Florence Opens Its Doors To The Fourth Edition of the Florence Cocktail Week

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Following the success of its past editions, Florence Cocktail Week (FCW) will make its return from the 6th to the 12th of May. Founded and organized by Paola Mencarelli and Lorenzo Nigro, the weeklong event dedicated to mixology “Made in Florence” serves up a sundry calendar consisting of master classes and night shifts, featuring Italian and international guests, round tables and gatherings aimed at professionals and enthusiasts.

Now in its fourth edition, FCW has established itself as the most anticipated spring event by international and local mixology professionals and cocktail lovers, boasting an always-richer schedule. All of this is made possible thanks to the support of important sponsors and partners, such as Campari, Fratelli Branca Distillerie, Ginarte, Marchesi Frescobaldi, Martini&Rossi, Michter’s, Molinari, Plantation Rum, World Class Diageo and more.

FCW selects the best cocktail bars in Florence and Tuscany, and is backed with the patronage of the Municipality of Florence, which will also act as a partner for the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Negroni, the historic Florentine cocktail renowned worldwide.

During the FCW, every night is a party that brings a vivacious vibe to the city’s establishments, all easily reachable by foot or by bicycle (the Mobike service is available, as always). Thus, everyone can enjoy a completely safe mixology experience – based on personal tastes and preferences – in the unique and evocative surroundings of Florence. All of the events and master classes are free-of-charge and open to the public, with the only cost being that of the cocktails.

30 cocktail bars in Florence have been selected to participate in the 2019 FCW – with an increase compared to 2018 – and each establishment will present a cocktail list featuring 4 cocktails crafted for 4 special categories: a Signature Cocktail (a Negroni with a twist), a RiEsco a Bere Italiano, an I Love Bitter and a Green Drink, for which bartenders are given free rein to their creativity to whip up enticing mouth-watering concoctions.
Quality drinking and drinking responsibly will be the common thread between all of the moments of this densely packed weeklong event.

Le novità del 2019

Round Table on Negroni, with the patronage of the Municipality of Florence

Saturday, May 11, there will be an institutional Round Table by the title “The Century of Negroni. History, protagonists and evolution of the most loved Italian cocktail in the world,” with the patronage of the Municipality of Florence, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Negroni. Doing the honours will be Luca Picchi, author of the book “Negroni Cocktail, leggenda italiana,” and some of the most prominent experts of the Italian and international mixology scene: Fulvio Piccinino, Manager of Saperbene.com, expert and writer of Italian spirits, Alessandro Pitanti, Campari Academy Brand Ambassador, Roberta Mariani, Martini Global Ambassador, Mauro Mahjoub from Münich, known in the trade as the “King of Negroni”, and two icons of Italian bartending in London, Salvatore Calabrese “The Maestro” and Peter Dorelli, Educational Officer and National Ambassador UK Bartenders Guild. Guests of honour Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller from London, and David Wondrich from New York, among the main authorities worldwide on cocktail history. The event will be moderated by Federico Quaranta, radio and television host.


Tuscany Cocktail Week | TCW
For the very first time, FCW will also include a selection of 49 Cocktail Bars in Tuscany, which, starting from the week ahead of the event will each present a craft cocktail list consisting of 3 drinks: a creative Signature Cocktail, with which the bartenders will take part in the Final Contest, a Negroni with a twist (to celebrate the 100th anniversary), and an I Love Bitter (Amari/Bitter). At the Final Contest will participate only 10 cocktail bar (1 each city).
FCW Awards Ceremony
The yearly Contest starring the best Florentine bartenders will be substituted with the FCW Awards Ceremony. A party will be held on Sunday May 12th, and for the occasion sponsor companies will award the winning bartenders and cocktails for the different categories.

The final day of this edition is Sunday May 12th, which will also feature the second edition of RiEsco a Bere Italiano, the first edition of the Final Contest of the Tuscany Cocktail Week, the not-to-be-missed Under 25 Young Talent Contest, and the highly anticipated FCW Awards Ceremony.

Not-to-be-missed events

As for previous editions, prominent personalities from the Italian and international mixology scene will take part in the weeklong event, working alongside local bartenders during a series of master classes and night shifts.

