We're so happy to finally announce the Short List of this year's Mixology Bar Awards. It's been a long time coming but we finally have the names of each category's five finalists and we're delighted to share them with you. Congratulations to all!

It seems the UK government is trying to ban plastic straws by next year, the Maestro Salvatore Calabrese brings his cocktail game to the newly revamped Donovan bar, a bunch of lobbyists are calling for plain packaging on spirits products, and Hayman’s is calling for tighter regulations on gin. Cheers!

We have news on this year’s Tales of the Cocktail, Punch looks at a hyperlocal cocktail bar, we get advice on how to manage bar staff, bourbon is apparently booming, and Imbibe takes a look at advocates for mental health in the bar industry. Cheers!

In this week’s Inventory, it feels like spring (at least here in Berlin) and there’s a new database showcasing a more diverse list of hospitality workers in the US, you can start boozing at Starbucks soon, the debate rages over cocktails on tap, orgeat variations abound, and the gender pay gap is real in the British bar industry. Cheers to that? 

Norway’s Opland aquavit is proof that aquavit doesn’t have to be all about caraway and a high ABV. Liv Fleischhacker spoke to master blender Ivan Abrahamsen about Norwegian aquavit traditions. 

Hiya pals! This week we got wind that Erik Lorincz is set to leave the American Bar after nearly eight years, Stella Artois recalls bottles across North America, New York gets its first sake brewery, brown spirits are all starting to taste the same, and Ryan Chetiyawardana and Danilo Tersigni debate Michelin stars for bars. Prost! 

Gen Yamamoto is one of Tokyo’s most intimate bars, and it’s also the name of the bar’s owner and sole bartender. On a recent visit, Liv Fleischhacker sampled six original and ingenious Gen Yamamoto cocktails.

Happy Easter weekend, folks! We have some good longreads today to keep you entertained during the four day weekend. BCB Brooklyn announces exhibitors, Bacardi bets on rum going upscale, Dave Broom launches a Kickstarter for a ‘Scotch-umentary,’ and the New York Times asks if blended Scotch still has a place in the modern bar. 

Welcome, friends! Today we have a huge deal: Diageo acquires Belzasar Vermouth. The United Kingdom (finally?) gets its very first cannabis oil-infused beer, a new magic flask promises to turn subpar hooch into premium spirits, and London’s Punch Room creates a historical cocktail menu. Ta! 

Bars in Kyoto, like the city itself, are cozy and welcoming. With less of Tokyo’s hustle and bustle, Japan’s former capital is the perfect place to take time over a well-crafted cocktail.  On a recent visit, Liv Fleischhacker found plenty of bars to like and a few places to avoid.

Welcome folks! In this week’s short but sweet inventory, we have an Australian brewery that’s trying to copyright the color of beer, the European Union prepares an import duty on US bourbon, and the definitive list of books that every spirits nerd should own. Cheers!

Cheers friends! This week the rumour mill is churning: apparently Pernod Ricard has similar views to Diageo on the changing of the Scotch rules.