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What’s on in April 2023

From multiple pop-ups and cocktail festivals to the chance to become a distiller for the day, we’ve rounded up the best drinks events in April.

April events – bar with shapes for a name
The Maybe Cocktail Festival in Sydney will see 16 bars host pop-ups from 12-19 April

It appears industry professionals around the world got the same idea for the month of April: cocktail festivals, pop-up bars and trade shows is what the people want.

Events are being hosted for drinkers across the world (no, really), including locations in Ho Chi Minh City, Barcelona, Sydney and Dubai.

If you’re lucky enough to be close by to one of the big trade events taking place, get out your calendars: spring is calling for the industry to be lively and thriving again, as the days get longer and we inevitably stay out later.

Keep reading to discover the other events going down this month.

Maybe Cocktail Festival

What: A flurry of big name bar pop-ups
Where: Sydney, Australia
When: 12-19 April

Hosted by The Maybe Group and Public Hospitality, 16 widely-acclaimed international bars will come to the Harbour City for a series of free bar events over the course of eight days.

Every cocktail available throughout the festival will be priced at AU$22 (US$14.73), with pre-purchase tokens available on arrival.

The bars travelling to Sydney include Sips in Barcelona, Mexico City’s Hanky Panky, Line in Athens, and The Bar with Shapes for a Name in London. The seven host bars include Maybe Sammy, Sammy Junior and Dean & Nancy on 22.

Vietnam Bar & Spirit Show

Healthy Hospo

What: Three-day bar show
Where: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
When: 13-15 April

For those based in Vietnam, this bar show will offer a range of ​​exciting activities for drinks lovers.

Describing itself as ‘a place to connect culture and brands, with more than 30000 potential visitors and buyers’, the show will offer up the latest trends, a networking platform with leading bartenders and mixologists, plus cocktails, wine, low- and non-alcoholic drinks, and more.

In addition, masterclasses and bar competitions will be available to watch, as well as an infinity bar.

Schmucks head to Dubai

What: Schmucks’ Dubai pop-up
Where: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
When: 14-15 April
Renowned Two Schmucks bartenders Moe Aljaff and Juliette Larrouy and their team will be taking over the bar at Ergo in Dubai from 14-15 April, serving an original menu of cocktails made with Takamaka Rum.

Become a distiller for the day

What: The chance to be in the shoes of a distiller
When: Enter by 15 April
Where: Baltimore, Maryland, US

Baltimore’s Sagamore Spirit is offering fans the opportunity to take on the role of distiller for the day. Three entrants will be selected to work alongside the brand’s distillers for a day at its waterfront distillery.

The day will include a ‘hands-on masterclass’ in distilling, learning about the art of whiskey making, and the option of spending an evening in its luxury waterfront accommodations.

Applicants must be over the age of 21, and can enter now through 15 April 2023, by following @SagamoreSpirit on Instagram, liking and leaving a comment on its ‘Distiller for a Day’ post about why they want to learn the craft of distillation.

Three Little Word’s monthly events

What: A series of cocktail masterclasses
When: 19 April (plus further events in later months)
Where: Manchester, UK

Cocktail Bar Three Little Words is hosting a series of drinks masterclasses for guests to ‘learn about the history, techniques, ingredients and garnishes that make each cocktail unique’.

Having kicked off on 29 March with masterclass Three is the Magic Number, featuring a home-bartender-friendly roster of three-ingredient drinks, the bar is more than ready for its next stint on 19 April: Drinks on Screen.

This event will take inspiration from iconic drinks from TV and film.

Tickets are priced at £30 (US$37.13) per person, and will feature a welcome drink, followed by five small-serve cocktails and a final drink to finish the night, each of which guests will have the opportunity to make themselves.

Other dates released so far for future events are: 17 May, 14 June, and 19 July.

The Art of Shaking day

What: All-day masterclass
Where: Florence, Italy
When: 19 April (+ 20 April)

Designed to inspire and educate professional bartenders, this all-day masterclass is hosted by The Art of Shaking (TOAS) founders Luca Missaglia and Simone Caporale (pictured L-R).

