London, 10th July 2023 – Following three successful years, The House of Suntory has announced its prestigious DOJO advocacy programme will this year expand to engage 100 bartenders in three leading hospitality hubs in the UK. In the brand’s centenary year, the programme will host masterclasses in Manchester and Edinburgh, in addition to London, as part of its mission to deepen bartenders’ understanding of the philosophies behind the art of Japanese bartending.
The expansion of the programme this year will, for the first time, enable bartenders in three of the UK’s leading hospitality hubs to learn about Japanese bartending and gain insights directly from Japanese Craft Masters and hospitality industry leaders, which can be applied to strengthen any hospitality career.
Devised as an immersive experience for bartenders, this year’s programme will be led by The House of Suntory UK Brand Ambassador Raffaele Di Monaco alongside authentic Japanese Masters of Craft and will consist of two ‘tours’ in July and September. Each tour will feature two “Monozukuri Masterclasses”, with 25 bartenders in each city – Monozukuri being one of the three pillars of The House of Suntory, referring to the traditional Japanese principles of craftsmanship. To help deepen understanding of the brand’s portfolio, each masterclass tour will focus on two of its four core brands; the first tour on Roku gin and Haku vodka, followed by Toki and Hibiki whiskies in the second.
Inspired by the concept of Kaizen – “continual improvement” – the programme includes a ‘Kaizen Challenge’ to encourage participants to hone their newfound skills by applying them to a classic cocktail and rewards best practice with the chance to win a place at the DOJO Finale in November. This final stage will see the four bartenders from each city present their Kaizen Classic to judges James Bowker, The House of Suntory’s Global Advocacy Manager, and famed Bar Master Hidetsugu Ueno of Bar High Five in Tokyo, for the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Japan in Spring 2024.
With community a key part of the DOJO programme, in October, 12 DOJO Finalists will also be invited to two community events to immerse them in Japanese culture with sessions on Japanese knife sharpening and a Kanpai Sake Brewery tour. As part of the brand’s ongoing commitment to fostering the bartending community, there will also be several Japanese inspired DOJO mini events in London locations throughout the year.
Raffaele di Monaco, UK Brand Ambassador for the House of Suntory, said: “The Japanese approach to bartending is unlike anything else. From the laser focus on detail, to embracing omotenashi (to wholeheartedly look after guests) and monozukuri (craftsmanship and striving towards perfection), the collective approach elevates bartending to an artform. Through the DOJO programme, we hope to bring these principles to the fore, and help bartenders enhance their repertoires as well as being able to offer unparalleled drink and hospitality experiences for their customers.”
THE DOJO PROGRAMME – MONOZUKURI MASTERCLASS TOURS
Each DOJO Masterclass is carefully curated around four Japanese crafts. From sushi making and Ikebana, to Dashi blending and Chadō – also known as Japanese Tea Ceremony – the sessions will be hosted by a specialist Japanese Master, providing bartenders with a rich understanding of Japanese artistry first hand.
Tour 1 – July 2023
Tour 2 – September 2023
For more information on DOJO, please visit www.suntorydojo.com
London – 22 May 2022, Edrington UK, the UK’s number one whisky and cognac supplier, will launch a podcast series – The Stillhouse Podcast – hosted by UK spirits expert, Becky Paskin. Featuring guest appearances from key figures at the heart of the drinks and hospitality industry, listeners can expect engaging conversations centred around the value and opportunities of the dark spirits category.
Grounded in insight from Edrington UK’s 2025 Category Vision, the podcast will not only shine a light on the category but also aim to inspire growth through conversations around consumers, serves and occasions.
The Stillhouse Podcast will initially feature nine episodes based on the nine growth drivers identified in Edrington UK’s Category Vision. Each episode provides a forum for education and conversation around growing this category through more people, more often and for more. Whether this is through attracting new consumers, inspiring discovery and experimentation, or extending repertoires, each episode will unearth how and why key occasions and moments act as a driver of opportunity for dark spirits. The podcast will also provide digestible advice and tips from those at the coalface, to inspire businesses across the on- and off-trade.
