Bars are preparing to celebrate Bristol Cocktail Week this month alongside a new search for the city’s favourite bars.
Now in its fourth year, the festival brings together bars, bartenders and cocktail fans for events and promotions from Monday October 20 to Sunday October 26.
New for this year, people can buy £5 wristbands that will allow them to get discounts on cocktails and free or discounted entry to venues and events. They are sold at Weber & Tring’s on Christmas Steps and at Red Light in Unity Street during opening hours.
Also new for this year are the Bristol Cocktail Week bar awards, with four categories voted on by the public: bar with best atmosphere, best all-round bar, bar with best service, and bar with best menu.
With an awards ceremony on October 26, the categories are sponsored by J Wray & Nephew, Herradura tequila, Gentleman Jack whiskey, and Portobello Road gin. Click here to vote.
The ceremony will also the announcement of Bristol’s 2014 Bartender of the Year, which will be decided by a series of cocktail competitions held across the city on October 20. It is sponsored by Chartreuse.
Other highlights during the week include the Haus Rules cocktail competition for bartenders on Tuesday October 21 and the Bacardi “A Night in 1930s Cuba” party at The Mauretania on Friday October 24.
Bristol Cocktail Week will also see the trade launch of Jinzu, the blend of gin and sake created by Bristol bartender Dee Davies in Diageo’s Show Your Spirit competition last year. It will be followed by the Jinzu Gin Ball at The Milk Thistle, open to anyone with a wristband (space permitting).
Other events include a Somerset Cider Brandy tasting at Hyde & Co, Harveys sherry tastings for trade and consumers at Red Light, and Hendrick’s “Gin Through The Ages” at Averys’ of Bristol.
The first Bristol Cocktail Week took place in 2011, created by bartender Annie Mason of The Milk Thistle. “The idea of Bristol Cocktail Week is to showcase the skill and quality behind Bristol’s best bars and bartenders, while giving people the opportunity to try something new, and, of course, have a good time,” she said.
Annie is co-ordinating Bristol Cocktail Week with Dee Davies, Richard Tring of Red Light, Oliver Hiller of Hausbar, and Barbara Hollyhead of drinks marketing specialist Agave Blue Marketing.
For details of Bristol Cocktail Week, visit www.bristolcocktailweek.org.