a Classic Hepple Martini.
Miami-based cocktail bar The Broken Shaker announced plans for its first London pop-up this week, taking over Madison London from 2 October.
The three-day pop-up will feature a bespoke menu from Bobby Eldridge, The Broken Shaker’s cocktail connoisseur, and Miami’s top female bartender Courtney Lane.
The Broken Shaker and Madison have jointly created a bespoke menu, which includes whiskey-based Thai Tea Sazerac, and Coco-nut Case, composed of Olmeca Altos Plata Tequila, Koko Kanu, fresh lime, kaffir, agave and a coconut citrus sea salt rim.
The Isle of Arran Distillers launched a competition to find the official poem for its soon-to-open Lagg Distillery this week.
Budding writers have been tasked with producing a poem that captures the Isle of Arran’s history, landscape or its spirit – whisky or otherwise. The closing date for entries is 14 December and the winner and two runners up will be announced on Burns Night, 25 January 2019.
The winning entry will take pride of place onsite at the new distillery and the winning poet will also be invited to the official opening of the distillery in spring 2019.
SB travelled to Scotland this week to take a look behind the scenes at Diageo’s whisky-making facilities.
The trip included a visit to the Glenkinchie Distillery to learn the processes of making single malt Scotch whisky, as well as a tour behind the scenes at Diageo’s Leven bottling facility.
SB was also able to go behind the scenes at the Abercrombie coppersmiths, where stills for Diageo’s distilleries are created and repaired by a team of coppersmiths.
While visiting Scotland, The Spirits Business also learned about the art of blending Johnnie Walker whiskies and explored the Diageo Archive in Menstrie, near Alloa.
The archive includes thousands of bottles from Diageo’s brands, including Johnnie Walker, Tanqueray and Smirnoff.
While visiting the archive, SB also saw a number of historic adverts for Diageo-owned brands and original documents from the foundation of Johnnie Walker.
DrinkUp.London this week hosted the latest instalment in its Cocktail Experiments series, this time focusing on the Negroni.
Imbibers gathered at London’s TT Liquor Store for a Negroni masterclass hosted by cocktail guru Hannah Lanfear.
Cocktail fans were able to sample six different gins and a number of different vermouths in order to uncover the perfect combination for this classic cocktail.
To celebrate the launch of its new Soleo Collection of whiskies, Glenrothes hosted its Honesty Bar pop-up in London this week.
Taking over TT Liquor in Shoreditch, the pop-up bar saw whisky fans sample the new collection of age-statement whiskies straight or in cocktails without a price list. Instead, drinkers were able to pay what they thought the drinks were worth.
The event was aimed at allowing whisky fans and drinkers new to the spirit the opportunity to discover the collection of whiskies.
On Sunday, SB‘s Nicola Carruthers headed to Dufftown for the Glenfiddich Festival Experiment – a two-day music festival for the on-trade.
The event featured headline acts such as Razorlight, Example and Twin Atlantic, along with up-and-coming Scottish artists.
Around 700 bartenders enjoyed the live music along with whisky cocktails, tastings, and Scottish food from pop-up vendors.
SB, along with a small group of journalists and influencers, were invited to a meet-and-greet with Razorlight in the press tent and a private whisky tasting of the new Fire & Cane with Glenfiddich’s Scotland brand ambassador Mark Thomson.
Bartenders were also invited to tour the nearby Glenfiddich Distillery during the day, where visitors can take in tall copper tuns, great wooden washbacks and stone-walled warehouses, along with a blending masterclass.
To celebrate this year’s London Fashion Week, which kicks off today (14 September), the South Place Hotel has unveiled a fashion-inspired cocktail menu.
Five limited edition cocktails have been created for the London Fashion Week menu, including the Pisco and Gabbana, which combines Pisco Barsol, charred pineapple, lemon and an IPA foam; and the Lady Marmalade, made from Chandon, fruit punch tea-infused vodka, rhubarb and kaffir lime shrub, and orange marmalade.
All drinks are priced at £12.50 and will be available until 18 September.
This week, Italian bergamot liqueur brand Italicus hosted the UK final of its Art of Italicus Aperitivo Challenge at the Gong Bar at Shangri La Hotel.
Bartenders were competing in the UK final for a position in the global final of the cocktail competition.
After a closely fought contest, Andrea Mellis from the Blue Bar at The Berkley Hotel, London, was crowned the UK winner after wowing judges with The Stolen Bike cocktail. Mellis’s creation was made from Italicus, Chardonnay wine, coconut whey cordial, gentian bitters and soda water.
Speyside distillery The Balvenie and auction house Christie’s have teamed up to offer a unique lot “fit for a true whisky connoisseur”, including a classic car, rare whiskies and a distillery trip.
The offering includes a bespoke Balvenie Morgan V8 Roadstar, a two-seat classic car from the Morgan Motor Company featuring customised Balvenie branding; The Balvenie DCS Compendium Chapter 4, the latest chapter in a series of rare whiskies that celebrates the work of malt master David Stewart; and a trip to Dufftown for a tour of The Balvenie distillery.
Hosted online by Christie’s, bidding will start on 25 September and will close on 9 October.