Matteo di Ienno, head bartender of Locale Firenze, and Federico Pasian, head bartender of Quaglino’s London, will kick off the FCW on Sunday, May 5 at Locale Firenze serving up a cocktail list dedicated to the 100 years of Negroni, “Peter and Camillo back in Florence.”

But that’s not all, with more exciting events at Locale on Tuesday, May 7 with Antonio Naranjo, Bar Owner of Dr. Stravinsky, Barcelona, and on Thursday, May 8 with “World Class meets The Clumsies” (by World Class Diageo), featuring Vasilis Kristizis of The Clumsies, Athens – 7’ World’s 50 Best Bars 2018.

On Monday, May 6 visit the terrace of Hotel Kraft will host an aperitivo by Marchesi Frescobaldi, while the OOO, The Student hotel Florence will get ready to shake things up with “Bar Milano” (by Martini&Rossi), an event dedicated to Milanese mixology, featuring 11 of the best cocktail bars in Milan, in collaboration with Bartender.it.

Guglielmo Miriello, Bar Manager of Ceresio 7

Camilla Bosatelli, Barlady of 1930 Cocktail Bar

Marco Russo Co-Owner of Mag Cafè, 1930 Cocktail Bar, Backdoor43, Barba, and Iter

Federico Volpe, Bar Manager of Dry

Sossio Del Prete, Bartender of Octavius Bar at The Stage Milano

Yuri Gelmini, Co-Owner of Surfer’s Den

Ivan Patruno, Bar Manager of Bulk Mixology Food Bar

Luca Marcellin, Owner of Drinc. Cocktail & Conversation

Mattia Pastori, Owner and Founder of Non Solo Cocktail

Patrick Greco, Bar Manager of Bulgari Bar

Teo Rizzolo, Head Mixologist of Mandarin Bar & Bistrot


And on Wednesday, May 8 the same location will host a selection of the best bartenders from the

Forte Cocktail Week in Versilia.


Tuesday, May 7 will see Paolo Sanna, Bar Manager of Banana Republic in Rome at Rex for

“Scotland Breeze” (by Molinari), and Wednesday, May 8 Francesco Pirineo, Brand Ambassador

Plantation Italia, will be at Santarosa Bistro for “Cheese pairing with Plantation Rum: an unprecedented encounter between rum and cheese” (by Plantation Rum)


Thursday, May 9 at Palazzo San Niccolò, Luisanna Messeri, writer and television pop chef, will give a talk on Caterina de’ Medici and the tradition of Tuscan spirits, titled “Caterina’s Chests. A short, alcoholic history of a Queen;” which will be followed by an aperitivo by Cultural Salon featuring the works of Florentine artist and designer Marina Calamai.


Friday, May 10 Belmond Villa San Michele will host “Drink your habitat,” with botanist Caterina

Candia and bartenders Erica Rossi and Bledar Ndoci (by Fratelli Branca Distilleries), while at

Empireo of the Plaza Hotel Lucchesi palates will be soothed at “The versatility of Ginarte” (by

Ginarte) with Filippo Sisti, Bar Owner of Talea, Milan.


Saturday, May 11 Soren Krogh, Michetr’s Senior Advisor, will be at Rasputin for the master class  “Michetr’s its all about the whiskey” (by Michter’s).


Saturday, May 11 will also see the celebration for the 100 years of Negroni at Hotel Savoy with Salvatore Calabrese, “The Maestro”, straight from London.


On the same day, at the Sala dei Gigli of Palagio di Parte Guelfa, Religion Sociologist Simona Scotti will present “Spirito&Spirits. Religioni e Lifestyles,a volume that collects the materials of the meeting of the same name organized by AIS – Section of Sociology of Religion, in collaboration with Florence Cocktail Week 2018.


Sunday, May 12 RiEsco a Bere Italiano, the Fair for Italian Liquors, Bitters and Spirits will close the week-long celebrations at Fabbricato Viaggiatori, in Piazza della Stazione 50, where small and larger realities will meet and showcase Italian quality products.


The Tuscany Cocktail Week 2019 Contest and the Young Talent FCW19 Contest will also take place on the same day.

