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  • Gemma D.

Coming soon! The Art of Drinks Festival 2023!

2 years ago the Netherlands was introduced to a new festival dedicated to spirits! The Art of Drinks burst onto the scene after a year of Corona postponed the original event. In preparation for this year’s edition, let me tell you a little about the event to get you in the mood!

A few years ago, Albert van Beeck Calkoen (Mister Cocktail himself) and Luuk Olde Monnikhof (Commercial Director at De Monnik Dranken) embarked on a mission to turn passion for drinks into an extraordinary festival known as the Art of Drinks Festival. This October, it's back, and it's happening at the iconic Gashouder in Amsterdam. The idea behind this event was to create an inspiring platform for beverages, both in the form of an event and a trade fair.

2021 vs. 2022: What a transformation!

I found myself at the event in 2021, oddly enough, on a Monday morning. It wasn't the consumer day, which was scheduled for Saturday. But this turned out to be an advantage because it gave me ample time to chat with the exhibitors, delve deeper into the whiskies I was tasting, and discover new faces. Think Gordon Dallas from Glengoyne, Ian O’Brian from Waterford, Valentijn from Douglas Laing, and many more names I continued to encounter in the following years.

In 2022, I was once again in attendance, and I noticed some exciting changes. The event's setup, decor, food, and entertainment had all received a little makeover. It had transformed into an immersive experience, where entertainment and enjoyment took center stage.

The 2023 edition:

Thanks to the transformation from 2021 to 2022, I'm incredibly curious about what will unfold this year. We still see the return of the tastings, masterclasses, and a stunning collection of every type of spirit imaginable. Of course, there's a strong foundation of whisky, but you can also explore everything in between, from vodka to rum, and from gin to mezcal. It's an opportunity to enrich yourself.

“Proefpaspoort” a.k.a. Tasting passports

For a small additional fee, you can buy yourself a “Proefpaspoort”, a passport that opens the doors for you to sample Premium, Premium Plus, and Ultra Premium products at different stands! With each passport, you'll get a roadmap to guide you through the various stands, helping you discover new flavors and products you might never have encountered otherwise.

Seminars & Tastings:

The latest edition also brings a few new elements. Have you always been fascinated by mezcal? This is your chance for a deep dive into the world of this smoky spirit. You'll spend three-quarters of an hour discovering everything that makes mezcal... well, mezcal.

And if you're thinking, "Seminars? That sounds too intense..." Don't worry. Fortunately, these aren't like school lectures; they're more like tastings than masterclasses. It's a friendly gathering where you explore new flavors and have a chance to chat with the people behind the stands. That's what makes it so special—you get to know the people behind the drinks, what drives them, and why they do what they do.

Cocktails! Cocktails! Cocktails!

Because the Art of Drinks isn't just only about straight drinks, there will be bartenders shaking up the tastiest cocktails. Whether it's a cocktail with gin, rum, or whisky, prepare to be surprised by something you may have never tasted before. Unfortunately, you can't step behind the bar yourself, but it's the ultimate place to gather inspiration for your home bar.

Who can you expect to see?

Perhaps the question should be: who won't be there? Discover some of the big names like Tamdhu, Loch Lomond, Glen Scotia, Waterford, Starward, Filliers, and Kavalan. But also Diplomatico Rum, Edinburgh Gin, The Kyoto Distillery, Don Merejo Pisco, and Godet Cognac. And this is just a small selection.

There's plenty of time to immerse yourself in the brands, chat with people about what lies behind the drinks, and meet the makers of these brands in person. Get inspired by the brand ambassadors, master blenders, or the owners at the stands.

Why should you be there?

If everything I've mentioned hasn't convinced you yet, here it is again:

  • An incredible collection of spirits to discover.

  • Unique spirits you might want to learn more about.

  • Delicious cocktails.

  • Masterclasses.

  • Tasting passports to dive into unique flavors.

  • A silent disco!

  • Simply a delightful, fun-filled day.

So…. will I see you there?

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