NYC hosts first British-focused spirits show

24 October, 2018

Manhattan is hosting its first British Spirits and Sparkling Wine Week to increase awareness and drive sales of UK products in New York City.

The first British Spirits and Sparkling Wine Week, which runs from 22 – 28 October 2018, is designed to inspire buyers, influencers and New Yorkers to invest in British brands available in the market. 

UK-produced drinks available in New York City will be showcased during the week through immersive events, brand collaborations and the Great British Cocktail Competition.

The week-long programme is led by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Department of International Trade’s (DIT) Food is Great campaign, in partnership with the Wine and Spirits Trade Association.

Defra’s food minister David Rutley said: “America continues to be a growing market for us and its consumers have an increasing interest in our whiskies, gins and sparkling wines – gin exports alone have risen by £49m in the last four years.”

The Great British Cocktail Competition saw the involvement of UK gin brands – including Berry Bros & Rudd, The Botanist, East London Liquor Company, Whitley Neill and Cotswold Gin Company – who each put forward New York bartenders to create a cocktail including one British ingredient alongside the gin.

Five finalists then presented their cocktails to a judging panel comprised of British bartender Tom Lasher-Walker; spirits and cocktail writer, Kara Newman and Punch editor-in-chief Talia Baiocchi.

Tim Harris from the Manhattan Cricket Club won first place for his cocktail, Tea & Sympathy which contained: Berry Bros & Rudd No. 3 gin, English Lavender, Crème du violet, lemon and Lady Grey tea.  

Harris said: “I was last in the UK about 15 years ago, when I was very much on a backpacker’s budget, so to get the chance to return and experience the booming drinks industry I’ve been hearing so much about – I can’t wait.”

In just ten years, global demand for UK food and drink has grown nearly a third and last year British exports were worth over £22bn. The Food is Great campaign – the government’s most ambitious international, promotional campaign to date – aims to increase this by £2.9bn by 2020.

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