The jury will be composed by: Flavio Angiolillo (Co-Owner Mag Cafè, 1930 Bar, Backdoor43, Barba, and Iter), Babis Kaidalidis (organizer of the Athens Bar Show), David Wondrich (New York bar historian and writer), and journalist Federico De Cesare Viola (Brand Ambassador and Editorial Director for Food&Wine Italia). Moderating the event: Federico Quaranta, Radio and Television Host.

Finally, it will be time for the much-awaited FCW Awards Ceremony, and sponsors will award the winning bartenders and cocktails in the different categories.


Straight from the American Bar at The Savoy in London – 2’ World’s 50 Best Bars 2018 – arrive the Senior bartender Pippa Guy, for the final night shift at Four Seasons Hotel Firenze (by Michter’s).


Adding to this week filled to the brim with events, several restaurants will be organizing a series of themed dinners: every night, at Gurdulù guests can savour a special menu called “Spirito Classico”; Wednesday, May 8 Essenziale will feature “Hops and Chefs, Malts and Bartenders;” and on Thursday, May 9 at Regina Bistecca Tuscan classics will join for “Count Negroni meets Regina Bistecca.”


A number of book presentations and in-depth, themed appointments will complete this already-rich event calendar: Monday, May 6, Federico Bellanca and Marco Gemelli will present the book “Toscana da Bere” at Caffè Concerto Paszkowski. Friday, May 10 at Grand Hotel Cavour it will be the turn of Fulvio Piccinino and his “Amari e Bitter. Storia e produzione dagli speziali ai bartender;” and, on the same day, at Caffè Concerto Paszkowski, Paolo Ponzo will talk about his research on Negroni through the presentation: “Negroni Cocktails by Amedeo Gandiglio.”


Lastly, we designed two fascinating appointments, created specifically for this 2019 edition: the Cocktail Walk, on Tuesday, May 7 and Thursday, May 9, featuring a tour of the cocktail bars taking part in FCW, in collaboration with Le Baccanti; and the Tour of the Historic Cafes on Wednesday, May 8 and Thursday, May 9, in collaboration with Ful Magazine and Ricomincio da Firenze.


Hereby is the complete list stating all the participating cocktail bars and Florentine bartenders, as well as their respective Signature Cocktails.


Cocktail Bar – Bartender – Signature Cocktail


Bitter Bar, Cristian Guitti – Brancamente me ne infischio

Cafè 19.26, Simone Zangirolami – Faites vos jeux

Ditta Artigianale Oltrarno, Ginevra Gabbrielli and Simone Zaccheddu – Il mondo dal Conte

Gilli 1733, Luca Picchi – Hippy Negroni

Gurdulù, Cristina Bini – DownTown

La Menangere, Luca Manni – Un Casto Negroni

Locale, Matteo Di Ienno and Andrea Fiore – Il Conte Timido

Love Craft, Manuel Petretto – Old but Fashion

Pint of View, Lorenzo Pizzorno – La cura per l’Imperatore

Rasputin, Daniele Cancellara – A New Silk Road



Dome, Lorenzo Gironi and Domenico Varone – Fretta Biscottata

Gesto, Martina Bonci and Mirco Cicchi – Peter in Gesto

Inferno, Italo Mercurio – Alba n’ Florence

MAD – Soul & Spirits, Neri Fantechi – Internazional popolare

Rex, Virginia Ducceschi and Mosé Giordani – Conte di Savoia

Santarosa Bistrot, Davide Nocentini and Maddalena Vannozzi – Diecimila leghe sotto al Conte

Viktoria Lounge Bar, Paolo Marini and Marco Marini – Da ponte a ponte

000 – Student Hotel, Cosimo Tarducci – Around the world



AC Lounge – AC Hotel Firenze by Marriott, Giuseppe Alessandrino – Dolcemente Bitter

Atrium Bar – Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, Edoardo Sandri and Simone Corsini – Negroni Completo

Empireo – Plaza Hotel Lucchesi, Lorenzo Bianco and Eleonora Contessi – Camillo

Garibaldino – Garibaldi Blu Hotel, Massimo Maietto – Il Conte Ritorna

Horto Convento, Cosimo Nigro – Estratti di Negroni

Irene Firenze – Hotel Savoy, Denis Giuliani – InfusioNegroni

La Terrazza Rooftop Bar – Continentale Hotel, Diego Rampietti – il Moro

Le Pool Bar – Villa Cora, Mirò Abdel Rahmam – Dolce Amaro

Picteau Cocktail Bar – Hotel Lungarno, Marco Colonnelli and Vincenzo Civita – Il Conte di Picche

