So we’ve talked about London Cocktail Week before … and as the days approach, you may not be able to even handle the excitement (without a drink). So with over 200 bars, and seemingly a gazillion events and pop-ups, what the hell are you going to do? FRET NOT! We’ve got the guide to get you through the best and booziest week of the year. Just don’t forget to buy your wristbands in advance, earlybirds nab ’em for £10. Think of all the £4 cocktails you can drink … yum.
Monday 6th October
Rum Club Food Pairing with El Dorado at Trailer Happiness
177 Portobello Rd, NW11 2DY. 7:30pm-8:30pm. £5 per ticket.
This is *THE* place in London to drink that sweet, sweet rum and indulge yourself in Tiki vibes. And the monthly Rum Club is getting an extra special kick by playing host to the entire El Dorado range that will be paired with gourmet foods from the Guyanese region. Expect a cocktail on arrival with plenty more to follow — plus solid chats and eats.
Les Femmes du Bar at Happiness Forgets
In the basement, 8-9 Hoxton Square, N1 6NU. 5pm-8pm. Free entry.
Come down to one of our favourite little Hoxton bars and check out Clotilde Lataille and Madame St-Germain who will be serving up fun and floral libations on the night.
Tuesday 7th October
The Secret Of The Elixir at the Punch Room
The Edition Hotel, 10 Berners St, W1T 3NP. 6pm-7pm. £6 per ticket.
Come and meet Drambuie’s brand ambassador, Herman Van Broekhuizen, so he can take you on a taste voyage and unveil the myths and truths around the secret elixir that lies at its heart. So not only will you get a history lesson and a journey into the surreal, your ticket will include one free Drambuie cocktail at the Edition’s Lobby Bar.
Cuervo’s Hacienda at The Hoxton Hotel Shoreditch
81 Great Eastern St, EC2A 3HU. Mon: 7pm-11pm; Tues-Wed: 5pm-11pm; Thurs: 9pm-11pm; Fri: closed; Sat: 12pm-12am; Sun: 12pm-9pm. Free entry. £10 for masterclass.
If you really love your agave, or even if you don’t, come and dance with the dead at this east London hacienda. From inventing your own Day of the Dead Margarita to getting a masterclass in the spirit (and trying a selection from the 13-strong portfolio), you’ll leave here never wanting a lick of salt with your tequila shot again.
Wednesday 8th October
Little Red Door at The Zetter Townhouse
49-50 St John’s Square, EC1V 4JJ. Call 0207 324 4545 to make a reservation. 6:30pm-late. Free entry.
In celebration of London Cocktail Week, the Townhouse is inviting some of their favourite Parisian bartenders from Little Red Door to come man the bar. For one night only, the cocktail kings from the Marais district will be serving up some of their finest concoctions including a Blanco Collins (made with tequila), Iggy (made with vermouth, cognac, eucalyptus syrup and Fernet Branca) and Quatre Sans Cul (made with vermouth, whisky and champagne).
Paris in London with Grand Marnier at Cecil’s
The Basement, 8 Holyrood St, SE1 2EL. Mon-Sun: 5pm-11pm. Free entry.
Hump day is French day it seems. Get your French fill and let those talented chaps from the city of love create Parisian-styled cocktails for you. Brand ambassador Julien LaFond will be on hand, helping to immerse you in a world of French flavour peppered with Parisian music and Crêpes Suzettes. Keep an eye out for special prizes too.
Thursday 9th October
Find Your Favourite Serve With Maker’s Mark at Steam & Rye
147 Leadenhall St, EC3V 4QT. 6:45pm-8:45pm. £15 per ticket.
If you just can’t get enough of that nutty bourbon goodness, then book yourself into the Maker’s Mark tasting. Set in the big, brash and all-too-fun Steam & Rye, you’ll get to meet the charming whiskey aficionado Amanda Humphrey who will whisper the secrets of the spirit to you as you taste your way through different cocktails to find your own perfect serve. “Hello bartender, we’ll take that neat please!” Plus you can dip your own bottle in the iconic red wax and you get to go home with a nifty gift bag.
Sipsmith 100 Martini at Kettner’s
29 Romilly St, W1D 5HP. Mon-Thurs: 5:30pm-9:30pm. £15 for 2-hour sitting.
We got a taste of this event at their pop-up earlier this year, so we can vouch first-hand this is a seriously wonderful gin experience. Kettner’s is a perfect luxury setting for kicking back and waiting for that Martini trolley to come to you. Play around with the interactive iPad menu as it asks you lots of personalised and bizarro questions to figure out which of the 100 Martinis is for you. Trust us, they’re always right.
Friday 10th October
NOLA vs NOLA: it’s a Salmiakki Dala launch party!
1st Floor (above Bedroom Bar), 68 Rivington Street, EC2A 3AY. 6pm-12am. Free entry.
Salmiakki Dala Swedish Fernet launches for the very first time in the UK with the ultimate duel for bragging rights. Pitting seven of New Orleans’ best bartenders against the talented folks at NOLA, each team is then challenged to make one seriously kick-ass cocktail. They all have to use the same ingredients, but there are no other rules. For £8 you get to taste both cocktails and then vote for your favourite.
East London Liquor Company LCW Distillery Tour
Unit GF1, 221 Grove Road, Bow Wharf, E3 5SN. Thurs-Sat: 3pm-4pm. £25 per ticket.
One of the prettiest backbars we ever did see, this brand new distillery-cum-bar is serving you some of the freshest booze in town. This is your chance to get a glimpse at the inner workings of the distillery as well as to sample their vodka and three gins. Plus the bottle shop will be opened specially for the tour so you can take your favourite gin home with you.
Saturday 11th October
Bulleit Bourbon 1950s Diner at London Cocktail Club
224 Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2H 8EB. Mon: 4:30pm-11:30pm; Tues: 3:30pm-11:30pm; Wed: 1pm-11:30pm; Thurs-Fri: 4:30pm-3am; Sat: 4:30pm-11:30pm; Sun: closed. Free entry.
Get a slice of the ol’ Midwest in the West End with a genuine 1950s American diner. Perfectly in line with the ethos of LCC — i.e. great cocktails, great party — celebrate indulgently with corn dogs, deep-fried pickles and hard shakes. And the tunes will be rockin’ from the Bullet jukebox cranking out 50s hits. Be nice to your roller-skating waitresses and we reckon you’ll get along just fine.
Freixenet Terrace at Swingers: The Crazy Golf Club
7-11 Hearn St, EC2A 3LS. Thurs-Sat: 6:30pm-12am. £3 entry.
A pop-up, 9-hole, crazy-ass golf course and clubhouse bar in the heart of Shoreditch. Expect a rotating list of London’s most exciting street food vendoors, and if you walk through the clubhouse onto the Freixenet terrace — you’ll feel like you’ve just stepped into the Mediterranean. Sip on the Soho Spritz and get your golf on.
Sunday 12th October
On Monkey’s Shoulder
9 Shorts Gardens, WC2H 9AT. Mon-Sun: 12pm-11pm. Free entry.
What do you need? MORE COWBELL! Don’t know what we’re on about … YouTube it (it involves Will Ferrell, so you’re welcome). Expect a Glasweigan party vibe with cowbell karaoke, pallet tables and an eclectic mix of house and classic hits. This is all about having a sense of humour, so go and support the winning team and witness them shaking up your scotch cocktails in all their tie-dyed glory. After a six-month-long (and very intense) competition, this team has come out top … so you know they’re ready for the fun ferocity of London Cocktail Week.
… and now, so are YOU.
— Sasha Filimonov, @SashaSips