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By Rachel Stone
February 22, 2021
By Rachel Stone
February 22, 2021

After being shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Wellington's dedicated spirits and cocktail festival is set to make a triumphant return this May. Taking place at the historic art deco Dominion Museum Building, Highball is an immersive two-day celebration showcasing some of the best purveyors of cocktails and spirits New Zealand and the world has to offer. 

A stellar lineup of producers, distilleries, restaurants and food vendors will be dishing up deliciousness at three five-hour sessions on May 7 and 8. More than 40 distilleries, showcasing more than 40​ ​gins, whiskies, rums, vodka and other spirits will be serving tastings and cocktails, including pioneering Kiwi producers Reid + Reid, Imagination, Lunatic & Lover and Koakoa, as well as international producers such as Monkey Shoulder whisky from Scotland, and Clemengold Gin from South Africa.

If you're eager to learn a thing or two, a handpicked selection of industry heroes will be onsite for a speaker series, while the city's top bartenders will reveal all it takes to make the perfect cocktail in small mixology masterclasses. Local tunes will keep you entertained all night long.

The two-day festival will be followed by Wellington Cocktail Week from 10–16 May, showcasing the capital's rich and colourful cocktail scene with a series of events, special menus, masterclasses and walking tours. Tickets are on sale from Wednesday, 10 March. 


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