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Coming soon: A cocktail week in Seoul

Nomad in Seoul. Photo: Nomad's Facebook page.

September 11 to 17 – here’s how you can get involved. By Natasha Hong.

Call it a coming of age – Seoul’s getting a bar week this year to celebrate, elevate and promote the surge of cocktail culture in city, and in these early days of putting a program together, they’re looking for collaborators. Held from September 11 to 17, organiser Bob Louison of bartending consultancy, Spirit It, is looking to pencil in guest shifts, workshops, masterclasses and cocktail-paired dinners to celebrate the occasion.

To date, he’s got a steadily growing list of participating bars, restaurants, brands and personalities signed on to take part. Local bars hopping onto the calendar to run events include White Bar, B28, Bar D.Still, Nomad, Louison’s own Bob’s Speakeasy, and more. Also confirmed is an agave-appreciative Tequila Village event, which will host Hong Kong’s Sandeep Hathiramani and his team from Brickhouse, who’ll be present to share about tequila and mezcal. The Village will also host tequila and cocktail tastings, Mexican grub stands by restaurant-bars like Vatos Urban Tacos, and masterclasses.

The week will also be marked by a series of guest shifts by international bar talents like Michter’s global brand ambassador John Ng, Jakarta’s Kiki Moka (Loewy), Masahiko Endo (Mizunara The Library, Hong Kong) and Matt Solario from Stookey’s in San Francisco.

The goal of the week, says Louison, is to not only promote bar culture and Korea’s bar talents to their local consumers, or help educate punters on products. Louison’s got bigger picture goals too. “I’m trying to get recognition for the Korean bar scene from the rest of the world,” he explains. “A lot of things are happening in our scene now that people don’t know about, and I hope this event will help trigger an interest for Korean bars and bartenders in the region. Maybe it can even attract international talent to work here, or for people to look for talents here to hire elsewhere. In a few years, I hope it’ll lead to the growing of a more valuable industry, with more diversity of talent, concepts and venues in Korea.”

To learn more about this cocktail week in Seoul, and to take part, email Bob Louison at bob.louison@spirit-it.org.

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