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The week in pictures

Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands brought its Jigger Beaker Glass educational roadshow back to London this week.

The series of talks and workshops arrived at London’s Lyaness bar on Tuesday for a day of seminars hosted by industry experts including author and business consultant Mark Shayler and bartender Joe Schofield.

Following the day of seminars, the five UK finalists of the Bacardi Legacy cocktail competition hosted a takeover at Lyaness serving a menu of their Legacy-qualifying cocktails.

William Grant & Sons-owned ultra-low-alcohol ‘spirit’ brand Atopia hosted a series of laughter yoga sessions this week.

Designed to “uplift spirits”, the laughter-inducing programme featured mindful sessions and performances from stars of the UK’s comedy circuit.

Alongside the laughter workshops, guests were able to sample two variants of Atopia, Spiced Citrus and Wild Blossom, served up as an Atopia and tonic, and Atopia cocktails.

This week, SB headed to France with the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC) to uncover the history and production of Cognac.

While visiting Cognac, the assembled group of journalists toured vineyards in the Grand Champagne, Petit Champagne and Fins Bois regions. The trip then included visits to Cognac houses including Bourgoin, Courvoisier, Bache Gabrielsen, Delamain and Frapin.

At each stop along the way, the group were able to explore the different ways each house creates its signature Cognacs, and how they can innovate within the rules of the BNIC.

While visiting Cognac, SB also learned about the producers and craftspeople involved in each step of the process, from winemakers and distillers, to coopers and master blenders.

The trip included a visit to Doreau Tonneliers, which produces new oak barrels for Cognac houses across the region. While visiting the site, the journalists learned about the variety of oak used for Cognac barrels, saw how staves are cut and arranged to make barrels, and watched as they were then charred and finished before being shipped to the region’s Cognac houses.

Jamie Proud from The Pound bar in Canterbury triumphed at the Dry January Cocktail Competition, which was hosted by Good Living Brewing Company.

Proud came out on top of the contest with his Binary Reboot cocktail, which is a low-alcohol twist on the Bloody Mary.

After winning the contest, Proud said: “It means a lot to me to win. I’ve always enjoyed being a mixologist and it’s hugely rewarding that these expert judges liked my cocktail! I believe, as the days go by more people want no- [and] low-alcohol drinks and on our next menu we are looking to have more options for that reason.”

London bar and restaurant Quaglino’s has brought back its “world’s most sustainable cocktail” to raise money and awareness for the Australia Bushfire Emergency and WWF.

The cocktail, called Blossom, is available at the Quaglino’s bar until 31 January and £8 (US$10) from the sale of each drink will be donated to the charities.

The serve is composed of off-cuts from the Quaglino’s restaurant. Organic vodka is combined with homemade jasmine rice milk, purple carrot peel and mandarin skins.

On Monday, botanically-brewed mixer brand Fentimans showcased its Light range of soft drinks at London venue Bourne & Hollingsworth.

Taking over the Garden Room at the London bar and restaurant, Fentimans created the Light Lunch to help the assembled guests “recharge their happiness”.

Guests received a complimentary bottle from the Fentimans Light range and were seated within a specially designated area of the restaurant filled with serotonin boosting lights.

Baijiu brand Fenjiu launched a series of activations across London this week to mark Chinese New Year.

Fenjiu partnered with a host of retailers, hotels and bars across London to launch activations including a Chinese-inspired afternoon tea, bespoke cocktails and Asian-inspired menus across the capital.

At department store Selfridges, Fenjiu hosted a masterclass on 23 January featuring Fenjiu cocktails, chocolates and canapés, while London’s Four Seasons hotel also served up a special Fenjiu cocktail made with five-year old Zhu Ye Qing Fenjiu, pomegranate and lotus.

More than 600 global wine and spirits professionals gathered at the City of London’s Guildhall on Tuesday to celebrate the annual Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Awards & Graduation Ceremony.

Hosted by WSET honorary president Steven Spurrier, the event saw 665 new WSET Diploma graduates honoured for their achievements.

Phoebe French, deputy editor of the drinks business, sister title to The Spirits Business, was among the evening’s celebrated recipients. French was awarded the Louis Jadot Burgundy prize for her performance in unit 3 of the WSET Diploma.

Ian Harris, WSET chief executive, said: “Our students are at the heart of WSET and the Guildhall ceremony is all about celebrating their success. With our largest ever class of Diploma graduates this year, we now have over 10,000 WSET graduates globally. We also congratulate our scholarship and award winners who achieved outstanding results in their exams last year.”

Single malt Scotch whisky brand Glenfiddich celebrated 15 years of support for the Canadian art community with the launch of an artists residency at the Speyside distillery.

The award includes three months of income, travel costs, all-inclusive accommodations, materials and the opportunity to collaborate with globally celebrated artists.

“The Glenfiddich Artist in Residency programme is dedicated to supporting and showcasing the extraordinary talent of Canadian artists on a global scale,” said Rupy Singh, senior national brand manager for Glenfiddich in Canada. “We are delighted to continue our support of the Canadian art community for the 15th year.”

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