What’s on in December 2023
While you might be up to your eyeballs in Christmas events this year, we’ve got plenty of non-festive options for when you’re sick of downing mulled wine at the markets.
From a bar takeover from Bangkok to an art exhibition in Berlin, there’s plenty to keep spirits enthusiasts pleased this month.
Keep scrolling to find out our pick of the top 10 spirits events happening this month.
Bar Us comes to Europe
What: A bartending duo from Bangkok visits Paris and London
Where: The Cambridge Public House, Paris, and Amaro Bar, London
When: 3 and 5 December
Taln Rojanavanich and Aum Veecharat of Bar Us in Bangkok have embarked on a two-week European tour, hosting a masterclass and guest shifts at award-winning cocktail bars in Paris and London. The Thai bar serves its cocktails in courses, so expect savoury serves and dessert delights.
Bourbons Bistro Repeal Day Celebration
What: A party to mark the day Prohibition was lifted
Where: Louisville, Kentucky
When: 5 December
Kentucky restaurant Bourbons Bistro will host a parade in Louisville, followed by a ‘guided sensory immersion’ by Old Forester brand ambassador Ian Sulkowski.
After, guests can enjoy Prohibition-themed cocktails and tastings of Old Forester’s whiskeys. The event will culminate in a Roaring Twenties speakeasy-style party.
What: A gift-wrapping workshop with non-alcoholic cocktails and snacks
Where: The Hide Bar, London
When: 9 December
Non-alcoholic apéritif Everleaf, which celebrated its fifth birthday in November, will be proving that moderation during the festive season can be easy and delicious.
The brand will be hosting a pop-up showcasing no-and-low cocktails throughout December and into January, as well as a special workshop focused on gift-wrapping bottles on 9 December.
World Raki Week
What: A celebration of Türkiye’s favourite spirit
Where: London and beyond
When: 4-10 December
Yeni Raki is hosting a week-long series of events designed to introduce Londoners to the classic Turkish spirit. With mixology classes, a pub quiz and a fine dining menu, the brand hopes to bring a taste of ‘the land where East meets West to England’s capital.
Where: New Delhi, India
When: 7-9 December
Producers and distributors hoping to establish their brands in the Indian market – the second largest for spirits after China – can enjoy masterclasses, tasting sessions and round tables during this event.
Spirits exhibitors currently attending the fourth edition of the show include Glasgow Whisky and US cocktail brand Southern Champion.
The Scottish National Whisky Festival
What: A deep dive into Scotch whisky and culture
Where: Edinburgh, Scotland
When: 9 December
The Scottish National Whisky Festival will see dozens of exhibitors offer up hundreds of whiskies to sample while guests are immersed in modern Celtic music.
And it’s not just whisky, with rum, Cognac and liqueur producers in attendance, as well as cocktail pop-ups hosted by mixologists and bars.
Teremana Tequila’s Mana Holiday House
What: A virtual and physical pop-up from The Rock’s Tequila brand
Where: New York and online
When: 12-13 December
Tequila isn’t necessarily the first spirit you think of at Christmas, but Teremana, the brand created by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, hopes to change that this year. It will be hosting a two-night event in New York, with cocktails, snacks and mixology sessions, as well as some giveaways.
For those who can’t make it in person, the event will continue online throughout December, with the virtual Mana Holiday House offering hosting ideas, seasonal cocktail recipes, gift inspiration and limited edition prizes.
Agostino Perrone: Local Spirits
What: A photography exhibition focused on bars
Where: Galerie Sara Lily Perez, Berlin
When: 13 December
Mixology is an art form, and photographer Agostino Perrone has managed to capture the art of good bars and hospitality in an exhibition called Local Spirits.
Perrone, the director of mixology of London’s Connaught hotel, has featured the various bars he has worked at throughout his career in the series. Through his photography, he hopes to ‘immortalise the ephemeral essence of hospitality’.
SipFest: Christmas Drinks Festival
What: A showcase of craft distillers
Where: Hoxton Docks, London
When: 15-16 December
More than 50 brands will be present at this festival, with a line-up of independent distillers curated by e-commerce retailer The Liquor Club. Those attending include Las Olas spiced rum, Reign rum and Kromanti Distillery, with The Liquor Club hoping to spotlight ‘alcohol brands you will actually enjoy’. As well as offering samples, brands will be serving short cocktails highlighting their products.
Taste Whanganui Festival
What: A day of food, drinks and live music
Where: Whanganui, New Zealand
When: 16 December
A selection of New Zealand distilleries will be present at Taste Whanganui’s Outdoor Summer Festival, including local brand Papaiti Gin, as well as a range of food stalls and live music acts.
Brands will host tastings, demos and workshops, with cocktails also on offer.