The Cloister – Belmomd Villa San Michele, Lorenzo Aiosa – Ada

The Fusion Bar&Restaurant – Gallery Hotel Art, Sacha Mecocci – A Negroni Story

Winter Garden Bar – The St. Regis Florence, Christian Pampo – American Boulevard


William Grant & Sons’ UK Brand Ambassadors are back with ‘Unwrapped’ Tour


Following the hugely successful launch last year, William Grant & Sons’ UK Brand Ambassador team are taking their industry-leading initiative – Unwrapped: The Other Side of Bartending – to a further three cities in 2019: Bristol, Manchester and London.

‘Unwrapped’ is an initiative exclusively for the UK hospitality industry, focused on a series of Brand Ambassador-led talks, designed to provide the On-Trade with key insights, knowledge and skills to enrich their careers and personal growth. Discussions range from ‘How to find the courage to be happy’ to ‘The power of storytelling’.

This year the team will continue touring the UK, bringing ‘Unwrapped’ to even more members of the On-Trade. The 2019 series will be kicking off in Bristol on 25th March, followed by Manchester on 13th May, finally hitting London in November.

Last year’s launch event in Edinburgh received an overwhelmingly positive response, attracting in excess of 120 attendees and raising more than £2,000 for SANE.

Sam Baxendale, Owner/Operator at KIN Bar, who attended the 2018 Edinburgh launch event, said:

“It was an extremely enjoyable and enlightening day of socialising and education. I found it different to other training/brand events as there was little to no “mixology” talk. The subjects discussed were those close at heart to each Brand Ambassador. I feel this makes the relevance of Unwrapped more widespread and inclusive to the whole hospitality industry, and not just those focused on cocktails.”

Fabiano Latham, Reyka Vodka UK Brand Ambassador, comments:

“Following the great feedback we received after our ‘Unwrapped’ launch event, the entire Brand Ambassador team are thrilled to be visiting even more cities and engaging more bartenders. Through this initiative we can reach like-minded individuals, share our passion and provide today’s bartenders with tools and advice to best equip them for success in this amazing industry – something which is really close to all of our hearts.”



Arrival for guests


Intro 5mins


Power of story telling


Be your worlds best bartender


The courage to be happy








How to train your nose


Secrets to opening your own bar


How to be newsworthy


Keeping good spirits with good spirits


Adventurivity & ending speech.


Activation begins


Activation ends.

Patrón’s Cocktails with a Conscience

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This Earth Day, Patrón engages consumers to rethink their cocktails by mixing creativity and sustainability. Showing how to repurpose kitchen leftovers to create quirky concoctions at home, Patrón invites consumers to join Cocktails with a Conscience at The Conduit, the newest Mayfair’s members’ club with a social and environmental purpose.

The ticketed event takes place on the venue’s fifth floor which will be the backdrop to an exclusive sustainable cocktail masterclass followed by an equally sustainable three-course dinner by an equally sustainable three-course dinner designed by the venue’s executive chef Merlin Labron-Johnson paired with Patrón drinks featuring leftovers from the preparation of each dish.

Created exclusively for the evening by The Conduit’s bar operations manager, award-winning mixologist Walter Pintus – the cocktails will offer great inspiration for those consumers who enjoy experimenting in the kitchen with a touch of ethos. From producing a flavoursome saline coffee infusion of blended coffee grounds with salt and water, to creating a blood orange sherbet from leftover squeezed oranges and peels, the evening will showcase how to transform leftovers into beautiful ingredients to mix with Patrón.

Patrón’s Cocktails with a Conscience

Wednesday 24th April 7-10,30pm

The Conduit, 5th floor, 40 Conduit St, Mayfair, London W1S 2YQ

Tickets go on sale on 8th April on Eventbrite, priced at £55 each (includes welcome drink and canapés, cocktail masterclass, three-course dinner and paired cocktails)


It’s Officially Time to Say Yes Way to Rosé

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Spring has officially sprung! With the weather getting warmer, there’s no better time to freshen up your go to cocktails with something new!

