If you want a taster as to how fab this year’s London Cocktail Week is going to be, just have a gander at the company’s new look website. Informative, engaging and fun, it sure does get the pulses racing for the jam-packed week ahead.
Most savvy drinkers will already be au fait with London Cocktail Week. As they should be it’s been a major highlight on the calendar for the past five years. But this year it’s gone and surpassed itself. Make some noise for the biggest party in the capital coming live and direct with a brand new Cocktail Week Village in Old Spitalfields Market, the World Class London Cocktail Week Hub and a dizzying number of fantabidosi events
First things first: block 5th to 11th October out in your diary, you won’t want to miss a day of this action. Next register for your wristband. If you’re new to LCW here’s the drill: log on to londoncocktailweek.com, pay £10 and in return, you’ll be able to pick up the hottest bracelet in town.
The red ribbon (white for trade) is simple enough to look at but priceless for what you get in return – it’s your passport for delicious cocktails in 275 bars across the capital, all selling first-class cocktails for £5. Take your pick from speakeasy bars in the south to new discoveries in the north, places you may already be familiar with in the east, to ones you’re less accustomed to in the west. In short, get out, mix it up and have fun. While drinking responsibly of course. Our favourite spot for the week? It’s almost impossible to say but we think they’ve hit cocktail gold at Callooh Callay with ‘takeovers’ from the likes of St. Germain Les Femmes du Bar, Steve Schneider (Employee’s Only, New York), Trick Dog (San Francisco) and Mother’s Ruin, New York) from Wednesday to Sunday.
That said, you could easily spend the whole week at the two main hubs alone. Think we’re exaggerating? If anything, we’re underplaying the brilliance of what’s been planned. As well as being the two places for you to pick up your wristbands, there’s all kinds of good stuff going down. At the London Cocktail Week Village in Old Spitalfields Market for instance you’ll find a fantastic selection of pop-up bars, specially designed vehicles and stalls all offering first-class libations for your sipping pleasure. Central to all the action is the House of Angostura. Pop in for party beats, seriously good rum cocktails and a taste of the West Indies sunshine in east London. And don’t miss the Sodastream Mix X Mr Lyan, a pop-up of the futuristic kind, featuring fabulously fizzy drinks from the award-winning team at Mr Lyan.
Then there’s the World Class London Cocktail Week Hub over in Soho. Perfect your cocktail making skills in the Bartender’s Studio, learn how to make off-the-scale Bloody Marys, sip the best cocktails a fiver can buy – we’re talking seriously superior World Class cocktails with here, check out the 5ft. tall Imperial Shaker in the Tanqueray Art Deco Bar, then visit the World Class shop and buy your favourite spirit/s in the portfolio to take home.
And if you can tear yourself away from those two – take your pick from an array of workshops, tastings, tours, parties and one-off experiences all curated with cocktail lovers in mind. If we were to list all of the good stuff, we’d be here all day, but here are just a few to whet your appetite:
• The Art of the Old-Fashioned cocktail with Woodford Reserve Bourbon
• A Soho Food Walk With Hiccups
• Vestal Voyage Candlelit Cruises
• Party time with Barchick, Cocoface and Ocho Tequila
• East vs West: battle of the gins (cocktail and food pairing)
• Whiskey and meat quiz night at MASH Steakhouse
• How to make gin workshop at Bermondsey Distillery
• Storytelling, piano playing and delicious New Orleans-style cocktails at NOLA with Ten Cocktails author Alice Lascelles
• DIY classic cocktails by Absolut
• Super Sunday seafood roast with Bowmore whisky
• An evening of Parisien Belle Époque with Courvoisier
All tickets are guaranteed to sell out fast but we highly recommend getting your skates on for 24hrbarbuild. Trust us, this is going to be a biggie. Here’s why…For one night only four fantasy bar teams from London, Paris, New York and Singapore will come together under one roof. Their mission? To create the ultimate bar – that means drinks, vibe, theme, people, the whole caboodle and you dear reader will get to vote for who you think should win. Your £35 ticket gives you access to all four bars and five drinks tokens to spend in them. We’ve heard all the concepts and all we’re at liberty to say is, do not miss this! For tickets, see here.
Then just when you thought you couldn’t possibly have more fun, there’s Speed Rack, the all-female speed-bartending competition raising money for breast cancer charity The Haven. There will be laughter, there will be tears, there will be boobs and there will be drinks – your £25 ticket gives you 10 cocktails and tastings from top drinks brands – it’s going to be the party to end all parties. Did we hear someone tut-tutting because it falls on a Sunday? Sod that, let’s show Monday who’s boss! Book your tickets here.
For more information and ticket details for all events, see londoncocktailweek.com.
Photographs courtesy of DrinkUp.London