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The week in pictures

Mila Kunis Jim Beam

To celebrate the 85th anniversary of the Prohibition’s repeal in the US, Bad Moms star Mila Kunis made a surprise appearance at a number of Chicago bars to toast the bartenders and Bourbon-lovers who continue to make an impact on the spirits industry.

Kunis, who is the global brand partner for American whiskey brand Jim Beam, joined seventh generation master distiller Fred Noe and raised a glass of Bourbon before mingling and taking photos with Jim Beam fans.

Another famous face was sharing their love of whisky this week: Parks and Recreation star Nick Offerman took to the United Center in Chicago for an ice hockey match between the Blackhawks and the Calgary Flames, where he donned a bronze suit, painted his face bronze and enjoyed a glass of Lagavulin – very slowly.

Offerman spent 45 minutes enjoying his glass of whisky prior to the match in his latest sign of appreciation for the Diageo-owned brand.

Chris Noth Ambhar Tequila

Continuing this week’s bumper celebrity edition of the week in pictures, The Spirits Business headed along to Boisdale Restaurant in London to meet Sex and the City star Chris Noth, who was there to hold a tutored tasting of his Ambhar Tequila brand.

Throughout the evening SB sampled a range of cocktails made with the Tequila range including a Paloma and a Gimlet and also managed to bag some one-to-one interview time with Noth to talk about his brand, which he hopes will be able to transform Tequila’s shot-slamming image.

It was a busy week for celebrity drinks fans, as this week also saw Detective Pikachu star Ryan Reynolds appear on US talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show to talk all things Aviation Gin.

The Turbo star played a game of Ryan Reynolds’ Race to Raise Real Fudging Money, which saw him challenged to drink three shots of his Aviation Gin while he said nice facts about The Greatest Showman star Hugh Jackman.

This week, Formula One legend Mika Häkkinen travelled to the Scottish Parliament to meet MSPs for the launch of a festive campaign to encourage Scots to never drink and drive.

The two-time F1 World Drivers champion brought the Johnnie Walker Caparo T1 supercar to Holyrood for the launch of the whisky brand’s Join the Pact Never Drink and Drive campaign.

Häkkinen leads the campaign globally for Diageo and Johnnie Walker in his role as the brand’s global responsible drinking ambassador.

An exclusive tasting took place this week for a single cask whisky that was gifted to Prince Charles from the Royal Lochnagar distillery.

Prince Charles visited the Royal Lochnagar Distillery in October, where he was presented with the 30-year-old cask of single malt Scotch whisky – which will be the brand’s oldest single cask bottling to date. He donated the cask to be bottled and sold, with proceeds earmarked for his charity, The Prince’s Foundation.

Just 184 bottles Prince Charles’ 1988 Royal Lochnagar single malt Scotch will be available via a ballot through The Whisky Exchange at the end of this month (December).

London restaurant and bar M Victoria has opened the doors to the “first ever” private members’ club for working Santas.

Created in partnership with Cockburn’s Port, the club will offer a safe haven for the UK’s Santas to loosen their belts, hang up the sack and kick back with a free glass of Port after a hard day’s work.

The private members’ club will be open until Christmas Eve for anyone who has donned the red and white uniform for the Christmas period.

Copper Rivet Leeds Castle

Copper Rivet Distillery has been chosen to distil a special commemorative gin to celebrate the 900th anniversary of Leeds Castle in 2019.

The special edition Motte & Baillie gin will use botanicals from the Castle estate, including fig from the Castle Island, rosehip from the Culpeper Gardens and pine picked from the Lady Baillie Mediterranean Terraces.

Each botanical has been handpicked by the Leeds Castle Gardeners and given to Copper Rivet’s Head Distiller, Abhi Banik, to create 900 bottles of the gin.

Cooper King Tree Planting

Yorkshire-based gin and whisky producer Cooper King Distillery this week returned to the Yorkshire Dales to plant 100 new trees in the area.

Co-founder Chris spent a day in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales planting trees with Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) in celebration of National Tree Week, which is the UK’s largest annual tree celebration.

The distillery has pledged to donate 2.5% of its annual gin sales to the YDMT, an environmental non-profit organisation.

QO Amsterdam Kombucha Cocktails

Luxury hotel QO Amsterdam has this week launched a new menu of kombucha-based cocktails and mocktails.

The low-abv menu has been created in partnership with YAYA Kombucha and includes The Spritzer, which mixes Baker’s Best genever with rhubarb, elderflower and blueberry kombucha, and a twist on the Dark ‘n’ Stormy that combines El Dorado Rum, ginger kombucha and Angostura Bitters.

Irish Distillers this week announced that its Jameson Distillery Bow Street experience was named the World’s Leading Distillery Tour at the World Travel Awards Gala.

Jameson Distillery Bow St, which reopened in March 2017 following an €11 million (US$12.5m) refurbishment, is a theatrical and immersive experience that teaches guests about the history and production of Jameson Irish Whiskey.

Gin off Winner

London gin brand Marylebone Gin was this week declared the winner of the Gin Off 2018 competition.

The competition, which launched in April, saw some of the world’s best gins battle it out at Graphic Bar in Soho to be crowned Gin Off 2018 champion.

In the final, Marylebone Gin triumphed over Brooklyn, Fords and Nicholson gin with its Canopy cocktail, which combined Marylebone Gin with orange sherbet, lemon, curaçao and soda.

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