Bars around the UK are getting ready to join a global celebration for the return of Old Fashioned Week in November.
After the success of its first year, the organisers intend to double the impact for 2017, covering the most high-profile cities for cocktails in the UK and around the world.
An “embassy” of top spirits experts will help to inspire bars to come up with innovative, original, premium and daringly different spins on an Old Fashioned to run on menus from November 2 to 11. The UK’s ambassador is leading rum expert Peter Holland of TheFloatingRumShack.
Bars are invited to participate by registering by October 20 online at www.old-fashioned-week.com.
Old Fashioned Week will target over 600 bars globally in 2017, confidently aiming to increase to 1,000 bars in 2018. The idea was created by Michael Landart of popular neighbourhood bar Maria Loca in Paris and rum enthusiast Cyrille Hugon.
For 2017, it has six partners internationally: Angostura Bitters, Havana Club rum, Altos tequila (for US activities), JM Agricole Rhum from Martinique, Monkey Shoulder scotch whisky and Wild Turkey bourbon.
Participating bars will need to serve Old Fashioneds using at least two of the partner brands but, beyond that, they can freely use their other regular listed spirits. Recipes can be controversial so gin is not out of the question.
Bars can organise special events and promotions, which can be publicised via Old Fashioned Week’s website and its social media channels such as @OldFWeek on Twitter.
Cyrille said: “For 2017 we are really getting out there, with a confident plan to involve even more high-quality bars, bartenders, and even drinks shops.
“Old Fashioned Week is a celebration of cocktail heritage and bartenders’ skills, and also encourages fresh thinking, innovation, and convivial drinking.
“Our OFW ambassadors are well known to bars in their country zones, and above all, they are as enthusiastic as we are about drinking an Old Fashioned made to perfection. Our mission is also to help the bars attract customers and maximise their cocktail sales.
“In the recent couple of years, many bars which started as rum or whisky bars have become fashionable, classic drinking destinations in their cities.
“In the same way, the Old Fashioned has become a cocktail which is forever stylish and has certainly expanded in popularity thanks to the evolution of these bars.”