🇵🇹 Sun, Fun and Education at Lisbon Bar Show
Recently, someone asked me why I actually go to bar shows, even though I am “only” a cocktail lover. I am a very well educated cocktail enthusiast and bar shows are the best way to educate myself. It is not only about bars and drinks, it is about the spirit, the history, the local products, the whole experience and to keep up to date with the latest trends. The only thing I don’t like about it is the daylight 😉
This year I decided to visit Lisbon for the Bar Show. It is a 2 day event and was held from 16th to 17th May 2017 at the beautiful Convent of Beato António. It is one of the most important events for the beverage industry to celebrate the cocktail culture in Portugal, this year for the 4th time. Fine drinking is currently undergoing a renaissance. Many new bars have opened and global networking has become an important factor. Around 4,000 visitors were present last year.
The theme of this year’s event was Italian Products. So, it wasn’t surprising that many Vermouth and Bitters were presented as well as new and established products from all around the world. The charming atmosphere of the convent offered enough space to stroll around without any hassle. Some international speakers had been invited to talk about new techniques, trends and industry news. I really enjoyed the talk by Leonardo Leuci and Antonio Parlapiano from the Jerry Thomas Project in Rome about the real history of Italian mixing culture. Leonardo is a great speaker. His message was clear: Rely on your taste and not on recipes. Recipes are static, tastes and preferences change over the years.
Furthermore, I attended the presentations by Francois Monti about Bianco Vermouth, the origin of the Italian Aperitif & Evolution of Campari Bitter by Mauro Mahjoub, listened to the story from Mace to Danico by Nico de Soto and Thibault Méquignon, tried to understand the idea of simplicity of Tony Conigliaro that appeared more complicated to me and finally had a lot of fun with Ian Burrells performance if Tiki was inspired by Italy. The weather surprised me at 30 degrees and so it was hard to concentrate on the other seminars and workshops.
The bar show ended with the awards for best cocktail, best bar, best bar team, best bar menu, best bartender and so on. Find more details at Facebook
As I mentioned earlier, education is the main reason to visit bar shows. I had sun, fun and education in a familiar atmosphere. The 4th edition brought together the best cocktails and professionals in the field, both Portuguese and from abroad. With its hills, winding alleys and Art Nouveau buildings, Lisbon has an inimitable atmosphere. There are excellent wines, the famous port wine, and Ginjinha portuguesa, a mild liqueur made from sour cherries.
It is a city made for connoisseurs and the right place to enjoy a relaxed bar show.