Bars are planning a rum celebration today (July 31) – to mark Black Tot Day. Cellar Trends has provided special back-bar display kits for Pusser’s Rum for marking the anniversary of the day when the Royal Navy stopped rum rations in 1970. Participating venues include Revolucion de Cuba rum bars and Trader Vic’s, Mahiki, Cottons …

Team GB triumphed at last night’s international Spirited Awards at Tales of the Cocktail, with bars and bartenders from the UK taking six of the trophies. At a ceremony in New Orleans, the Artesian Bar at London’s Langham Hotel and its head bartender Alex Kratena picked up two awards – world’s best hotel bar and …

Leading bar operator Novus Leisure is set for expansion nationally after being sold to investment companies Hutton Collins Partners and LGV Capital. The deal, worth £100million, will fund acquisitions both in London and in other cities in the UK, expanding the 52-strong estate that is mainly in the capital but also includes the national Tiger …

Orchid Group has brought in another leading operator, Eclectic Clubs & Bars, to run 33 of its venues including The Living Room chain. Eclectic has entered into a management contract with Orchid’s PBR Leisure business to run the bars, nightclubs and restaurants. It comprises 14 sites operating as The Living Room and another 19 that …

A “cult” drink from Italy, made by blending wine with herbs, is being introduced into the UK through importer Laško Beer UK. Originale De Martin Sprizzerò, which is already popular in mainland Europe, is made according to a 1934 recipe developed by Edoardo De Martin, blending top-quality Italian wine, aromatic herbs and natural flavourings. Originally …

A new range of tequilas was launched last night by The Tequila Society with events across Liverpool, led by tequila ambassador and TV celebrity Cleo Rocos. The 100 per cent agave AquaRiva tequilas have been developed by Cleo with master blender Carlos Perez, particularly with bartenders in mind. The AquaRiva Bar range features a blanco, …

Bloodshot, a new spirit for making a Bloody Mary, has been added to the portfolio of drinks distributor Hi-Spirits. The company has formed a partnership with Little Devil Spices which officially launched the product in February this year. Bloodshot Bloody Vodka Spirit is a premium, artisan blend of grain spirit produced from British wheat, combined …

Fifteen beers from the UK have been declared as among the best in the world in the annual International Beer Challenge. Kent’s Chapel Down vineyard won a gold medal for its Curious Brew premium lager. It uses East Anglian malt, saaz and cascade hops and then re-ferments the lager using the same champagne yeast that …

Cocktail consumption is set to grow by over 10 per cent in the next two years, according to new research analysis on the drinks market by First Drinks. Its annual Market Report reveals that 76 per cent of on-trade outlets reports that sales of cocktails were steady or increased year on year. The report also …

The costs of operating a bar or pub in the UK have stabilised for the first time in five years, according to an annual study from the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR). Its industry Benchmarking Report shows that, for the second year in a row, the average cost of running an average bar or …