This is the second stint of TOAS, taking place at Social Hub Florence from 11.30am to 4.30pm CET.

Plus, Carporale will be hosting a one-night-only guest shift the following day (20 April), at cocktail and oyster bar Floreal Firenze, with an exclusive cocktail menu.

Laphroaig’s food market

What: A whisky brand partners with a Michelin chef
Where: London, UK
When: 21-23 April

Single malt Scotch whisky brand Laphroaig is collaborating with Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens, unveiling the Laphroaig Market at Borough Yards.

The market stall will offer customers the opportunity to handpick fresh ingredients to be cooked over an open fire with Aikens.

Aikens will prepare and serve six unique dishes to order, bringing to the fore the flavours of salt, fire and peat – the three elements that make Laphroaig whisky.

Dishes on offer include the lobster roll with sudachi, spiced mayo, nori, fried cabbage and cicely; and the steak rib eye with Laphroaig 10-year-old shallot sauce, grilled onion and pink purslane.

Tickets are available from £25 (US$30.95)

Bombay Sapphire moves into art

What: Art meets AI exhibition
Where: London, UK
When: 21-24 April

Set to be the world’s largest mass participation AI art event, gin brand Bombay Sapphire and the Design Museum are hosting the ‘Saw This, Made This’ Art Installation Series.

Opening on World Creativity Day (21 April), the exhibition will celebrate the thousands of artworks shared through social media following Baz Luhrmann’s #SawThisMadeThis creative call up.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to interact with Ai-Da, the first ultra-realistic robot artist in the Eye to AI studio, to explore how artificial intelligence can ‘enrich and enable’ human creativity at scale.

Alongside the installation, two limited edition Bombay Sapphire bottle label designs, featuring artwork painted by Ai-Da, will be available to purchase in the Design Museum Shop and on Bombay Sapphire’s official website.

La Punta X Kol Mezcaleria

What: a pop-up featuring limited edition cocktails

Where: London, UK

When: 23 April

The second residency of The Explorer Series is taking place at Kol Mezcaleria, London, in collaboration with the The Lost Explorer Mezcal.

On 23April, Kol Mezcaleria will host La Punta Expendio de Agave, all the way from Rome, for a pop-up showcasing a limited edition menu of Oaxaca-inspired cocktails.

The special menu for the evening will feature six cocktails created by La Punta team and the Kol Mezcaleria team, led by bar manager Matthias Inglemann, using three different expressions of agave available from The Lost Explorer Mezcal (Espadín, Tobalá, Salmiana).

The antojitos menu from Chef Patron Santiago Lastra will include Tunworth Buñuelos and Wagyu Empanadas.

Bon Vivant Festival

What: Festival hosting industry experts and spirits fans
Where: Barcelona, Spain
When: 27 April to 1 May

This cocktail festival offers up the opportunity for guests to connect with big names in the hospitality industry – including Salvatore Calabrese, better known as The Maestro, and global rum ambassador Ian Burrell.

Guests can participate in tastings of the latest in spirits, wines and cocktails, plus attend events, workshops, and seminars, as well as private parties and conferences in locations all over the city, including acclaimed bars such as Bar Paradiso, Mariposa Negra, Pax 49, Bar Sauvage, and La Whiskeria.

General admission for the festival is priced at €50 (US$50).

Spirit of Speyside festival

What: Internationally renowned whisky festival
Where: Moray, Scotland
When: 26 April to 1 May

This annual celebration of Scotch whisky has returned – described as ‘one of the largest events of its kind anywhere in the world’.

Bringing together thousands of Scotch whisky fans, this year’s event will offer a bumper programme of whisky-inspired events for a range of visitors – from the most experienced of connoisseurs, to the whisky novice.

The festival will see distilleries, village halls, local whisky bars, historic castles, and more host events.

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