What’s on in October
With some of the world’s biggest trade events and festivals taking place in October, it’s often difficult to decide how to spend your time, so we’ve rounded up the 10 events we think you should prioritise this month.
Time to limber up, as the most jam-packed month in the global spirits calendar is finally upon us.
With cocktail festivals, on-trade shows and Halloween-themed takeovers taking place throughout the whole month, its never been more important to plan your time wisely – something that our round-up of the top 10 events happening in October should help with.
Gleneagles takes over 1930, Milan
What: A taste of Scotland heads to Italy
Where: 1930 Bar, Milan, Italy
When: 1 October
As part of its global ‘Expedition Series’, which will see Scotland’s American Bar at Gleneagles set sail across the world on a takeover series, Michele Mariotti, head of the hotel’s beverage programme, will be heading back to his Italian roots to introduce its innovative menu to one of Milan’s most secret and famous bars, 1930.
Gleneagles’ American Bar will be taking over the award-winning Milanese bar for a one-night exclusive, where it will be reimagining old-time classics with innovative techniques. During the evening, Mariotti will be spotlighting four cocktails from the bar’s innovative Book of Berries menu: Cucumber, Kiwi, Aubergine and Bell Pepper.
TFWA World Exhibition & Conference
What: The travel retail event of the year returns
Where: Palais des Festivals, Cannes, France
When: 1-5 October
The annual conference concerning all things travel retail is set to welcome guests to the South of France once again, this time for a show that will be much closer in comparison with the 2019 pre-pandemic offering.
Exhibition space has been increased for 2023, meaning there is plenty in store for visitors to the Palais des Festivals over the show’s five-day running. As has come to be expected at the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference, there will be plenty of networking opportunities for attendees, but perhaps most excitingly, The Spirits Business’ annual Travel Retail Beach Party will also be returning. For details on the party and how to attend, click here, and for our top picks of this year’s spirits stands, click here.
Peddlers Gin bar takeovers
What: International bar takeovers hosted by Peddlers Gin
Where: SanYou, Shenzhen, China, and The Merchant Hotel, Belfast, Northern Ireland
When: 1-7 October
Gin brand Peddlers is readying to host an international menu exchange between China and Northern Ireland in October to mark China’s annual Golden Week celebrations.
The Chinese brand has teamed up with acclaimed bars Shenzhen-based SanYou and The Merchant Hotel in Belfast to host the takeovers.
While SanYou focuses on Chinese-made spirits with the aim of showcasing the country’s products, and demonstrating how world-class bartenders can utilise them, Northern Ireland’s Merchant Hotel is known for blending heritage with modern luxury. At both, you can expect to find a menu of specially curated cocktails that each champion Peddlers Gin as their base.
Edinburgh Cocktail Week
What: The Scottish capital celebrates the on-trade
Where: Edinburgh, Scotland
When: 6-15 October
This year marks Edinburgh Cocktail Week’s fifth birthday, and to celebrate, the 10-day event has partnered with 100 of the city’s best cocktail bars, speakeasies and neighbourhood pubs to offer delicious £5 signature cocktails across the capital.
To get exclusive access to these cocktails, customers simply need to buy one of the festival wristbands and show it at the bar when ordering. Wristband holders can find all the cocktails within the official guide and maps to help plan their day out and navigate the best cocktail routes across the city.
This year also sees the return of the popular Cocktail Village at Festival Square, known as the social epicentre of the festival, which will be bigger than ever before. Entry to the Cocktail Village is free with a festival wristband and inside cocktail lovers will find 22 pop-up bars serving amazing cocktails from £5.
Bar Convent Berlin
What: The ‘Bartenders Christmas’ of trade events
Where: Berlin, Germany
When: 9-11 October
The world’s best bartenders and brands are getting ready to convene for the annual Bar Convent Berlin (BCB) event in the German capital this month.
Attendees can expect three days of networking opportunities, educational seminars, and guest shifts throughout Berlin, with two special Bar Hotspots also waiting to be discovered at the exhibition centre this year; one dedicated to agave spirits and the second to low-and-no serves.
This year also sees the return of the previously popular guest shifts at some of the hottest joints in Berlin. Venues throughout the city will be showcasing the best of Berlin’s hospitality, delivering world-class cocktail experiences well into the night.