Whether you’re enjoying the warm weather and a Smirnoff Ice Raspberry Peach Bellini Pop during a picnic with your beau or sipping on some chilled Smirnoff Seltzer Raspberry Rosé Frosé on a rooftop with your besties, Smirnoff have you covered.

Raspberry Peach Bellini Pops (Serves 10)

6 ounces Smirnoff Ice Raspberry
8 ounces fresh peach puree
5 ounces Champagne
8 ounces fresh raspberry puree
.527 oz alcohol per pop

Directions: Mix peach puree with champagne and pour into the bottom of 8 ice pop molds. Freeze until solid. Mix raspberry puree with Smirnoff Ice Raspberry and pour on top of the peach layer. Freeze until solid. Could also make multiple layers.

Raspberry Rose Frose-1009

Raspberry Rosé Frosé (serves 2)

2 cans (24 ounces) Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer Raspberry Rosé
12 oz frozen raspberries
1/4 – 1/2 cup (taste test along the way) granulated sugar
.5 oz lemon juice
Lemon peel and slice for garnish

Directions: Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into wine glasses and garnish with lemon peel.

Emily Says . . . . ‘Portobello’

Portobello Road

In her fifteenth feature under ‘Emily Says . . .’, the voice to the Manchester bar scene in Emily Puckering heads for a walk down Portobello Road;

So it turns out I haven’t exactly stuck to my previous promise of leaning away from the gin; it’s just too bloody difficult! So here’s another quick little blog about another one of my favourite gins: Portobello Road.

Portobello Road has dominated the gin scene for quite some time now, and it was five years ago when it all began at no. 171 Portobello Road; the address of Portobello Star, a cocktail bar in Notting Hill. Conveniently, the bar contained a Ginstitute on the second floor that specialised in all things gin. Taking full advantage of this, bartender Jake Burger and proprietor Ged Feltham spent nine months experimenting with different botanicals and flavours until they whipped up the perfect recipe.

Nine botanicals make Portobello Road what it is, and that includes juniper berries, coriander seeds, angelica root, orris root, lemon and orange peel, liquorice root, cassia bark and nutmeg. With the base being an English wheat neutral spirit, Portobello Road is truly a classic London dry gin, alongside its ABV of 42%.

With it being created by a bartender, one would generally have high hopes for Portobello, and I can guarantee it isn’t one that disappoints. On the nose, an elegant and floral aroma is instantly apparent with delicate notes of citrus; clearly from the orange and lemon peel added in the distillation.

As one would expect from a London dry gin, the first taste is initially very juniper heavy. Subtle spices are also present, as would be predicted from a London dry, but the citrus notes take centre stage in the overall tasting experience. The floral notes are left in the nose, which I personally think is a beautiful little addition without giving the gin too much of an overwhelming drinking experience: little is more, remember!

The perfect serve for Portobello Road London dry gin is simply over ice with an Indian tonic (or London Essence Grapefruit and Rosemary tonic if you fancy) and a twist of grapefruit zest.

Keep your eyes peeled for the Portobello Road Navy Strength gin, with a punchy ABV of 57.1%, this little addition is definitely the one for those stronger gin lovers.

Photo Credit: Portobello Road

Monkey Shoulder Mixes it up in Manchester and Liverpool

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Monkey Shoulder, the 100% malt whisky made for mixing, is heading North this spring on a mission to drive advocacy with the on-trade through exciting brand collaborations and initiatives, as well as connecting drinkers with playful and mischievous experiences. Never one to play by the rules, the brand will be inspiring bartenders and consumers across both Manchester and Liverpool to with a series of high energy bar takeovers, an interactive paint balloon experience, and refreshing cocktails served from its 12-foot, 11,000 litre Mixer Truck.

The fun begins this month in Manchester (15th – 16th April), followed by Liverpool (17th – 21st April), where the newly launched Monkey Shoulder Breakdown Service is set to support bartenders during dreaded task of breaking down the bar – making it a whole lot easier and much more fun. Hot on the heels of its success across the capital during the London Coffee Festival, The Breakdown Service team will be on call between midnight and 3am, bringing with them Monkey Shoulder Lazy Old Fashioneds & Boilermakers, as well as snacks to refuel.

