London Cocktail Week, the capital’s annual celebration of cocktails and bar culture returns this weekend. Now in its tenth year, the 2019 celebration which runs from Friday 4 – Sunday 13 October features a jam-packed 10 days of international bar takeovers, hosted tasting events, cocktail dinners and special £6 cocktails for holders of a LCW festival pass (£10 – available via the LCW website and app).
As always, we’re delighted to see some of London’s top destination and hotel bars throw open their doors to invite in top drinks talent from across the globe. We’ve worked our way through this year’s extensive roster to bring you our edit of the best drinks events and unmissable experiences over the course of the week.
What: If you're heading to Frieze London this London Cocktail Week then Bombay Sapphire's onsite gin lounge should definitely be on your list.
The lounge features new works from Nigerian artist YinkaIlori. To create his works Ilori explored a new medium – feeding distinctive visuals into an algorithm designed for Bombay Sapphire. The end result is a series of striking new works which combine human creativity and A.I.
The lounge will also offer five Bombay Sapphire guest serves which have been created in partnership with top London bartenders. These are available both at the Frieze lounge and at partner bars across London and include White Plum G&T from Erik Lorincz at Kwant, Silk Route from Ali Ali at Oriole and Red – a colourful and botanical gin infusion from Giulia Cuccurllo at Artesian at The Langham.
When: 6-13 October 2019
Where: Frieze London, Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4HA
What: A cocktail pairing which we can most definitely get onboard with – seafood and oyster specialists Wright Bros will be offering a martini and oyster platter throughout the week at their Spitalfields restaurant. The platter includes a mix of six Wright Bros Jersey oysters plus a flight of three Bombay Sapphire martinis for £20. You’ll need a LCW digital passport or wristband to take advantage of this.
Also available will be their LCW special 'Ten to the Dozen' cocktail, made with Bombay Sapphire, bitter bianco, elderflower cordial, grapefruit juice & lemon juice – designed to compliment Wright Bros' seasonal seafood dishes. Our favourites from the snack menu include Shrimp and Chilli Croquettes, Merguez Stuffed Squid and Crispy salt cod fritters.
When: Friday 4 – Sunday 13 October. The platter is available from 3-6pm.
Where: Wright Brothers, 8a Lamb Street, Old Spitalfields Market, London E1 6EA
What: Cleverly timed to coincide with the dual celebrations of 100 years of the Negroni as well as the 10th anniversary of London Cocktail Week, the team at Henrietta Hotel have devised a cocktail experience for the Negroni lover in all of us.
Found on the mezzanine at the hotel, the experience transports guests into the world of the Negroni via an immersive light installation which puts the cocktail at the centre of a multi-sensory experience. For the drinks, the team at Campari have devised two menus, the first has been inspired by eight cosmopolitan cities - including Mexico City, Paris, London, Tokyo and Milan - to serve as inspiration for eight unique variations on the iconic drink. A premium Vintage Negroni offering is also available – bringing together a range of vintage ingredients which recreate cocktails served in the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s – prices start at £35 for a Negroni from the 1980s.
It’s not all straight alcohol, however – gastronomy collective the Italian Supper Club have created a cicchetti menu of Venetian appetisers specially for the occasion. Guests are invited to sample Bombetta, a deep fried bread from Puglia; Arrosticini, grilled lamb skewers from Abruzzo; and melting Parmesan croquettes with flat bread. The popup runs Wednesday – Saturday. Bookings can be made via the hotel’s website.
When: Until 21 October
Where: Henrietta Hotel, 14–15 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8QH
From Thursday 10th October, iconic rum brand Bacardi are hosting a dedicated popup in Brick Lane. The Rum Room will be dedicated to shining a light on their barrel-aged rums, and will an immersive tasting experience alongside rum masterclasses hosted by brand ambassador Metinee (May) Kongsrivilai.
The focus here is on sipping rums, and visitors will be shown a range of expressions and will also have a chance to sample their Gran ReservaDiez. This is a gold sipping rum,barrel-aged for ten years, officially launched this October.
Masterclasses will be held throughout the popup. Guests will dive into the world of barrel-aged rums, whilst learning about their Caribbean ageing process all whilst sipping rums and classic cocktails. Tickets are free.
When: Thursday 10th to Sunday 13thOctober
Where: The Old Truman Brewery, Block F, Ground Floor, 4 Dray Walk, London, E1 8QL
What: Crouch End neighbourhood bar Little Mercies will celebrate their 1st birthday on Saturday 12 October. From 5pm till late founder Alan Sherwood and the team will serve up a special £6 cocktail menu alongside a list of party snacks from their in-house kitchen.
Expect inventive cocktails such as their take on the Pornstar – Passionfruit Vodka, Pink Passionfruit Cordial, Wine, Verjus and bubbles; Spiced Peach Sour - Peach Cordial, Manifest, Cognac, topped off with Peaches and Cream IPA;and Blue Sour and Cheeky Cola which featured on their summer Pink Menu, back by popular demand.
For food, we’ve got our eyes on the beef crumpet, blue cheese rarebit; mushroom croquettes with maple sriracha and don’t miss their chicken katsu sando with sweet’n’sour sauce and prawn crackers.
When: Thursday 12 October 5pm - late
Where: Little Mercies, 20 Broadway Parade, Crouch End, London N8 9DE
And there's more...
If it’s just a ‘few good drinks’ you’re after or are in the mood to organise your own bar crawl here are a few more LCW popups and bars that caught our eye:
- Wednesday 9 October - Cocchi vermouth are holding a Negroni Journey masterclass at Polpo Smithfield. Guests are invited to discover the history of the classic Italian aperitivo whilst enjoying multiple twists on the Negroni cocktail. Tickets £20pp.
- Sunday 13 October - Mister Paradise, one of New York City’s hottest new cocktail bars will be popping by Hackney’s Scout for a one off takeover. The East Village bar will bring with them a menu of reinvented classics and a killer playlist.
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