London Cocktail Week
What: The biggest on-trade cocktail festival in the world
Where: London, UK
When: 12-22 October
Considered the world’s biggest cocktail festival, London Cocktail Week (LCW) is returning to the English capital in October, and is marking its 14th year by shining a light on the city’s revered reputation as a global capital of cocktail culture.
This year’s 11-day event sees the introduction of prestige events, and the welcoming of the festival’s Connoisseur’s Collection, a programme of exclusive, reservation-only events taking place at a handful of London’s most prestigious bar venues, aimed at LCW’s ‘most discerning consumers’.
As is tradition, hundreds of the capital’s best bars will once again be offering specially curated serves for the exclusive LCW rate of £8 in exchange for the flash of one of the festival’s £15 wristbands, which can be purchased online and from participating bars.
Love Me (Bar)Tender – The Jungle Room Graceland pop-up experience
What: Graceland x Memphis Tourism bring pop-up bars to three US cities
Where: New York, Boston and Chicago, US
When: 5-6 October (New York), 10-11 October (Boston), 18-19 October (Chicago)
This October, music and pop-culture lovers will have the rare opportunity to experience Graceland’s iconic Jungle Room in the comfort of their own cities, as Memphis Tourism and Elvis Presley’s Graceland partner to create a first-of-its-kind, pop-up version of the famed Jungle Room found at the king of rock ‘n’ roll’s mansion.
Complete with green shag carpet covering the floor and ceiling, a rock waterfall and a lacquered tiki bar with matching furniture throughout the room, the experience is being coined “Love Me (Bar)Tender”.
Guests can expect plenty of surprises that will make the space Instagram and TikTok-ready, as well as Elvis-themed cocktails, music from Memphis bands, and a photobooth ready to capture the experience.
Entrance is free with registration.
Hoochenanny Whiskey Festival
What: A one-of-a-kind celebration of craft liquor, artisans, innovation and music
Where: Geneseo, New York
When: 20-21 October
This inaugural festival brings together renowned whiskey and Bourbon brands, distillers and connoisseurs to showcase the best of New York State over two unforgettable days.
Guests can attend The Rickhouse Rendezvous, a one-of-a-kind educational whiskey tasting experience that will feature fan-favourite brands from across the state, including Iron Smoke Distillery, Cooperstown Distillery and Great Jones Distilling, or visit the Mixology Bar, found within the walls of the stylised turn-of-the-century rickhouse meets Prohibition-era speakeasy, complete with artisanal beverages not found anywhere else at the festival.
Fireside chat programming will also allow enthusiasts to enjoy panel-style education sessions geared towards consumers and connoisseurs.
What: An East London neighbourhood cafe/bar experience with a difference
Where: Hackney Road, London
When: 20-29 October
Dominican rum brand Brugal is preparing to open Casa Brugal this October, which aims to playfully and collaboratively give back to the east London community.
Casa Brugal will be bringing out the best of an east London weekend with coffee, cocktails, creative workshops and vinyl listening evenings. In the day, guests can swing by to pick up Casa Brugal’s own Dominican coffee blend, taste Lily Vanilli’s Brugal-inspired cake, book a workshop with Earl of East for a candle making class, or pick up cocktail ingredients for hosting at home with Brugal.
Then at night, the pop-up will transform into a vinyl listening and cocktail bar offering a selection of Brugal cocktail creations from Three Sheets, plus a Casa Brugal closing party on Sunday 29 October, hosted by London’s Spiritland.
Black Lagoon Halloween bar experience
What: Halloween bar makeovers with seasonally spooky cocktails
Where: Various cities across the US, Canada, Mexico and Europe
When: Throughout October
For the month of October, cities across North America and Europe are having their best bars turned into spooky haunts, featuring masterly crafted cocktail menus alongside seasonally-themed décor designed to ready guests for the All Hallows celebrations.
Black Lagoon is the renowned award-winning Halloween pop-up experience from industry veterans Kelsey Ramage and Erin Hayes, and this year its hauntingly delicious cocktail lineup is being hosted across a range of bars in the US, Canada, Mexico, and Europe.
Expect twisted and spooky environments, including dark, dungeon-like decorations with skulls, coffins and other elements that pay homage to goth, horror and all things Halloween, plus drinks menus to match the decor, with eerie elixirs such as the macabre Book of Blood, a take on a Mai Tai made with Montelobos, Giffard Pimente, fresh beet juice, fresh lime juice, miso aalernum and absinthe.