The first two episodes in the series will be available from 22nd May and will welcome Jamie Campbell (Brugal UK Brand Ambassador) and Lauren Anderson – Smedley (Drinks Experience Trainer and Host from Waitrose & Partners), as well as Anna Sebastian (Hospitality Consultant) and David Miles (Senior Whisky Ambassador, Edrington UK). Becky will bring the experts together to discuss ‘On My Terms’, how to empower consumers to drink dark spirits however they like it, encouraging exploration and experimentation. Whereas ‘Me Moment’ is an episode all about how dark spirits can tap into consumer desires for smaller, more regular moments of indulgence.
Fiona Alder, Head of Portfolio and Planning at Edrington UK, says:
“We’re excited to be launching The Stillhouse Podcast in partnership with Becky Paskin, who has a wealth of category knowledge and is passionate about making dark spirits accessible to all. At Edrington UK, we continue to invest heavily in understanding consumers, shoppers, and customers. Our aim is to support businesses across the on and off-trade to unlock the dark spirits category by showcasing the opportunities for incremental category value. As leaders in the dark spirit category, we wanted to be the ones to ignite and be at the centre of the dark spirit conversation; launching our Category Vision as a podcast series is the perfect format for this.”
Dark spirit expert and host of The Stillhouse Podcast, Becky Paskin says:
“Over recent years, we have seen consumers rapidly adapt to discover varied and new ways to enjoy dark spirits in and out-of-home and it’s time to take a deep dive into what’s driving this and how we can drive this further value.
“I’m delighted that Edrington UK asked me to host The Stillhouse Podcast – a platform, or home as you will, to shine a light on the category and create a welcoming space for real conversations with industry leaders.”
Insights shared in the podcast will be led by Edrington UK’s newly developed Category Vision – a framework grounded in insight from each consumption moment. It brings together the results from a bespoke ‘usage and attitudes’ consumer survey, combined with extensive research and insights from the UK’s leading dark spirits experts.
The first episode of The Stillhouse Podcast will be available to download from Spotify and Itunes and will go live on 22nd May. Follow @thestillhousepodcast to keep up to date with The Stillhouse Podcast and its upcoming episodes.
Built with the hospitality community in mind, the DOJO programme will immerse bartenders in the art of Japanese bartending through culturally immersive and educational sessions
London, 5th May 2022 – The House of Suntory has announced the return of its highly successful advocacy programme for the third year running, set to educate bartenders on their premium portfolio of Japanese premium sprits: Roku gin, Haku vodka and Toki and Hibiki whiskies. Kicking off in June 2022, the DOJO programme aims to deepen bartenders’ understanding of the philosophies behind the art of Japanese bartending.
The DOJO Academy and DOJO Senpai together form the full programme for DOJO this year. The DOJO Academy will provide 50 bartenders with insights from Japanese Craft Masters which can be applied to strengthen any hospitality career. Authentic Japanese Masters of Craft will host four modules over two “Monozukuri Masterclasses” in July and September, led by James Bowker, House of Suntory’s Brand Ambassador, which will immerse bartenders the craftsmanship, techniques and culture of bartending in Japan.
James and the Masters will also offer 25 bartenders a unique opportunity to take part in the DOJO Senpai program. This separate, elevated program provides bartenders with growth and development opportunities across a six-month period. A Senpai welcome lunch will be held in May 2022 to introduce the program and the House of Suntory spirits portfolio before a series of “Monozukuri Masterclasse”s which will run from June until September.
Each masterclass will take place at Japan House in London and the bespoke Japanese inspired sessions will be centred around the three pillars of House of Suntory: WA (being in harmony with Japanese nature), Monozukuri (traditional Japanese principles of craftsmanship) and Omotenashi (authentic Japanese hospitality). The “Monozukuri Masterclasses” will focus on:
Additionally, inspired by the concept of Kaizen – “continual improvement” – participants will apply this concept via Kaizen Challenges over the duration of the summer. This will involve participants showcasing their newfound skills and applying them to a classic cocktail, selected prior to the first masterclass.
