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The week in pictures

It’s been another big week for celebs in the booze business.

Let’s start with George Clooney. On Thursday we found out that sale of his Tequila brand, Casamigos, to drinks giant Diageo last year, has made him the highest paid actor of 2018.

Clooney made a cool $239 million in the past 12 months, despite not appearing in a single film, beating second place former wrestler Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, who made $124 million.

Clooney earned more than all top ten actresses combined on Forbes’ annual list. The 57-year-old father of two sold Casamigos, the Tequila brand he co-founded in 2013 with friends Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman, to Diageo for $1 billion last June.

While we’re on the subject of “too much money”, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels director Guy Ritchie is making a comeback….in the hospitality industry. He’s bought a pub in London — The Luckin in Fitzrovia — after it closed down earlier this year.

It isn’t Ritchie’s first venture into life as a landlord. Ritchie bought Mayfair haunt The Punchbowl back in 2008, when he was still married to Madonna. The couple, who lived nearby, divorced in 2008, but Ritchie kept the pub as part of the settlement and continued to socialise there with his actor friends.

It became a favourite of celebs like David and Victoria Beckham, Kevin Spacey and Leo Di Caprio, but Ritchie sold it to Cirrus Inns in 2013.

Put it this way, it’s not going to be an Old Man Pub. The Punchbowl used to sell a fish and chips meal-deal with Krug for £75.

Leaders of the wine-and-Hip-Hop tie-in movement Luc Belaire launched a sparkling rosé on Thursday, and this time rapper Young Thug stepped up to the plate as the official brand ambassador of the new cuvee, Belaire Luxe Rosé

Of his new role, Young Thug said: “I’m a trendsetter, I redefine the rules and I challenge the status quo. That’s what matters to me. Belaire is a brand which speaks to that outlook and that aesthetic.”

Also, rapper and renaissance man Snoop Dog has written a cookbook.

No, really. It’s actually his second.

Called From Crook to Cook, it features 50 of Snoop Dogg’s favourite recipes including baked mac and cheese, chicken and waffles and baby back ribs, and will be organised by meals and occasions while also highlighting some of his entertaining tips.

The book will also feature a recipe for a gin and juice, inspired by Snoop Dogg’s 1993 song of the same name from his debut album Doggystyle.

Speaking of food…

Over in the world of Arbitrary Appreciation Days, Wednesday was National Burger Day, which gave us the perfect excuse to tease you with some frankly NSFW sandwiches.

The K-Pop (photo: Chick ‘n’ Sours)

This absolute unit put the db editorial team in a trance over lunchtime. It’s the K-Pop at Chick ‘n’ Sours, which is so big it’ll give you lockjaw.

Resident gluttony editor Lucy Shaw made it her mission to find the best burgers in the city, and this came in at no. 8.

She said: “The real magic is found in the toppings – a tangy blend of Asian slaw, fiery Gochujang mayo and chilli vinegar.”

You can get it in and around your face for £12.

Right. Stop everything that you’re doing and pay attention. There’s free gin at stake here.

Franklin & Sons has just launched a one-off, gin delivery service today in-time for the bank holiday weekend, and if you comply with their demands, your whole office could get a round of middle-class tinnies for free.

Your workplace could get 300 cans of G&Ts (yes, you read that right. Three. Hundred. Gin and Tonics) to enjoy and send your boss into a giddy-enough mood that they let you all go home at 3.

There’s only 10 offices’ worth of cans though, so expect Hunger Games-grade bedlam on social media today.

To be in with a chance, you must do the following. We have added some social media engagement advice of our own:

  1. Get an Instagram account. Get four, just in-case.
  2. Follow @FranklinandSons. Maybe try unfollowing and following a few times to get their attention (don’t actually do this).
  3. Upload the above photo of the Franklin’s Morris Minor onto your Instagram page with the hashtag #FranklinFriday and your office name
  4. Repeat
  5. Repeat
  6. Repeat

This is not a drill.

Embracing the bald look is no mean feat. I’d certainly need a few drinks to work up the courage to get a buzzcut.

