Events for the bar trade at London Cocktail Week

Diageo London Cocktail Week

London Cocktail Week, which opens on Monday October 2, is not just a celebration for the general public – all kinds of events are taking place throughout the week aimed at bartenders, offering opportunities for education and networking.

Highlights include The Bartender Edit, a non-branded seminar and networking space put together by London Cocktail Week’s organiser DrinkUp.London with BarLifeUK. After consultation nationally on seminar content, the final programme has been dictated entirely by bartenders, without any topics dictated by branded messaging – believed to be an industry first.

Running on the Tuesday and Thursday at the Golden Pineapple in Brick Lane, sessions include:

  • Tom Soden, owner of Nine Lives bar, on sustainability in bars
  • Leading bartenders Richard Tring and Chelsie Bailey on building a cocktail menu
  • Dr Frazer McGlinchey on how “kindness, empathy and life balance can change the industry”
  • An ice workshop with Carlos Pinto
  • A panel discussion featuring leading American whiskey brand ambassadors on the category
  • Ben Reed’s Cocktail Conversations with the topic of “Would bartenders make good hostage negotiators?”
  • A panel discussion on how bartending skills can be transferred to careers beyond the bar
  • Ajit Madan and Matthew Dakers on using tea in cocktails.

The Bartender Edit sessions are free but registration is required in advance, with limited spaces at each session. Click here for the full schedule and to register.

Other events for the trade include World Class Studios, a series of seminars to launch Diageo Reserve’s World Class GB competition for 2018. Running from Monday to Friday, sessions will be at Diageo’s HQ in Golden Square in Soho. They include The Resourceful Bartender and Heat of the Moment workshops with a focus on culinary science and environmental business consultancy.

The World Class Studios will be hosted by Diageo Reserve brand ambassadors including Ali Reynolds, Dan Dove, David Beatty, Jenna Ba, David Sinclair and Paulo Figuerido as well as Don Julio master distiller Enrique de Colsa and Ketel One Vodka master distiller Bob Nolet plus Diageo Reserve’s “global cocktailian” Lauren Mote and renowned bartenders Max La Rocca and Tom Soden. After the last session of each day, attendees are invited to stay on at Diageo’s HQ where 2017’s World Class GB Winner Jamie Jones will be working a bar at a drinks reception.

Full a full World Class Studios schedule and to book a session, visit

Other highlights specifically for the trade include the Red Bull Retreat is a one day pop-up on the Wednesday in Old Street designed to help bartenders refuel during a busy week. Click here for more details.

A bartenders’ brunch is being run by Maverick Drinks for Ableforth’s Bathtub Gin in Shoreditch on Friday, promising bacon sandwiches, free-flowing coffee and rejuvenating Red Snappers.

Maverick Drinks will be presenting a series of events for bartenders under the banner of #ForwardDrinking on the first three days, featuring Allen Katz of New York Distilling Company on rye whiskey, John Little of Smooth Amber Spirits on the impact on drinks brands from being acquired, and Maverick’s Michael Vachon and the Nightjar co-founder Edmund Weil on the relationship between bars and brands.

The Whisky Exchange’s Whisky Show at Old Billingsgate also has a trade-only day on Monday October 2. Click here for full details.

Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands will be presenting its new educational platform, Jigger Beaker Glass, inspired by Charles H Baker’s classic 1939 travel book and world drinks guide. The workshop is being held in collaboration with three of the most successful and creative international bartenders at Shoreditch House on Wednesday October 4 from 12.30pm to 3.30pm. RSVP is essential. Click here for details. The day’s sessions are:

1pm Jigger, with Remy Savage, Little Red Door

Seen as the driving force of the infamous Little Red Door in Paris, head bartender Remy Savage has led the way with creating menus that are evocative and innovative. He will share his concepts on “Applied Architecture” within his drink and how this has made Little Red Door one of the world’s best bars.

2pm Beaker, with Chris Hysted-Adams, Black Pearl, Melbourne
Industry veteran and long-standing member of award-winning Black Pearl, Chris Hysted-Adams shares his experiences on working 10 years behind this bartenders’ favourite bar. From a small café in Melbourne to “world’s best international cocktail bar” at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards, Chris will share what it takes for a bar to stand the test of time and still be going strong 15 years on.

3pm Glass, with Luke Whearty, Operation Dagger, Singapore
Luke Whearty has made his name as an authority in cocktail innovation with an avant-garde edge. Creating imaginative drinks in respected bars from Der Raum to Tippling Club, he is now owner/bartender of the internationally renowned Operation Dagger in Singapore which he has established as a leading light on the world’s cocktail scene. Luke will present a selection of some of his signature cocktails from Operation Dagger and what makes them progressive.

These are only a few highlights so click here for the latest schedule specifically for the trade.

Anyone working in a bar, pub, restaurant or club is eligible for a free festival pass by registering here.

For Bar magazine’s full preview of London Cocktail Week, click here.

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