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UKBG’s European Quality Food and Drink Celebration in Edinburgh


THE UK Bartenders Guild has announced a host of activities aimed at raising awareness of European quality products and the Mediterranean ritual of aperitivo with British bartenders and consumers. 

The programme, delivered by the Guild, together with the beneficiaries of the Mediterranean Aperitivo Programme (MAP), champions quality European food and drink producers whilst aiming to educate and engage the UK’s hospitality professionals about this age-old lifestyle.

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The campaign heads to Edinburgh’s award-winning bar Hey Palu on October 4th with a masterclass hosted by Elon Soddu of London’s Amaro Bar. Elon will take attendees on a journey to learn about the simple joy of the time-honoured ritual of the Mediterranean aperitivo. 

The masterclass will showcase unique ingredients sourced from Italy and Greece to demonstrate the quality of European produce and the perfect moment of consumption to enjoy them. The masterclasses will include tastings of Vermouth di Torino PGI, Pecorino Toscano PDO, PGI Costa d’Amalfi Lemon and Olives from Greece.

Register for the free masterclass here.

The Mediterranean Aperitivo Programme (MAP) is a project that sees the participation of European food and drink producers dedicated to communicating the various benefits of a Mediterranean lifestyle and the ritual of drinking an aperitivo to consumers and hospitality professionals in three target countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States.

The programme of masterclasses and events around the UK began in September in London with further classes taking place in Southampton, Leeds and Edinburgh. They are open for all UKBG members to register for and attend and are completely free to join. They include tastings, demonstrations and networking opportunities. Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis however members can still attend the sessions via a live stream if all on-site places have been allocated. Membership to the UKBG is free via the website

Mediterranean Aperitivo Week will follow, and is due to take place throughout the UK between 23rd and 29th October. A consumer awareness campaign, the week is designed to highlight European-quality products through the ritual of an aperitivo, which began as a social phenomenon to end one’s work day and begin the evening. To this day, aperitivo is still an integral part of Mediterranean culture. 

Partner venues who participate in Mediterranean Aperitivo Week will receive complimentary stock and are asked to create a signature serve to promote throughout the week to visitors. 

Among the products included, Vermouth di Torino PGI is world-renowned for the tradition and history of its production; an aromatised wine created in the 18th century at the foot of the Alps. 

The Consorzio del Vermouth di Torino is the ruler of the world’s most important Vermouth, the oldest and the only one with a protected designation of origin. Based in Turin, Italy, the consortium aims to promote and protect the traditional production methods and quality standards of Vermouth from the region.

Pecorino Toscano PDO is considered one of the best Italian specialty foods; produced exclusively with whole sheep’s milk from the region of Tuscany. 

The Consortium of Pecorino Toscano PDO is dedicated to the upholding of the tradition and quality of this Tuscan cheese. Its main objective is to safeguard the authenticity and geographical origin of Pecorino Toscano PDO. Through strict regulations and rigorous inspections, the Consortium ensures that each wheel is crafted following time-honoured methods and using local sheep’s milk. 

This dedication to excellence and preservation of heritage has earned Pecorino Toscano PDO worldwide recognition and admiration from cheese connoisseurs and culinary enthusiasts alike.

Costa d’Amalfi Lemons PGI are defined by their intense aroma, a tapered shape, a juicy pulp and almost no seeds. Today, about 100,000 tonnes are harvested every year – with each and every one hand-picked. 

OP Costieragrumi De Riso represents the Costa d’Amalfi PGI Lemon. The area of the Amalfi Coast, recognized by Unesco as a World Heritage Site, includes the hanging gardens that stretch from the sea to the slopes of the Lattari mountains.

The cooperative was established to give a voice to many small producers by helping to market lemons, providing phytosanitary assistance, and establishing a Product Specification. Doing so allowed everyone to follow the same rules regarding fertilisation resulting in a genuine product which is unique thanks to its edible peel.

Lastly, the olives are grown in Greece. Recognised worldwide for their quality, given by specific climatic and territorial characteristics, their natural, balanced taste and good texture can be attributed to the simplicity of their production. 

The Agri-food Partnership of the Region of Western Greece is a non-profit company whose members include public and private sector stakeholders. Its cluster consists of about 100 partners. The main partner is the Region of Western Greece, who owns 49% of the shares and chairs the Board of Directors.

This network of the agri-food chain in Western Greece tries to support communities, so they can produce heritage varieties, and, therefore, the Agri-Food Partnership is the Region of Western Greece main tool to promote the agricultural products in national and international markets. 

The chosen charity partner for the project this year is The Drinks Trust. The Drinks Trust is a charity dedicated to the drinks and hospitality workforce. It strives to empower our industry people through services designed to assist financially, restore well-being and develop skills, and to do so with compassion and respect. 

In doing so, The Drinks Trust seeks to create an equitable industry where opportunities to thrive are open to all.

£1 from every Mediterranean Aperitivo drink served during Mediterranean Aperitivo Week will be donated to The Drinks Trust.

For more information, or to nominate your venue to take part in Mediterranean Aperitivo Week, please contact Adamo Varbaro at

Claudia Carrozzi, president of the UKBG, said; “We are excited to be partnering with the Mediterranean Aperitivo Programme on this exciting project. Aperitivo is growing in popularity across the UK and with this campaign we hope to bring alive just why to our members.  

“We are dedicated to education and training across the industry and hope to provide bartenders and restaurateurs with the knowledge they need to provide authentic aperitivo that their customers will love alongside the story behind the rituals to help to educate and engage them on a deeper level.”

Roberto Bava, President of Consorzio del Vermouth di Torino, stated “We are pleased to collaborate with UKBG in order to spread the word of Mediterranean Aperitivo in the UK. 

“Europe plays a key role in safeguarding the quality of its products and the four products that are a part of the Mediterranean Aperitivo campaign are a genuine example of quality. 

“Bartenders, trade professionals and consumers all over the UK will have the chance to discover traditions behind olive grooving, the history and peculiarities of Pecorino Toscano and the unique scent of the “sfusato” from Amalfi. Of course, everything will be paired with Vermouth di Torino, an agricultural product with a century-long history, the real king of the aperitivo.”

The UK Bartenders Guild (UKBG) is one of the leading professional associations for the bar and hospitality sector.  It is one of the UK’s longest running trade guilds and renowned for its integrity and distinction, is rebranding, with the intention of becoming the leader in future thinking within the hospitality sector. 

Focusing on the three main principles: community, education and value, the UKBG works with industry leaders and members alike, in order to form the UK’s most revered platform for bartenders and brands.  

The guild was founded in 1934 by industry professionals from some of London’s finest venues, the Guild set out to be a trade association of mutual benefit, to provide training, assistance with employment, as well as set industry standards and chair cocktail competitions. It went on to become a founding member of the International Bartenders Association, which continues to represent bartenders all over the world. 

To find out more please visit   

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