So it was with hipster rum brand Dead Man’s Finger’s, which held a three-day pop-up hairdressers — Skullcuts — in Redchurch street.

You didn’t have to shave your head to get a free drink.

The focus was on craniums, and those who dared to shave their heads were rewarded, or perhaps bribed, with free cocktails.

While barbers took up space on the Shoreditch cocktail strip, London’s bartenders went back to school.

Sommeliers and servers rocked up at the Bloomsbury hotel for Grain to Grape, the first in a series of seminars set up by the guys from Grape times and Moet Hennessy.

Wine consultant Harry Crowther knows that the world of wine can be intimidating for consumers and servers aline. He said Grain to Grape offers bartenders, and other non-wine focused members of the hospitality community, the chance to attend free, wine training sessions in a “safe and comfortable environment.”

“The idea for Grain to Grape came to me about a year ago. I noticed the lack of knowledge and confidence during service at some of London’s (therefore the worlds) best bars. After some research into the trade, I found that 85% of London based bartenders receive wine training twice a year or less.

“Grain to grape aims to bring informal, relaxed training sessions to members of that community and are, of course, free-to-attend.”

There was also Champagne. The next sessions are as follows:-

  • Vol.3 Vineyard and Winemaking, September 18, 1pm-3pm, 68 & Boston, Soho, London
  • Vol.4  The Old World, October 9, 12pm-2pm,  The Bloomsbury Club Bar, Bloomsbury, London
  • Vol.5 The New World, October 30, 12pm-2pm, The Bloomsbury Club Bar, Bloomsbury, London

Email for more information on attending.

Sandro got a little trigger-happy with the selfies…(Photo: Bottega)

This week, in Alright for Some, the one and only Sandro Bottega, founder of the eponymous Prosecco brand, flew out to the Seychelles to celebrate the first birthday of the company’s beach bar on the archipelago.

Situated at the Hilton on Silhouette Island, Seychelles, Sandro’s bar had something else to celebrate; selling its 3000th bottle of Bottega Gold.

During the day, Bottega’s local partner, ISPC, organised a wine tasting on a catamaran; the guests were then accompanied to the Bottega Prosecco Beach Bar to attend a dinner party.

You know those nights when you just know it’s going to be a big one?

This was one of those. Our invite must’ve been lost in the post…

Sandro and Co. drank more Prosecco, of course.

And then a few spritzes…

Oh, one more won’t hurt.

Then the guests hit the dancefloor.

No captions necessary, tbh.

Sandro, we salute you!

Speaking of adrenaline, the guys from Czech beer brand Budweiser Budvar teamed up with motorcycle manufacturer Bolt just completed an “epic” road trip from London to Budvar HQ in the Czech Republic on a custom-built, beer-inspired motorbike.

Laughing in the face of carbon emissions, the 1000 mile road trip saw Bolt owner, Andrew Almond, and custom builder, Simone Fiore, travel from the cycle maker’s headquarters in Stoke Newington to the brewery in Budweis, South Bohemia, via Amsterdam, Hannover and Prague.

Arriving in the Czech capital in the dark, the team headed to Denim Heads apparel store in the Old Town where bottles of cold Budvar and another welcome party were waiting for the exhausted riders. But there was a problem to fix too…

“During the ride, the JAWA had developed a problem,” Almond said. “Hardly surprising with a vintage bike being put to this kind of test, but we needed to find a new clutch and gearbox fast. After a phone around, we struck gold. The best JAWA garage in the country, on the outskirts of Prague.”

They had beers waiting for them in Budweis, and the gang even got a tour of the historic brewery.

No, honestly it’s fine. We were too busy to join you guys anyway.

There’s big things happening in California’s cannabis industry, and apparently there are already plans in place to give the state an appelation system for weed, much like wine.

Speaking to Forbes, Rebecca Forée, a representative for CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing (a division of the CDFA responsible for regulating commercial cannabis in California), said the team was already in the early planning stages.

“We are in the process of developing a framework for the CalCannabis Appellations Project that will allow licensed cannabis cultivators in California to petition CDFA for the establishment of an appellation,” she said.

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