I was lucky enough to be commissioned by the kind folks at Bacchus PR to shoot for Diageo, a giant of the drinks industry. I was gaining press & pr materials for their annual World Class bar tending competition. For those new to World Class, this is the Oscars of bar tending, the World Cup Final if you will. Bartender's have been competing for month's and then a lucky winner from each region to battle it out to win the title of World Class Global Champion.
As part of this they launched a luxurious pop up in a four storey townhouse in Fitzrovia which I have the pleasure of both shooting, enjoying the cocktails of and trying out one or two of the unique experiences inside.
This slick blue room had the feeling of a private members club. It was in fact the home of Haig Club; a blended whisky launched by David Beckham and Simon Fuller. Haig has been around for some time, but Haig Club is a brand new blend. They were serving some interesting cocktails, the highlight being the New Old Fashioned.
This is the World Class Hub, the first room you reach when entering the house. You will find out what's going on where and get the opportunity to try a couple of Diageo signature's from across their brands. There was a fantastic basil-ey martini made with their own Ketel-One vodka which definitely out fought a bitter raspberry fizz made with dry white whine, tonic water and raspberries.
Tanqueray No.TEN Martini Cocktail Bar
Welcome to the glamour and sophistication of the Art Deco era where you can try ten unique Martinis.
Below is the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Screening Room – exclusive screenings of Johnnie Walker Blue Label’s new short film starring Jude Law, called The Gentleman’s Wager. Directed by Jake Scott (Son of Ridley), this was a very accomplished ad. The bizarre premise of Jude Law winning a yacht from a rival by performing a dance sequence is far fetched, but the whole thing looked great. The room also had a presentation of the whisky and a discussion on how to drink spirits. Blended whisky isn't my thing, but it was still a drink in the cinema, i've had worse days.
This is the Zacapa experience – a fully immersive journey where guests will experience the story of Zacapa through all five senses followed by a tasting created by a guest chef. Ok it's drinking rum, eating truffles and watching a film. This is all while wearing headphones and wearing headphones. Did I mention you're in the rainforest-ish. Cool - but not the highlight of the tour.
Don Julio is an amazing Tequila and this was for me the best room & best cocktail in the townhouse. First you enter a mexican travel agents, completely decorated with destination posters, suitcases and cactuses. Ok none of that really makes sense, I imagine mexico's equivalent of Thomas Cook isn't quite as much fun as this but still - it's all the fun of the show. Once in the estate agents you have to make a call on the vintage telephone to be allowed through to La Cantina, a fantastic Mexican Tequila bar. You enter this through a beautifully lit alleyway with another event in which you can buy gin from a wall dispenser shaped like an egyptian cat.
The bar itself was a neon hive of activity. A DJ was playing some mariachi tunes and the barman made us a couple of cocktails. La Primavera was a wonder, a cucumber infused tequila delight. Something about the combination really did it for and it was exactly how tequila was meant to be enjoyed - not a horrible salt, lemon shot as we may have known it at college.
There was simply too much going on to cover everything. I've missed the Ketel-One Bloody Mary workshop as well as their sonic tastings. I've not shown the Alex & James room where we were taught about the subtle nuances of Martini making. It was a pleasure working with the team at Bacchus and Diageo and I look forward to the next one.