As part of this challenge, those who demonstrate the art of refinement and continuous improvement during the masterclasses will be invited to the DOJO Finale, taking place in November. The finale will bring together finalists from the DOJO Academy and DOJO Senpai programmes to take part in one last competition, hosted by James Bowker and famed Bar Master Hidetsugu Ueno of Bar High Five in Tokyo. At the end of the Masterclass, the group will present their Kaizen Classic to Hidetsugu Ueno, James Bowker and peers, with two lucky bartenders winning a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Japan.
Throughout the year there will also be several Japanese inspired DOJO mini events held in different London locations, including Japanese tea tasting and a Kanpai sake brewery tour.
Commenting on the return of DOJO for the third year running, James Bowker, Brand Ambassador for the House of Suntory, said: “We’re extremely delighted to bring back DOJO for a third year, and this time, we’re back in person after two years of virtual sessions. Japanese food and drink remain the UK’s fastest growing sector in hospitality (CGA Report 2021) and following a challenging period in our industry, the programme aims to motivate bartenders through incomparable experiences and authentic Japanese bar training.
Those taking part will develop new ways to bring creativity to the art of Japanese bartending and gain unique insights into creating better guest experiences. I am really looking forward to welcoming the future DOJO ambassadors to our close-knit, yet growing community.”
For more information on DOJO, please visit www.suntorydojo.com
September 2021, London // Bowmore® Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky will introduce a new collection of aged and rare vintages available in the UK at the start of 2022. The new launches, perfect for collectors, drinkers, and investors alike; showcase some of the rarest whiskies from the iconic Bowmore distillery and bring a totally new aged expression to the global portfolio.
The collection includes the last in the highly successful 50-year-old vaults series, the highly desired Bowmore 1969, as well as the exclusive 2021 releases of Bowmore 30-year-old and Bowmore 40-year-old.
For over 240 years, Bowmore Distillery has been capturing the essence of Islay from the shores of its remote island home. Shaped by time, the single malts harness this in every single drop which tell a story of the past, savoured in the present. Each vintage single malt is defined, shaped, and crafted by time.
David Turner, Bowmore Distillery Manager, comments: “These exquisite, aged and rare launches are a credit to the Bowmore portfolio and continue to drive our desire to produce highly revered products. We have been able to showcase how vital time is to each individual vintage, how time spent in casks shape and influences each spirit, making it even more characterful. Each release tells the rich stories of Bowmore, but importantly have their own unique style and character.”
Bowmore 1969 | 46.9% abv | A rarity of the 1960s
The final launch in the 50-year-old vaults series, Bowmore 1969 follows in the footsteps of the successful 1965, 1966 and 1964 releases. An extremely rare single malt, Bowmore 1969 has been meticulously nurtured over five decades. During this lengthy union between spirit and oak, a defining character has emerged, becoming increasingly richer as fruit and smoke flavours remain constant. The taste is almost undefinable; an enigma of flavours which have shaped Bowmore’s legacy, defining the most definitive of decades.
This exceptional limited edition, combining the finest American oak ex-bourbon barrels and hogsheads, unlocks several aromas. Perfectly unifying fragrant and floral notes contrasting with citrus and sweetness to bring rich warmth to this Bowmore single malt whisky.
Bowmore 1969 will retail at £35,000
Bowmore 30-year-old | 45.1% abv | 2021 annual limited release
Bottled in 2000 from vintage 1989 stock, this rare single malt whisky has been carefully nurtured for three decades in the finest Sherry hogsheads and Bourbon barrels. Selected from just two casks each year, this exceptional single malt embodies the last thirty years in the very core of its character.
Bottled at a cask strength of 45.1%, this 30-Year-Old is a celebration of Bowmore’s rich fruity and subtly smoky style. With a burnished gold natural colour, this whisky offers up aromas of ripe apricot, charred pineapple, mango and butterscotch. Whilst on the palate, tropical fruits and honey sweetness unite with subtle peat smoke and hints of eucalyptus, ensuring a warming and lingering finish.
Bowmore 30-year-old will retail at £2,000
Inspired by the art of time and the sea front location of the Bowmore Distillery, the colours and textures of Islay’s ancient stone and bleached driftwood are encompassed within this limited release. Ideal for the collector and investor, this whisky is on a limited run of 159 bottles globally.
