London Cocktail Week is set to be a bartender’s paradise this year with an unprecedented amount of talks, take-overs, parties and experiences all dedicated to the hard-working hospitality trade.
Monday kicks off with the Grand Opening of The London Cocktail Week Village at Old Spitalfields Market. Be the first through the doors to see the incredible Old Spitalfields Market takeover and share a celebratory toast at 5pm, while just over the road at London Cocktail Club Shoreditch the Monin Underground Punch Pong League is taking place all afternoon and evening.
Next up head to the trade opening night party for London Cocktail Week: Pernod Ricard UK’s Beat team’s Old Bar Superstar: Takedown, where London’s industry legends take on the new kids on the block in a party you won’t want to miss. The “Old Stars”, who won last year’s event, are set to be Ben Reed, Jake Burger, Chris Edwardes, Charles Vexenat, Dre Masso and John Gakuru while the challengers are the young upstarts, Ali Reynolds, Josh Reynolds, Bobby Hiddleston, Maya Tarrant, Remy Savage and Russell Burgess.
Throughout the week head to Poland Street in Soho to the World Class London Cocktail Week Hub. Here, Diageo Reserve’s World Class team are creating an immersive luxury spirits pop-up, complete with a Bartender’s Studio. Click here for the full story.
Don’t forget to also pay a visit to the SodaStream Mix Mr Lyan pop-up at the centre of the London Cocktail Week Village. Not only is the bar and ground-breaking drinks list headed up by the celebrated Mr Lyan team, it will also host a series of trade talks from Seedlip Ben, Jim Meehan and Ryan Chetiyawardana, taking place at 3pm on the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Click here for more on Ryan’s partnership with SodaStream.
Thursday at NOLA in Shoreditch will see a series of Pernod Ricard UK Beat talks from the likes of drinks experts and bartenders Fernado Castellon, Clotilde Lataille and Dre Masso, while on the Southbank The Gin Guild has curated a talk on the Martini by award-winning drink historians Anistatia Miller and Jared Brown of publisher Mixellany.
On Thursday and Friday, Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands and Patrón Tequila invite you to “Think Outside the Box” in a series of incredible talks from speakers flown in from across the globe, with topics ranging from “From Bartender to Bar Owner” to “Cultivating the All-Star Bar Team”.
If you’ve not learnt enough by Saturday, join Japanese whisky Nikka and Stanislav Vadrna, the bartender esteemed for mastering the interactive Japanese “Ichi-Go Ichi-e” philosophy of bartending, as he explores the importance of body language and charisma.
Each night of the week Callooh Callay in Shoreditch has invited bartenders from their favourite international bars to take over the reins. Pop down to get a taste of bars such as The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog, Employees Only, Mother’s Ruin and Maison Premiere in New York City or Trick Dog in San Francisco.
If you have managed to get a ticket, head to Thursday’s sold-out World’s 50 Best Bars awards ceremony and then head to one of the many unofficial after-parties which includes Glass – the undisputed champions of the after-party in Paris, or Edinburgh’s Bramble who are taking over White Lyan in Hoxton for the night.
Saturday night there’s only one place to be: the 24 Hour Bar Build. Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands and Patrón Tequila are flying in 24 of the world’s best bartenders to host a 24-hour international bar clash that will crown one city “the world’s best”. Click here for the full story.
On Sunday, the first port of call is Jack Daniel’s Bartender’s Brunch. Then it’s on to Speed Rack – a charity fundraiser and cocktail competition featuring 19 of Britain’s best female bartenders. Click here for more on Speed Rack.
Last stop of the week and it’s Callooh Callay to catch NYC bartender Steve Schneider behind the stick, or head to NOLA for their second annual lock-in until 3am. Yes, that’s two parties opposite each other. Very convenient.
If all of these events leave you a bit rough around the edges, Chivas Regal whisky has partnered with award-winning Ruffians Barbers in Covent Garden to offer bartender’s free haircuts and grooming treatments all week!
For full event and booking details, visit https://drinkup.london/cocktailweek/features/london-cocktail-week-trade-events/.
For more highlights and news, click here for Bar magazine’s special London Cocktail Week news feed.