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The week in pictures

New York aperitivo bar Dante kicked off a new series of bar takeovers this week, which will celebrate the vermouth category.

The first event in the series saw the bar team from Athens drinking den Odori travel to New York to mix up a host of signature aperitivo cocktails.

The series will continue over the next three weeks, with bartenders from Le Sirenuse in Miami, Maybe Sammy in Sydney and Kwant in London each appearing at the New York bar.

Bacardi-owned Scotch whisky distillery Aberfeldy has opened up its “secret” distillery bar to the public for the first time.

Previously reserved for VIPs and corporate visitors, members of the public will now be able to visit the Secret Bar, which is hidden in one of the distillery warehouses.

The venue is said to be a modern take on the speakeasy, featuring concrete floors, atmospheric lighting, games and artwork inspired by the brand’s story.

To celebrate the premiere of the final season of Game of Thrones, Scotch whisky maker Diageo has created a cocktail menu using its Game of Thrones Scotch whisky series.

The eight signature serves have each been inspired by one of the houses featured in the series. One such cocktail is The Salt Throne, made with Talisker and inspired by the Greyjoy house.

Fans of whisky and the show can also mix up the Old Lannister Gold, created in honour of the Lanister house and made with Laguavulin, golden syrup, Angostura bitters, gold luster and a twist of orange peel.

After the launch of its campaign to support UK pub gardens, mixer manufacturer Fever-Tree has crowned The Castle Inn, Lulwoth, as its Pub Garden of the Year.

David Hargreaves-Putt, general manager at The Castle Inn, said: “We were thrilled to learn that The Castle Inn has been crowned Fever-Tree’s Pub Garden of the Year, particularly as it’s just 12 months since we opened our doors for the first time following the inn’s complete transformation. The team have worked incredibly hard over the past 12 months to ensure our beautiful outdoor space is as welcoming, relaxing and as fun to be in as possible.”

Fever-Tree will be re-launching the G&T Garden campaign in 2019, partnering with some of the UK‘s largest operators as well as regional groups and stand out independent venues.

This week, archaeologists in Scotland began excavating the site of one of the earliest legal whisky distilleries, which dates back to 1825.

The Cabrach Trust is leading the dig at Blackmiddens, a ruined steading in the Cabrach parish on the border between Moray and Aberdeenshire. It marks the first excavation of a traditional small farm distillery.

Researchers believe the farm used a 180-litre (40-gallon) still to produce whisky for eight years, from 1825-1833, after which the farm fell into ruin.

Last Friday, SB was afforded a lunchtime treat to join Diplomático Rum at London’s Black Parrot bar for an exclusive tasting of its latest release – Diplomático No. 3 Pot Still Rum.

Led by UK brand ambassador Jon Lister and Diplomático maestro ronero Nelson Hernández (pictured), guests were guided through a tasting of the Venezuelan brand’s Distillery Collection – which includes No. 1 Batch Kettle Rum and No. 2 Barbet Rum, as well as No. 3 Pot Still – before being challenged to use all three expressions to create their own blend. Hernández sipped his way through the room’s creations – a brave, brave man.

This week, island-based Raasay Distillery hosted a live performance of Ten Wee Drams, a new set of works for solo bass and contrabass clarinet.

Commissioned and performed by celebrated musician Sarah Watts, the concert celebrated 10 years of clarinet courses and classes on Raasay.

Each ‘Wee Dram’ in the series takes inspiration from the past and current culture, heritage, folklore and landscape of Raasay. The pieces were written by Watts and composers Piers Hellawell, Alasdair Nicolson, Stuart MacRae, Iain Matheson, Oliver Searle, Jane Stanley, Pete Stollery, William Sweeney and Adam Lee.

Non-alcoholic ‘spirit’ brand MeMento has launched its first low- and no-abv global cocktail competition.

Bartenders can create either a non-alcoholic or low-abv serve using MeMento, and the public will be given the chance to vote for their favourite creations.

The creators of the top four cocktails will be invited to Milan to compete in the grand final on 20 May at Octavius Bar at The Stage.

This week, SB travelled to The Violin Factory in London to sample the first release in Diageo-owned Mortlach Distillery’s new Singing Stills series.

While guests enjoyed the Mortlach 47 Year Old release, an exclusive piece of music commissioned by the distillery was played out. The arrangement featured the sounds of the distillery’s stills.

The 47-year-old whisky was unveiled in March, and members of the public could enter a ballot to attend an exclusive tasting of the new whisky.

The London Edition hotel’s Punch Room launched its new menu, which is inspired by the five classical elements – earth, air, fire, water and ether.

The new menu, The Five: Volume III, is split into five sections, each inspired by one of the elements that philosopher Aristotle believed made up everything around us.

The Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Aether sections include drinks such as the Igloo Punch, made with Ruinart Brut, Dà Mhìle Seaweed Gin, cloudberry liqueur, lemon sherbet, green tea, lemon juice, ambergris and lemon sorbet.

London restaurant and cocktail bar 100 Wardour Street hosted a launch party for its latest cocktail menu this week.

SB headed down to the London bar to sample drinks on the new menu, which brings together icons from the world of cookery, art, music and mixology.

Created by bar manager Marco Sangion and head mixologist Federico Pasian, the new menu features drinks inspired by Vincent Van Gogh, Marilyn Monroe, Madonna and Frida Kahlo.

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