Alongside 18 exhibitors, nine Wellington bars and 12 local and international speakers, festivalgoers got into the spirit of New Zealand’s first cocktail festival by sampling more than 60 spirits from 22 brands
Mixologists and bartenders from all over the world came together to serve up a range of cocktails in a myriad of creative ways for Wellington's Highball Cocktail Festival. From sampling Trinidad's national cocktail, to learning all about the science of smoke, attendees spent time amongst the best of the best on the cocktail scene.
Calem Chadwick, brand ambassador for Johnnie Walker talks about Johnnie Walker and the Science of Smoke
And it wasn’t just the samplers learning the tricks of the trade. During the festival, the Highball Apprentice Programme was launched, in which young, up-and-coming bartenders/talent came to Highball for exposure to international and local talent, and gained an education from the best in the industry.
Sarah Meikle, chief executive of Wellington Culinary Events Trust (organisers of Highball, Beervana and Visa Wellington On a Plate), said she was thrilled with how Highball went in its first year.
"New Zealand’s first cocktail and spirits festival proved itself to be fun, educational and a great day out!” she said.
"Feedback from attendees, international speakers and exhibitors has been overwhelmingly positive, and we’re continuing to receive great comments.”
The next Highball event will be taking place on May 8-9, 2020.
"We’ve proved the Highball concept is a world-class, unique event that can attract the best to Wellington, and we’re very excited by what the future holds.
"It’s the perfect way to recognise and celebrate New Zealand's cocktail and spirits industry, the talent within it, and also offer something new and exciting for the public to get behind.”
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