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The week in pictures

Amaro di Angostura hosted the final of its Versus cocktail competition at London tiki bar Laki Kane this week.

The contest challenged teams of bartenders to create innovative drinks using Amaro di Angostura, with The Wigmore’s Steve Georgiou and Jordan Sweeney claiming the competition’s top prize.

The contest was judged by Amaro di Angostura global brand ambassador Daniyel Jones, Adam Wilson of Manchester’s Liars Club, and Patrick O’Reilly, MD of Lightbox Brands – UK distributor of Amaro di Angostura.

Bacardi-owned gin brand Bombay Sapphire took to London art festival Frieze London to debut a new AI experience created by artist Yinka Ilori.

The experience runs from 3 to 6 October in London’s Regents Park, and Bombay Sapphire kicked off the event with a VIP launch party that saw guests, including model Daisy Lowe, actor Russell Tovey and fashion model Erin O’Connor, in attendance.

The lounge will offer five Bombay Sapphire guest serves created in partnership with top London bars, such as Artesian, Oriole and Kwãnt.

On-trade festival London Cocktail Week kicked off this week, with a variety of bar’s across the capital hosting takeovers, events and offering specially created cocktails.

Venues including Homeboy in Angel, Artesian at The Langham hotel, and The Ned have all created signature serves for festival pass holders to enjoy.

At The Ned, drinkers can sample the High Tea Spritz, made with Grey Goose Vodka, Prosecco, Darjeeling liqueur and strawberry bitters, and the Nickel Spritz, which combines Grey Goose Vodka, Mr Blacks Amaro, Fortunella, coffee bitters and Prosecco.

As part of this year’s London Cocktail Week, a host of brands have opened pop-up activations and immersive experiences, and this week SB paid a visit to London Essence Co’s multi-sensory installation.

Curated in partnership with flavour scientist Dr Rachel Edwards-Stuart, the activation invites guests to explore their favourite flavours and discover more about their palate.

During the course of SB’s visit, we sampled the different mixers in the London Essence Co range each mixed with spirits such as Ketel One Botanical, Tanqueray gin, Johnnie Walker whisky and Belsazar vermouth.

London bar Quaglino’s celebrated its 90th anniversary this week with the launch of its latest menu, which features cocktails inspired by the wishes, whims and aspirations of its guests.

Devised by the venue’s team, led by bar manager Marco Sangion and head mixologist Federico Pasian, the cocktail menu is separated into three sections: Wish, Season and Wine my Way.

Wish is available all year round and was inspired by dreams and fantasies, Season focuses on seasonality and Wine my Way sees the bar experiment with various wine fermentations.

Harrogate-based gin brand Slingsby partnered with Brigit’s Bakery to launch its Gin Lovers Afternoon Tea Bus Tour in London.

The bus tour, which comes complete with cocktails and gin-infused cakes, will see gin fans board a 1960s London bus where they will be treated to raspberry tarts, gin jelly with lime mousse and a strawberry moelleux – all while seeing the sites of the capital.

Alongside their sweet treats, guests can sample Slingsby signature serves, such as Slingsby London Dry with grapefruit and rosemary tonic, and Slingsby Rhubarb mixed with pomelo and pink peppercorn tonic.

Southampton-based bartender Varenka ‘Vee’ Guillermoprieto, from The Social, was crowned the winner of this year’s Evolution of Tonic competition.

Hosted by mixer brand Double Dutch, the competition challenged bartenders to create a cocktail that demonstrated the “evolution of tonic”, with Guillermoprieto’s serve showcasing molecular gastronomy and Double Dutch’s flavoured tonics.

Double Dutch co-founder Raissa de Haas said: “It’s great to see such a pool of talent in the UK when it comes to mixology and we are committed to supporting the industry. We tasted some visionary serves, and it was a delight to see our tonics used in such creative and innovative flavour pairings. We look forward to next year’s competition and seeing the continued evolution of tonic.”

This week, The Spirits Business team headed south for some sunshine and all things travel retail-related. The annual TFWA World Exhibition & Conference took place this week in Cannes, France, where the great and good of all industries spanning food and drink, beauty and fashion, gathered to showcase their best wares.

On the Monday evening, The Spirits Business hosted its annual Vodka Masters and Travel Retail Masters Beach Party, where the medal winners from this year’s blind-tasting competitions were celebrated and presented with their awards.

Guests enjoyed Champagne courtesy of Pol Roger, spirits from Corralejo Tequila maker Fraternity Spirits, and cocktails from Du Kuyper, all while watching the sun set at Croisette Beach.

The TFWA World Exhibition & Conference in Cannes, France, is a chance for brands to shine a light on their latest travel retail offerings.

Among the many companies presenting their newest spirits this week was William Grant & Sons, which brought Balvenie malt master David Stewart MBE to Cannes to help unveil a trio of new whiskies from The Balvenie. The three travel retail-exclusive single malts will join the brand’s Stories range, and will include a “reinterpretation” of The Balvenie Classic.

The team behind retailer The Whisky Exchange hosted the 11th annual Whisky Show in London last weekend.

The event saw more than 3,000 whisky fans descend on London to sample 940 different whiskies, attend exclusive talks and learn more about the spirit in a host of masterclasses.

Speciality Drinks, the on-trade spirits supplier created by The Whisky Exchange founders Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh, hosted the final of its Whisky Cocktail Classic competition this week. The contest was won by Nicola Rossini from Blue Bar at The Berkeley, who impressed judges with his creation The Iron Bridge.

Rossini’s winning cocktail was made with Craigellachie 13 Year Old, Golden Falernum Liqueur, coconut water and Angostura Bitters.

At the beginning of the week, SB headed to London bar Tayēr + Elementary for the launch of a new range of single botanical cordials created by bartender Alex Kratena and syrup brand Monin.

During the showcase, Kratena explained the origins of the new Paragon range, and served up three cocktails made with the brand’s pepper-flavoured bottlings.

The first three cordials launched by the brand are flavoured with Timur Berry from Nepal, White Penja Pepper from Camaroon and Rue Berry from Ethiopia.

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