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The week in pictures

Coca-Cola – which moved into alcohol last year with the launch of a low-abv shōchū-based beverage and launched a range of premium mixers for dark spirits this year – hosted a one-off party at London’s Boiler House this week, hosted by BBC radio DJ Clara Amfo.

The event aimed to “spread positive energy” and saw a projection of the partygoers’ energy beamed onto London landmarks including the London Eye and County Hall. As the movers and shakers became more energetic through the evening, the projection on London’s waterfront became more “spectacular”.

Amfo was joined on the night by fellow Radio One personalities, including Nick Grimshaw and Mistajam, who performed a DJ set on the night.

London’s M Restaurant Victoria Street hosted a Christmas brunch for 50 guide dogs and their owners this week in support of the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association Charity.

M Victoria Street welcomed guests and their dogs for a ‘pawsecco’ reception and a special festive brunch.

During the reception, Irene Penell was awarded The Golden Bone Award for her bravery as the result of her troubling past.

She said: “I am so honoured to be here. I didn’t realise I had so many friends; it’s all very emotional”.

London restaurant Bluebird has opened a New York pop-up for the festive period, serving up a menu of wintery cocktails created in partnership with homeware brand The White Company.

Available until 31 December, the drinks offering is based on The White Company’s festive candle scents, including Roasted Chestnut, made with Bulleit Bourbon, vanilla, honey and chocolate mole, and Winter, which combines Ron Zacapa, espresso, orange and baking spice.

Bluebird NYC has opened on the upper west side in Columbus Circle, offering an all-day cafe, wine bar and cocktail lounge for imbibers in the Big Apple.

The Waeska Bar at London’s Mandrake Hotel unveiled its latest drinks list this week, which was inspired by ethnobotany – the study of practical and medicinal uses of plants.

The bar team at Waeska carried out extensive research into the medicinal properties of different ingredients and selected 14 plants to use in its cocktails.

Drinks on the bar’s new menu include concoctions made using wakamomo, a green Asian peach; cactus blossom, which is native to the Americas; and enoki, an Asian mushroom. Visitors to Waeska Bar can sample cocktails such as Vetiver, which uses Indian bunchgrass vetiver mixed with Copperhead Gin, yuzu and shiso sorbet. Vetiver is said to have anti-anxiety properties.

The MO Bar at Singapore’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel partnered also unveiled a new menu this week.

To create its new drinks list, MO Bar partnered with local experts around the world to uncover ingredients unique to their specific location.

Highlights from the bar’s new menu include the T and T, which was inspired by Hong Kong and is made with Tequila, lemon verbena and fig; the Vietnam-inspired Harvest Queen, made with agricole rum, apple and guava; and the Thailand-influenced Expedition, which is made with green coffee, grapefruit and vermouth. The Expedition is served in a handmade ceramic mug crafted by one of MO Bar’s team.

On Monday, The Spirits Business headed to The Club at The Ivy to host its inaugural awards, which recognised excellence in spirits production, retailing, marketing, distributing, sustainability, tourism and brand development.

The inaugural Spirits Business Awards 2019 include trophies for Spirits Retailer of the Year, spanning e-commerce, supermarket, independent, specialist and travel retail; Distillery Sustainability Award; and Best New Product, including whisky, gin, liqueurs, tonic/mixer, low/no and more.

The full list of winners from the ceremony will be published in the January issue of The Spirits Business.

To celebrate the launch of American whiskey brand Westward in the UK, co-founder and CEO Thomas Mooney hosted a dinner at London restaurant Two Lights.

Westward Whiskey headed to the Shoreditch restaurant to serve a menu of dishes created by Two lights head chef Chase Lovecky, each inspired by the whiskey’s American provenance. Alongside the dishes, guests on the night were treated to Westward Whiskey cocktails created by Will Meredith of Lyaness, Mia Johansson of Swift and Rob Simpson of Clove Club.

The UK finalists of this year’s Bacardi Legacy cocktail competition were chosen this week. William Campbell-Rowntree from London, Edinburgh’s Matthew Galloway, Ed Belshaw from Nottingham, Alex Godfrey from Bristol and London’s Nicole Sykes will each undertake further challenges with the hope of earning a spot in the contest’s global final in Miami next year.

The five bartenders will be tasked with raising awareness of their cocktail by hosting events and masterclasses, including a special charity event for a cause of their choice. They will also visit New York and the Bacardi distillery in Puerto Rico.

Campari-owned Bulldog Gin this week joined forces with the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) to support and celebrate a safe UK night time economy.

During the NTIA’s Night Time Ambassadors of the Night Awards, industry experts and musicians, such as DJ Spoony, took to the stage to celebrate the voices in the industry.

Bulldog Gin’s senior brand manager, Sam Chandler, presented one of the Ambassadors of the Night Awards to The Women’s Night Safety Charter for London.

Irish whiskey brand Tullamore Dew and consultancy Dare Hospitality teamed up on a new hot draft cocktail system, which made its debut at Time Out’s Hotboozapalooza event in London on Thursday.

Consumers enjoyed Irish coffees with a Caribbean twist, made using the brand’s XO Caribbean Rum Cask Finish. The Irish coffee, which comes out in seconds, is said to be an alternative to mulled wine this winter.

Helena Nicklin, Aidy Smith and Colin Hampden-White, stars of Amazon Prime series The Three Drinkers Do Scotch Whisky appeared on Talk Radio this week.

Ahead of the premiere of part two of the trio’s series on Scotch whisky, Nicklin, Smith and Hampden-White were interviewed on Talk Radio by Mike Graham about what viewers can expect from the latest instalment of the show.

Texas distillery Balcones Distilling partnered with Texas singer-songwriter Jarrod Dickenson for his sell-out UK tour.

The musician played 13 shows across the UK for his Unplugged & Distilled tour, which offered fans the chance to hear him playing past and present hits in an acoustic setting.

Across Dickenson’s tour, Balcones served up drams of its range of American whiskeys, including Baby Blue, made with roasted Texas blue corn, and Texas Rye 100.

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