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The week in pictures

Campari Entering Red

Italian apèritif brand Campari hosted the premiere of the latest film in its Red Diaries series this week.

The short film, called Entering Red, stars War Dogs and Blade Runner 2049 actress Ana De Armas, who explores the streets of Milano after finding a ring marked with the word ‘N100’.

The film, directed by Matteo Garrone, sees Armas embark on a journey to understand the meaning behind this mysterious find.

As the spirits world prepares for the most romantic day of the year, spiced rum brand Kraken has launched its Rumantics gift delivery service.

The Rumantics biker delivery service is a fleet of motor bike riders kitted out in tentacle-covered black leather who will be on hand to deliver Kraken rum gift boxes.

Kraken fans in London and Manchester have until 14 February to apply to receive a gift from the Rumantics at theleagueofdarkness.co.uk.

Also readying itself for Valentine’s Day is London cocktail bar and hair salon Blade Hairclubbing, which unveiled its Valentini cocktail this week.

The special Valentine’s-inspired creation is made with Sacred Organic Vodka, Luxardo Maraschino, freshly pressed pomegranate juice, Himalayan pink salt, Copperhead Guarana, lemon and mandarin bitters. It is garnished with a vegan chocolate and pomegranate -flavoured vegan jelly heart.

UK-based liqueur brand Lanique completed its Valentine’s preparations this week with the launch of a new range of bespoke cocktails.

The liqueur brand has partnered with UK bar chain Lost & Found and New World Trading to create the cocktails, which include the Rose Royale – made with hibiscus syrup, rose gin and Perrier-Jouët.

Individual bars serving Valentine’s Lanique cocktails include Laki Kane in Islington, Bocca Social in Beckenham, Bar Tonic in Edinburgh and the London Marriott Hotel Canary Wharf.

The Spirits Business travelled to the Rum Kitchen in London’s Carnaby Street for the latest round in The Global Spirits Masters competition.

For the 2019 Rum Masters, SB gathered together a panel of expert judges to taste their way through white, gold and spiced rums, as well as a host of agricoles, awarding Silver, Gold and Master medals to the best expressions.

To find out which spirits came out on top, look out for the results in the March edition of The Spirits Business.

In preparation for National Margarita Day, London Mexican restaurant Cantina Laredo has launched what it claims is London’s first taco-flavoured Margarita.

The new cocktail, called the Squealer-ITA has been inspired by Tacos al Pastor – which are made with Pork Belly and Pineapple Pico de Gallo.

The Squealer-ITA is made using gammon-infused Reposado Tequila, pineapple, guajillo and fresh Lime, topped with a tortilla and pork crackling Chile salt rim, and a pork belly pastor taco.

Tickets for this year’s Spirit of Speyside whisky festival went on sale this week, and promptly set a new sales record in first 24 hours.

A surge in demand for tickets for the festival generated sales of £209,449 (US$271,000) in the first 24 hours of release – with 173 events completely selling out in that time.

Ticket sales for this year’s event beat last year’s total by more than £55,000 (US$71,000) making it another record-breaking launch for the festival.

Renowned bartender Jim Meehan embarked on a short European tour with Banks Rum this week, stopping off in Berlin, Munich and Amsterdam.

Meehan undertook the second European leg of his Please Do Tell tour, hosting a series of intimate events for the trade, where he shared stories from his career and mixed up a number of signature Banks Rum cocktails.

Meehan visited Berlin’s Fragrances Bar, Schumann’s Bar in Munich and Roses Bar in Amsterdam.

SB travelled to The Distillery in Portobello Road this week for the launch of its Agave Sessions, which explore the world of agave-based spirits.

Hosted by Portobello Road master distiller Jake Burger, the session was a chance to learn about the history of Tequila and mezcal, its production and the ageing process behind reposado and añejo bottlings.

Guests were treated to a host of classic Mexican dishes, served up alongside Tequila-based cocktails and a variety of agave-based spirits. At the end of the session, each guest was given a miniature barrel and a bottle of Herradura Plata Tequila to age at home.

The Agave Sessions take place every Saturday at The Distillery in Portobello Road, London.

This week, Bacardi employees around the globe took part in the company’s second annual Back to the Bar scheme, which saw them visit venues in cities around the world.

More than 7,000 employees were invited to visit more than 1,000 venues in over 100 cities around the world to commemorate the company’s annual Founder’s Day, marking 157 years of the firm.

Employees endeavoured to “reignite the company’s bar-born spirit and family culture” in each bar they visited.

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