Joe Harper, Assistant Bars Manager at The Savoy commented: “The Monkey Shoulder Breakdown Service was a unique and wonderful way to give something back to the team; they really appreciated a helping hand and definitely gained a morale boost!”

To get involved, bar teams simply need to text or call 07981 869996 to book in their breakdown service. The Monkey Shoulder team will be handing out business cards to bars across both cities.

John Wayte, Monkey Shoulder UK Brand Ambassador comments:

“We can’t wait bring all the our Monkey Shoulder energy to the streets of Manchester and Liverpool, from our epic Mixer Truck to our interactive paint balloon experience. We’re particularly excited for the North to take advantage of The Breakdown Service, allowing some of the legendary bar teams we love and respect to put their feet up and have a drink on us. It’s our chance to say thank you for all their hard work!”

Here is what’s on the Monkey Shoulder menu this April:

Shake yo’ Monkey

We are rolling into town. Rolling into town with an 11,000 litre giant cocktail Mixer Truck that is. Look out for the 12-foot, Monkey Shoulder Mixer Truck parking up at Spinningfields in Manchester and Liverpool’s Baltic Market. With its DJ booth, t-shirt cannon and cocktails on-tap you can shake your monkey to no end. Cocktails on offer include: The Lazy Old Fashioned, Monkey Mojito, Ape Spritz, Show me the Monkey. In Liverpool, there will also be an exclusive serve from William Grant & Sons UK 1887 Collective member, Jake O’Brien Murphy, who is launching his new local bar, Present Company – coming soon.

Swing by our Mixer Truck at:

Spinningfields, Manchester, Monday 15th and Tuesday 16th, 12 – 8pm
Baltic Market, Liverpool, Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st, 12 – 8pm

Coming to a bar near YOU!

Monkey Shoulder will be taking over Baltic Market in Liverpool over Easter Weekend, kitting it out in head to toe Monkey. Expect DJs, arcade games, a Monkey Shoulder vending machine and half price Monkey Shoulder cocktails all night long.

Head down to: Baltic Market, Liverpool, Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st April

The good kind of S.W.A.T.

Special guests, the Monkey Shoulder S.W.A.T. team – a group of fun time vigilantes – will be popping up at some legendary local spots to ramp up the party with great tunes and free (*ooooooh free stuff*) whisky cocktails and Monkey Shoulder t-shirts.

Look out for the S.W.A.T team: (Further locations being added all the time)


Tuesday 16th April: Night & Day


Wednesday 17th April: Pattersons
Thursday 18th April: Some Place, Zanzibar and Peacocks
Friday 19th April: McGuffies, Pattersons
Sunday 21st April: Castle Street Townhouse and Alma De Cuba

The Tea Trolley (we promise we won’t serve you a builders)

The notorious roaming Monkey Shoulder Tea Trolleys – pimped out drinks trolleys kitted out with DJ decks – will be spinning tracks and handing out free cocktails – including the Lazy Old Fashioned, Show me the Monkey and Ginger Monkey – at bars including B@One and Revolution in both Manchester and Liverpool.

Get messy with Monkey

One giant billboard. Hundreds of paint-filled balloons. And a splash of messy Monkey mischief. Get ready for the world’s messiest advert, brought to you by Monkey Shoulder. Come down to Liverpool’s Ropewalks Square, grab yourself a paint bomb and chuck it at our 16-foot billboard to reveal a hidden Monkey message. It’s going to get messy.

Come join us: Friday 19th and Saturday 20th April, 3-8pm, Ropewalks Square off Bold Street, Liverpool

All activities will only be available to adults aged 18+ and all participants are encouraged to drink responsibly.

ShopTalk Shakes Things Up For Chase Cocktail Contest And Festival


Chase Distillery launches its cocktail competition, Chase Cup, in line with this year’s Rock the Farm music festival, with a new brand identity by London design agency ShopTalk.

The website has just gone live, and mixologists from all over the world are being invited to submit cocktail creations that celebrate Chase Distillery’s single-estate potato vodkas and botanical-rich gins. The final showdown will take place during the festival, which is being held at Chase Distillery’s family-run potato farm in Herefordshire on 3rd and 4th June.

