Events

Drinking Through 2019 – Spirit Festivals

Whatever your tipple there’s an event for you. You can choose anything between educational events with seminars or fun festivals with live music; all these events have a great range of brands and products. Some festivals can be spirits-specific, others have a little bit (or a lot!) of everything. Basically, you are spoiled for choice!

Gin

The Great British Gin Festival (UK wide)

Hosted in various locations. They’ll have over 100 gins to sample from around the world. Enjoy many talks and presentations from producers and industry experts, live music throughout the day and token-operated cocktail bar.

The Gin to My Tonic (UK wide, incl. Manchester, London, Brighton…)

Over 100 gins to sample, masterclasses, workshops and live entertainment at each festival. A real party atmosphere. You will also receive goodies such as a tote bag, Copa glass, gin explorer guide, stainless-steel straw and more.

gin to my tonic

Copenhagen Gin Festival 15-17 Feb (Copenhagen)

The venue is located right in the centre of Copenhagen. This year there will be 71 gin stands, snacks and a range of tonics.

True OriGins Gin Festival 29 March (Edinburgh)

This festival celebrates Scottish gins. Discover over 70 gins selected for their story and style. Last year they came all the way to London, so let’s hope there will be another one later on in the year.

Oak aged gin

Gin Experience 12-13 April (Dublin)

Gin Experience is Ireland’s biggest gin event. Tickets are €40, but you get to sip and sample a range of gins, pair them with foods, join masterclasses and drink gin cocktails.

Gin Festival Amsterdam 18 May (Amsterdam)

Details TBC

True OriGins Gin Festival 31 May (Glasgow)

+ a few other dates in Scotland.

Juniper Festival 31 May – 2 June (Edinburgh)

Juniper Festival hosts over 150 gin brands from around the world. You get to meet the makers, take part in masterclasses and to enjoy delicious street food. With so many samples available, it is a good idea to split the tasting over two or three days.

Junipalooza 8-9 June (London)

Junipalooza will take place at Tobacco Dock once again to celebrate World Gin Day. There will be a section for newbie gins, a chance to meet the makers and over 200 gins to sample from over 60 distilleries. I recommend you split your tasting over two days and take notes as your memory may be a bit fuzzy after hours of gin sampling.

Sussex Gin Festival 13 Jul (Haywards Heath)

Sussex Gin Fest is an outdoor festival hosted at the beautiful Borde Hill Garden in Haywards Heath. The festival celebrates the wide variety of Sussex gins. Sample all the gins with local artisan food. A truly wonderful day out!

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The Gin Fayre 3 Aug (Edinburgh)

Celebrate International Scottish Gin Day in a beautiful venue (Mansfield Traquair) in Edinburgh. The opening of Edinburgh Fringe Festival is also on the same weekend. Early bird tickets to the Gin Fayre are on sale now for £17.

Gin & Rum Festival 23-25 Aug (London + other locations)

Discover 60 gins and 60 rums with experts guiding you through the blends and flavours. There will be talks and masterclasses hosted by gin and rum producers, live entertainment and seven themed bars.

The Gin Day 8-9 Sept (Milan)

You can expect over 100 gin brands, many masterclasses and talks, street food and gin cocktails. This year’s details are yet to be confirmed.

hendricks-gin

Whisky

The Whisky Show – Old & Rare 23-24 Feb (Glasgow)

Learn about fine, rare and antique single malts and spirits. You can try these drams from £1.

Spirit of Scotland 2-3 March (Rome)

Rome’s whisky festival celebrates whisky with a range of tastings, cocktails, masterclasses, seminars and cigars. They cover over 2,000 bottlings. Tickets are only 10 euros and the event goes on till 11pm!

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Whisky Live 29-30 March (London)

Hosted at a historic 18th-century mansion set in a six-acre garden. There will be producers from all four corners of the globe showcasing their unique whiskies. Tickets will include a two-course meal and entry to Gin Live, which will be hosted on the same day. Additional tickets for VIP events are also available.

Spirit of Brussels – European Whisky Festival 6 April (Brussels)

At this first edition of Spirit of Brussels you can taste more than 500 whiskies and other premium spirits. There will be live music, food and a lot of good whisky chat.

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 1-6 May

The festival is celebrating its 20th year. The programme includes over 500 whisky-inspired events, including distillery tours, tastings, talks, whisky auctions, outdoor activities, ceilidhs, dinners, music and much more!

Strathisla

The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show 28-29 Sept (London)

The Whisky Show brings together distillers and whisky lovers. The show covers over 600 whiskies from around the world, whisky cocktails, masterclasses and talks. There will also be a rum zone.

Rum

Think Rum 29 Jan (London)

Expect specialist rum workshops, debates and a chance to sample new rums.

