Designed for drinking: London Fashion Week

More than 5,000 people will be descending on the catwalks of London this month for London Fashion Week, and bartenders have been designing their own collections – for drinking rather than wearing. From The Roof Gardens in Kensington to 45 Park Lane, they have drawn inspiration from fashion designers to create unique new cocktails. Continue reading

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Spotlight on Edinburgh: pop-up bars and pirates

As if Edinburgh didn’t already have enough great bars, this August has brought more pop-up bars than ever to the Scottish capital to tie in with the festivals, including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. You could enjoy a taste of Italy at the Aperol Spritz Bar or mix up a Cuban cocktail at the Mojito Embassy or just sit back with a Scottish gin and tonic. Continue reading

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Going for gold: Olympics cocktails

Corinthia GoldIn the build-up to the Olympics, bars and pubs were being warned by the organisers at Locog to avoid any mention of the Games. So no writing “Watch the games here” on a chalkboard or adding Going For Gold Cocktails to the menu. Fortunately, it looks like trading standards’ so-called “brand police” have been too busy watching Team GB win gold medals over the past week, and many bars have come up with special cocktails to celebrate the Games and Team GB. Continue reading

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Height of good taste: Galvin at Windows

With its views of London from the 28th floor of the London Hilton Park Lane hotel, the bar at Galvin at Windows has become a destination in its own right after being opened alongside the main restaurant five years ago. Its success has led Chris and Jeff Galvin to invest £500,000 in updating the look and layout of the bar to support an increased focus on cocktails and premium spirits. Continue reading

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Greece academy: a visit to House of Metaxa

Samos vineyardsDating back to 1888, Metaxa is one of the world’s leading spirit brands, big in countries such as Austria, Germany, Poland and its native Greece. But in the UK, it is little known and, for most people, remembered only as a spirit from sunny holidays. But with three million Britons travelling each year to Greece, the UK is an untapped area for growth, says Panos Sarantopoulos, chief executive of the House of Metaxa, based in Athens. “Metaxa has grown organically, almost accidentally, over the years, and our UK sales are very few. In the UK, the field is wide open.” Continue reading

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Royal service: cocktail ideas for the Diamond Jubilee

Beefeater Jubilee Punch

With the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee kicking off a summer of celebration in Britain, bars have a great opportunity to attract customers and drive sales. Many drinks companies have come up with special jubilee serves for toasting the Queen, from Bénédictine and Chambord to Monin and Midori, while royal-themed serves can be found at bars such as Portobello Star, Mark’s Bar at Hix, Archer Street, Dukes bar, the Trafalgar Hotel’s Vista bar and The Bar at the Dorchester. Leading bartenders such as Nick Strangeway and Dre Masso have also been working with Beefeater gin on some patriotic summer serves (pictured). Continue reading

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New York times: new bars in Manhattan and Brooklyn

Maison Premiere

Maison Premiere

Most visitors to New York City stick to Manhattan where some of the world’s best bars can be found, from the five-star hotels of Midtown to the speakeasies of the East Village. But for cocktail lovers, it is becoming essential to head east or south to the borough of Brooklyn on the other side of the East River. In April’s Time Out New York Food & Drink Awards, not only the winner of best cocktails but one of the three runners-up were in Brooklyn, reflecting the growing number of great bars and restaurants opening on the back of the area’s increasing affluence. Continue reading

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