Chase brand guardian ShopTalk was asked to develop an identity that would celebrate the family, the farm and the spirits – and give bartenders and drinks industry professionals an opportunity to get to know, love and appreciate the brand ‘from the ground up’.

Unearthing brands

The Chase family has farmed potatoes in Herefordshire for generations. Father and son, William and James Chase, wanted the festival and its new branding to bring to life Chase’s earthy field-to-bottle production values and artisanal spirit.

The ShopTalk team responded to the challenge with a craft-inspired identity that places the potato at the very heart of the brand. Alongside the identity, ShopTalk created a bespoke typeface, Spud Sans, which celebrates the potato and is completely ownable by Chase.

The new font was developed using old-fashioned potato-printing techniques, before being refined digitally. The resulting alphabet has a truly homespun feel but is clean and clear-cut, so it can be used effectively across event and directional signage.

Cultivating success

James Wood, ShopTalk’s Co-founder and Creative Director, says: “At Chase Distillery, everything starts with the humble spud, so we felt it was important that the new brand and identity did too. We took inspiration from the stencilled potato crates, jute sacks and enamelled signs that can be found all over Chase Farm, and devised a unique typeface using potato carving.”

The main logos for Rock the Farm and Chase Cup are in a serif font to achieve stand-out, but have been given the potato-print texture to maintain brand cohesion, and Spud Sans appears on posters, lanyards, digital platforms, promotional material and wayfaring signage. Collages on promotional posters introduce British iconography, including the Union Flag, as well as images of musicians, mixologists and potato plants, bringing together all of the festival’s essential ingredients.

James adds: “Having previously created the brand and packaging for Chase Potato Vodka, we had already established that Chase is nostalgic and proudly British, with a strong sense of integrity, so it was important that the additional collateral communicated all that to Rock the Farm festival visitors, too.”

James Chase, the distillery’s Head Ambassador, says: “The new identity really gets across that Chase is a from-scratch, home-grown operation. It conveys so much complex messaging but in a simple, unadulterated fashion. We’re confident that ShopTalk’s work will communicate very effectively who we are as a business to all the festival-goers.”

COYA Partners With Bacardi To Launch Bespoke Cocktail Menu

Coya Cocktails-7

COYA Mayfair, the modern Latin American restaurant and its award-winning bar team, led by John Toader, Assistant Bar Manager, have partnered with Bacardi’s Facundo Rum to introduce an exotic new drinks menu, celebrating the relaunch of their new terrace and the stunning gardens of Ecuador.

The menu launches at the end of November and the selection of cocktails have been created with the rich fauna of Ecuador in mind. The flavours centre around the nature of an Ecuadorian garden in which you can discover an array of tropical birds. Each drink is named after a bird and the menu details a fact that makes the bird and the cocktail unique.

Guests are offered the experience and a biology lesson at the same time in the menu. The presentation of the drinks is kept simple in order to focus on the ingredients, flavour and concept which is complimented by the foliage on the COYA terrace.

The first cocktail in the quartet is the Toco Toucan which was made with the tropics in mind and contains Facundo Neo rum, sweet pineapple, bitters, citrus, spicy pepper, vanilla, tea, milk and zingy ginger, encompassing a light and bitter long drink.

The next is the Capuchinibird which is a savory mix of Facundo Eximo, milky coconut, tonka and a special exotic sauce. A lighter choice is the Scarlet-Banded Barbet which is a herbal cocncoction containing Facundo Exquisito, Chartreuse, zesty lime, a cola reduction and finished with sesame.

For those wanting something extra special, the Waved Albartross is a delicious dark, aged rum drink with Facundo Paradiso, sugar cane and chocolate bitters.

Guests are also welcome to try the bespoke selection of Bacardi rums by themselves in order to get the full experience of the delicious spirits.

For full details of the drinks menu visit : www.coyarestaurant.com

William Grant & Sons Appoints Alex Walker As Glenfiddich National Brand Ambassador


Independent family distillers, William Grant & Sons UK has confirmed that former Artesian bartender, Alex Walker, has taken on the role of National Brand Ambassador for Glenfiddich, with immediate effect.