Bottled at a cask strength of 48.7%, 40-Year-Old is a deep rich mahogany colour, and offers up aromas of honey, treacle and. exotic fruits combined with beeswax and caramel. On the palate, pipe tobacco and chocolate unite with spices, leather, chestnuts, and pralines giving the whisky a long, lingering, and luxurious finish.
Bowmore 40-year-old will retail at £6,750
All three releases in the ultimate rare collection will be available in the UK from January 2022 in specialist whisky retailers.
As the hospitality industry continues to open back up, Edrington UK and London Cocktail Week will host a series of unique events dedicated to the hospitality industry throughout October.
London, UK., Tuesday 14th September 2021 – Edrington UK has announced a series of unique workshops and events dedicated to the trade across London this October as part of London Cocktail Week. With the hospitality industry continuing to open, the workshops and events have been designed for those working at the forefront of the bar and hospitality industry. The programme will champion the incredible world-class skill at the heart of UK bartending, host training sessions and insights from industry experts, and provide support during what continues to be a tricky time in hospitality.
Tending to the Tenders: Lyaness
This year, Tending to the Tenders will move from Shoreditch to the South Bank, but the message to the trade remains the same – ‘come hang out!’. Maker’s Mark and the team at Lyaness, Sea Containers London, have partnered to create a community space that’s focused on great food, delicious cocktails, wellness, and mental health.
Overlooking the Thames in the heart of the city, Tending to the Tenders will offer a beautiful setting to escape, relax and recharge during this hectic month. And, most importantly, it’s all FREE; the cocktails, the food, the massages, the interactive sessions, the yoga and the cinema nights.
Open every Monday from 12pm to 4pm throughout October, guests are encouraged to swing by to grab some lunch, a drink and a chill at any time. There will also be different activities taking place in the hotel throughout the month which are bookable via the London Cocktail Week website.
Location: Lyaness, 20 Upper Ground, SE1 9PD
Dates: 1st October – 31st October, every Monday 12-4pm
Laphroaig at The Gibson
Since 1815, Laphroaig has cemented its place as one of the world’s most iconic single malts, epitomised by its intensely smoky characteristics and legions of steadfast fans.
Laphroaig’s no.1 fan and all-round whisky specialist, David Miles, will be talking all things Peat, Heat, Sour and Sweet alongside Marian Beke at the world-famous The Gibson bar. Guests will taste delicious Laphroaig drams and cocktails paired with some of the world’s weirdest tropical fruits for an intense and interesting tasting experience.
For the duration of each tasting, Marian will impart knowledge and answer questions about his role heading up this world-famous cocktail bar.
Location: The Gibson, 44 Old Street, EC1V 9AQ
Dates: 1st October – 31st October, every Tuesday 12-2pm
Maker’s Mark x Tayēr + Elementary Workshops
Tayēr + Elementary, a bar of two halves from a world-famous duo, will be joined by Maker’s Mark over the course of London Cocktail Week to provide unique, one-off trade workshops.
Starting with a masterful workshop on Wednesday 6 October, guests will be able to purchase tickets and join the world-renowned bar team at Tayēr + Elementary and Maker’s Mark to introduce how to use the rotary evaporator and learn first-hand how to achieve more delicate flavour profiles and aromas.
The following week, a practical workshop on how to upcycle glassware. This workshop will offer trade tips and tricks on the best way to fix glassware in a mission to reduce waste. For businesses looking to make moves towards becoming more sustainable, this session, hosted on Wednesday 13 October between 1-3pm, is not one to miss.
With an optimistic look ahead for the hospitality industry, during the third week of London Cocktail Week, bartenders are invited to introduce bar economics. From costing to price strategy and bar finances, this insightful workshop is geared towards helping the trade prepare for a normal return.
Rounding off the four-week event, Tayēr + Elementary and Maker’s Mark are offering an introduction to fermentation. With the ability to change and preserve ingredients, this workshop will demonstrate the most common methods used for drinks and showcase how fermentation can transform flavours.
Location: Tayēr + Elementary, 152 Old St, EC1V 9BW
Dates: Wednesday 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th October, 1-3pm
London Cocktail Week is running from Friday 1 – Sunday 31 October.
For more information or tickets, visit londoncocktailweek.com.