The drinking man's exhibition

23 January 2004 by
The drinking man's exhibition

The pub and bar sector will be well catered for at this year's Hotelympia (23-27 February at London's ExCel). As well as the usual line-up of drinks suppliers exhibiting the latest in alcoholic beverages, Bar Scene - a drinks-specific feature - will provide practical demonstrations on how to add excitement when serving customers.

A raft of activities, hosted by the UK Bartenders' Guild (UKBK) and featuring top bartenders, mixologists and blenders, will take place over the five-day event, with demos designed to promote professional bar skills and the use of quality products.

Each day, teams of bartenders will be demonstrating how to make, mix and present cocktails using new and intriguing combinations of ingredients (all available on exhibitors' stands at Hotelympia).

Special appearances will be made by Brian Page of Barconsult, who will explain how to make the perfect cocktail; Peter Dorelli, formerly head bartender at the American Bar at London's Savoy; Salvatore Calabrese (known in the business as the "daddy of cocktails") of the Lanesborough, London; and Andrea Rinaldi, a professional sommelier and wine expert.

Other participants include Steve Relic and his team from the Lanesborough; UKBG vice-president Daniel Crebesse; Zoran Peric and Ignazio Arrui of Sofitel St James, London; Frederic Tartas and his team from the Savoy; and Tom Peric of the Real Mix Company.

Every morning and afternoon, teams of trainers, headed up by Marco Canova and his team from the Windows Bar at the London Hilton, will be giving displays on both working and competition "flairing" (the bartender's art of showmanship) - from the basics to advanced skills. There will also be special appearances from flair competitors who recently took part in world finals in Seville.

Companies already involved with Bar Scene include the Bottlegreen Drinks Company, which will use the dedicated feature to communicate how its range of award-winning soft drinks can also be used to mix and blend with premium spirits.

Demonstrations and tastings will take place throughout the week to promote the role of Bottlegreen cordials in a wide range of cocktails. Stiffy's Shots will highlight its selection of shots and accompanying point-of-sale kits, while the American Beverage Company will present a range of more than 70 flavour shots that are new to the UK.

Bar Excellence

Also new to this year's show is Bar Excellence, a competition that will recognise the best drinks products on show at Hotelympia.The competition will see bartenders demonstrate new products, while a panel of sommeliers, journalists, UKBG bartenders and marketing experts from the drinks industry judge the best on offer. Products will be rated on taste, packaging and the marketing message.

The judging panel will comprise: Fiona Sims, drinks editor of Caterer & Hotelkeeper; Peter Dorelli, formerly head bartender at the American Bar of the Savoy, London; Tony Oscroft, marketing manager of the UK Bartenders' Guild/brand ambassador for Chabot Armagnac; and Andrea Rinaldi, professional sommelier at wine supplier La Ceneva.

Entries will be judged in camera on the Tuesday morning of the show using an exhaustive range of criteria including nose, taste and bottle appeal.

Winners across the six categories - wine, spirits, beers, alcoholic mixers, non-alcoholic mixers and shot - will be announced that day at 1.30pm at Bar Scene, Stand S4450.

Hotelympia 2004

  • Dates: Monday 23 to Friday 27 February 2004

  • Venue: ExCel, London Docklands

  • Opening times: 9.30am to 5.30pm (except Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)

  • To register: telephone 0870 4294644 or visit:

  • Nearest transport link: Custom House (Docklands Light Railway); Custom House (Silverlink rail service); Canning Town (Jubilee Line Underground).

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