Rum & Reggae Festival 13 April (Bristol)

+ other dates in London, Birmingham etc.

Taste rare and special craft rums from the West Indies, Cuba, South America and the United States. Enjoy carnival dancers, steel drum performances and other artists as well as traditional Jamaican food. Order any rums to be delivered to your home.

rum and reggae

The Rum Festival 7-8 June (Glasgow)

+ other locations (Newcastle, Kent etc.)

Explore over 100 rums, sip cocktails, do some dancing and enjoy the music from the house band. Drink tokens will be needed to taste rums and rum drinks.

The Gin & Rum Festival 23-25 Aug (London + other locations)

Discover 60 gins and 60 rums, with experts guiding you through the blends and flavours. There will be talks and masterclasses hosted by gin and rum producers, live entertainment and seven themed bars. Check the website for locations near you.

German Rum Festival 31 Aug – 01 Sept (Berlin)

Learn more about the latest rum trends and products, enjoy offers and tastings of your chosen rums.

The Rum Festival 27-28 Sept (Edinburgh)

Explore over 100 rums, sip cocktails, do some dancing and enjoy the music from the house band. Drink tokens will be needed to taste rums and rum drinks.

Show Rum 13-14 Oct (Rome)

Hundreds of rums and cachaça, masterclasses, seminars and cocktails. A great way to learn more about sugarcane spirits.

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The Rum Fest 19-20 Oct (London)

Premium rum festival with over 400 rums to sip. Take part in masterclasses or chat with the world’s top rum aficionados.

Cocktails

Cocktails in the City 4-6 Apr (London)

A two-day cocktail celebration where 25 of the city’s great bars compete to be awarded the title of Best Bar. Expect various pop-up bars with different styles. This year guests can enjoy tasting flights, bar battles, champagne cocktails, tastings and other fun stuff.

Cocktails in the City 03-04 May (Edinburgh)

Edinburgh’s best cocktail bars join forces for two days. With stage demonstrations, masterclasses, DJs, yummy food and special cocktails, this is a great event to go to with friends.

+ other locations

Brighton Cocktail Week 1-9 Jun (Brighton)

Special cocktail menus in various bars, masterclasses and other cocktail-related events around Brighton. Details TBC.

London Cocktail Week 4-13 Oct (London)

The biggest celebration of London’s vibrant cocktail scene. This year marks ten years for London Cocktail Week, therefore the event has been extended to ten days. The ticket will allow you to enjoy discounted cocktails in 300 of London’s best bars, pop-ups and parties and free entry to the Cocktail Village.

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Other

Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fair 14-16 March (Dublin)

Ireland’s largest craft brews event. Sample beers, ciders and spirits, whilst enjoying live music and good food.

Vinitaly 7-10 April (Verona)

Vinitaly is a huge fair with over 4000 companies and 16k+ wines. However, it is not all about wine as the fair also cover a great number of spirit brands from gin to whisky to pisco and more. Tickets are expensive (€85), but I guess it goes in line with the size of the event.

Imbibe Live 1-2 July (London)

Expect anything from soft drinks to spirits to glassware and bar equipment. Two days of talks, masterclasses and guided tastings. The event is huge, so come prepared and keep water handy!

Spirits and More TBC (Rome)

The event will cover everything from soft drinks to beer and spirits. Last year’s event was cancelled, but I am hoping this year they will get everything organised… (Italians…)

Boutique Bar Show TBC Oct (London)

Great atmosphere – just chat away with the distillers whilst sampling all their wonderful products.

bbs

Tequila & Mezcal Fest TBC Oct (London)

Hosted together with the Boutique Bar Show at the same venue. Learn more about agave spirits and sample over 200 products. Expect strong Mexican vibes, live music and delicious food and cocktails.

tequila-fest

Bar Convent 7-9 Oct (Berlin)

This is one of the leading international trade shows for the bar and beverage industry. Expect anything from soft drinks to hard liquor to glassware and bar equipment. Brands and visitors all travel to this event from around the world. Two days of entertainment, informative discussions, seminars from top industry experts, tastings and much more, all run with professional German efficiency!

Bar Show TBC Nov (Athens)

Athens Bar Show is an annual education expo for bartenders and bar professionals. Sample over 500 products, get inspired and attend a huge range of seminars and talks. Great place to connect with like-minded industry professionals.

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Which drink-related events are you taking part in this year?

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2 comments

  1. There are some good ones in Ireland. Alltech Craft Drinks Festival March 14th – 16th Dublin, Gin Experience 12-13th April Dublin are a couple coming up. We’ll have our meads there

    1. Thanks for letting me know. I’m in Ireland in April but unfortunately not during the gin event!

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