Alex’s new role will see him focus on elevating brand awareness and understanding, by bringing to life Glenfiddich’s experimental nature; and bridging communications between the brand and whisky drinkers, bars & restaurants, retailers and press.

Alex takes over from Stephen Rutherford, who previously held the role as Glenfiddich National Brand Ambassador, up until last year when he took on the position of Glenfiddich UK Brand Manager.

Stephen Rutherford, Glenfiddich UK Brand Manager said: “Alex has proved himself to be an exceptional candidate and a passionate whisky enthusiast, ticking all of the boxes for the role. He is a welcome addition to the team and I look forward to working with him to drive Glenfiddich’s brand advocacy forward with the exciting upcoming projects we have lined up.”

Alex said: “I am extremely excited to be joining the William Grant & Sons UK family. It is a huge honour and privilege to work for a brand that represents over 130 years of history, heritage, and experimentation. I can’t wait to be part of this journey and help craft future success for Glenfiddich!”

Iconic Shoreditch Bar Callooh Callay Gears Up To Launch New Haynes Manual-Inspired Menu


Hot on the heels of its 10th anniversary celebrations, Shoreditch favourite Callooh Callay will launch its annual menu update next month. Known for its award-winning creative menus which add a playful twist to nostalgic designs, Callooh’s 2019 menu reimagines the iconic vintage Haynes car manuals of the 1980s as a guide to building the world’s best cocktail bar.

Curated by Callooh Callay founder Richard Wynne and his bar team and sticking closely to the distinct Haynes manual layout and design; the new informative menu, entitled The Cocktail Bar Manual, opens with a contents page listing the 26 new cocktails, all of which have been inspired by nine different stages of developing a bar from scratch. Sections include “The Plan”, “The Location”, “The Team” and “Keeping a Clear Head”, which is entirely dedicated to alcohol-free cocktails.

Submissions from every member of the bar team reflect Callooh Callay’s journey, since Wynne opened the doors on Shoreditch’s Rivington Street during the financial crash of 2008. For example, listed under “The Plan”, Nan’s Orchard is a smooth blend of Apple Cider Brandy, El Gobernador Pisco, Noilly Prat, Ginger Cordial, Lemon, Apple Pie Syrup, Citrus, Ginger Ale, which pays homage to Wynne’s grandmother, who provided the initial nest egg to get Callooh off the ground.

Reflecting the demand for grown-up non-alcoholic options amongst Callooh’s clientele, the new menu also features a kombucha of the week, made in house, and stylish hangover free versions of classic tipples, including the Pina con Nada, a refreshing blend of coconut cream, pineapple lime and salt and the All Flora no Dora with ginger cordial, lime, fresh raspberries and ginger ale

Callooh’s tradition for playful presentation extends to “The Build” section. The Builders Breakfast, a rum based concoction laced with tea syrup, is served in a builders mug for individual portions or a sharing flask whilst Jabberwocky Milk, with Tanquerey gin, lemon, marshmallow syrup, egg white, cream and soda is served in a miniature paint tin.

For those wanting to learn more about their drink’s backstory, drinkers will be able to scroll through dedicated pages of the manual menu for each serve, whilst imbibers with a certain craving can flick to the index of ingredients to find the perfect drink for them.

A year in the making, Callooh Callay Founder Richard Wynne said of the new menu:

“We’ve created some really fun and interactive menus over the years, and I’m hugely grateful to all the work the team who have put in a massive effort to make the Haynes manual-inspired creative a reality. They were huge when I was a kid, and I love anything with a bit of nostalgic retro value.

We’ve really dug deep into our experiences over the last 10 years to bring it together, starting with the seed money my grandma generously gave me to start the venture, so the finished menu is one of the most personal to me.

I strongly believe that the most important aspect of any bar is the team, and I’m proud to say that our new menu includes at least one drink from every one of our current bar team. The result is a wonderfully varied offering reflecting their individual backgrounds and tastes – from kombucha to sherbert – and a top-notch selection of non-alcoholic cocktails too. We’re now excited to see what our customers think about the Haynes-inspired menu, and introducing an awesome line-up of new drinks at Callooh Callay…”

The Cocktail Bar Manual will be available Wednesday 10th April 2019 with a seasonal refresh set to launch later this year.