Bars & Booze: London Cocktail Week Highlights

For the month of October, London Cocktail Week descends onto the capital, showcasing the very best bars, libations and nightlife in London. Here’s our pick of festival highlights to try… 

Photo: London Cocktail Week

1 Two Schmucks Dive Bar Pop Up at Lyaness, Southbank
A partnership with Dewar’s Whisky, Barcelona’s acclaimed cocktail bar Two Schmucks (number 26 on the World’s Best Bar 2020 list) takes over the luxurious Lyaness for a two day immersive ‘five star dive bar’ experience. Guests can expect a taste of the elevated dive bar vibe Two Schmucks is known for alongside the bar’s signature party-hard service, a hip hop soundtrack and special performances.
October 7-8; from 5pm till late; book your table here; Lyaness, Sea Containers, 20 Upper Ground, SE1 9PD; 

2 The Essence House at Carriage Hall, Covent Garden
A multi-sensory event designed to get you creating creative cocktails tailored to your own palate. Uncover your palate profile through a series of guided flavour and aroma tests and learn about the impact of effervescence, temperature and garnishes. Armed with these new tools, you’re then free to reinvent cocktails for your own taste-buds and other people’s.
October 1-24; sessions run for 45 minutes between 12pm-11pm; Carriage Hall, 29 Floral Street, WC2E 9DP; Tickets £20. 

3 The Macallan Terrace at Rosewood London, Holborn
As part of the festival, the whisky brand is launching its winter terrace at Rosewood London,  transforming the hotel’s courtyard terrace into a luxurious Scottish manor, inspired by the beautiful Scottish hills and the Macallan Estate. While the look maybe Scottish, the food and drink here is global: feast on dishes inspired by the Roca Brothers’ (Spanish chefs and owners of El Celler de Can Roca – named best restaurant in the word twice by Restaurant Magazine) and the pop-up’s bespoke Hot Toddy uses The Macallan single malt, JING Tea and herbs and spices from around the world.
October 6-31; 12pm-10pm; reservations essential, find details here; Rosewood London, 252 High Holborn, WC1V 7EN

4 Barley & Beats Pub Quiz, Black Rock Tavern, Shoreditch
A Johnnie Walker collab and a night hosted by Band Ambassador Ali Reynolds, test your not-so-general knowledge with this pub quiz that’s all about whiskey, music and culture. Prizes include drams, cocktails and a Black Rock bar tab. The ticket price includes four drinks throughout the night so grab five of your brainiest friends now and book a table.
Thursday, October 7; 6pm-9pm; £10 or £3 without drinks included; Black Rock Tavern, 9 Christopher Street, EC2A 2BS;

5 The Swingers Open, Swingers City
Teaming up with Tanqueray No. Ten, The Swingers Open returns this October. Grab three of your pals for the chance to win a spot in the final and a VIP party at Swingers for up to 10 people with cocktails, food and you’re own, private space. There’s also Tanqueray hampers for the runners up, so there’s no need to be a sore loser. Register your interest by emailing
Tuesday, October 5; 6pm-12am; £20; Swingers City, 8 Brown’s Buildings, EC3A 8AL;

6 Fords Gin Martini & Oysters at Various Locations around London
Enjoy a cold Fords Gin martini and freshly shucked oysters at a bar near you when this mobile pop up of sorts rolls by. The event has free entry and is on between 6pm-9pm at its various locations.
Friday, October 1; Bar Liber; 274B St Paul’s Road, N1 2LJ;
Tuesday, October 5; Hawksmoor Air Street; 5a Air Street, W1J 0AD;
Thursday, October 14; The Hide; 39 Bermondsey Street SE1 3XF
Thursday, October 21; Ham Yard Hotel; 1 Ham Yard, W1D 7DT; tickets £15

7 Port & Wine Paired Dinner with Graham’s at The Jones Family Kitchen, Eccleston Yard
At this event, sample a four-course dinner with wine and port matches, with the Graham’s ambassador talking you through your tipples and the reasons behind the pairings. Enjoy Peruvian ceviche, blue cheese crusted filet mignon, Portuguese custard tarts and a selection of British cheeses, and their matching drops.
October 6; 6pm-9pm; £65, book via The Jones Family Kitchen, 7-8 Eccleston Yard, SW1W 9AZ

London Cocktail Week runs October 1 to October 31; buy a wristband from £12.50 to get £7 cocktails from participating bars;