London Cocktail Week launches on Monday, the biggest drinks festival in the UK hits the capital with pop-ups, demonstrations, tastings, mixology classes and special offers in bars and pubs around town – as if Londoners need an excuse to sup on an exotically-named drink!
Now in its fifth year, London Cocktail Week sees around 20,000 people slap on a wrist band and take a drinking tour of London to visit masterclasses, get discounted cocktails (£4) at 250 venues, head to pop-ups and generally embrace the fantastic and fun cocktail scene that engulfs the capital.
There will be over 20 pop-up events during the event, 11 of which will be at the London Cocktail Week hub in Seven Dials Covent Garden. But closer to home local bars and clubs are getting involved and putting their best cocktail shaker forward.
1 The Cointreau Hub at Bluebird, Chelsea
Chelsea’s Bluebird Café will be hosting London Cocktail Week’s West London Hub in partnership with Cointreau. Collect a wristband from the Cointreau Fizz Garden in the courtyard then head upstairs to the bar for a Cointreau Fizz cocktail for just £4. There will be a mid-week party for those looking to really immerse themselves in the world of Cointreau, and Alfred Cointreau, a sixth generation family member, will be joining the Bluebird for masterclass sessions. 350 Kings Road, London SW3 5UU
2 The Nikka Hub at The Whisky Exchange, Borough
Renowned for its collection of whiskies, the Whisky Exchange shop at Vinopolis will host London Cocktail Week’s London Bridge Hub in partnership with Nikka Whisky. A wristband here will buy you samples of the celebrated Japanese whisky, which was established in 1934. Vinopolis, 1 Bank End, London SE1 9BU
3 Gastro-cocktails at Canvas, Chelsea
Michael Riemenschneider’s experimental cocktail bar, at the recently launched Canvas, will be serving up delights including likes of Caramelized Passion Fruit Martinis and Champagne Mojito from a handsome oak bar throughout London Cocktail Week. 1 Wilbraham Place, SW1X 9AE
4 Free cocktail masterclasses at Goat, Chelsea
To celebrate cocktail week, Goat DRINK will be inviting guests to The Old Fashioned Cocktail Club on the 8th of October 2014. Sponsored by El Jimador the evening will focus on teaching fine arts and tricks of the trade for tequila based cocktails. At the helm will be cocktail connoisseur Steve Manktelow who is one of London’s leading drinks experts, and the man responsible for the now infamous Crackbaby shot. Visit goatchelsea.com to book. The masterclass runs from 8pm – 9.30pm and is free. 33 Fulham Road, SW10 9QL
5 The Bayou
Camden bar The Bayou always serves its weird and wonderful southern soul-inspired cocktails like a Bacon and Maple Syrup Old Fashioned, drunk alongside some cracking deep south cuisine, but make London Cocktail Week an excuse to go and try one. 20 Inverness St London NW1 7HJ
6 Paris in London with Grand Marnier, Cecil’s, London Bridge
On selected evenings from 6th-12th October 2014, bartenders from some of Paris’ most renowned bars will bring their Parisian je ne sais quoi to London as they guest bartend at Cecil’s in London Bridge with Grand Marnier’s Brand Ambassador, Julien LaFond. During the takeover, thirsty visitors will soak up French flavour with Parisian music and Grand Marnier-infused dishes, including the classic Crêpes Suzettes. There will also be special appearances from the Grand Marnier Charm Squad, with prizes and helpful cocktail recipe tips. Entry is free. 8 Holyrood St, London, SE1 2EL
7 Vestal Voyages Floating Pop – up, King’s Cross to Islington
The world’s first floating pop-up bar and distillery will be setting sail from King’s Cross to Islington during London Cocktail Week. While the 50ft classic cruiser Liverpool (canal boat) meanders towards Islington, passengers will sip on delicious cocktails. Make sure you book tickets as there’s only space for 12 passengers per ride. Granary Square Towpath, King’s Cross, London, NC1 vestalvoyages.com
For more events, visit londoncocktailweek.com