London Cocktail Week 2013: preview

London Cocktail Week busNow in its fourth year, London Cocktail Week just gets bigger and bigger. Taking pace from October 7 to 13, it involves more bars and events for both consumers and the bar trade than ever before. Celebrating the capital’s world-class cocktail culture, it will feature seminars, pop-up bars, tastings, parties and master classes across the city.

The hub of the festival will again be the historic Seven Dials area in Covent Garden, where every available space is set to be transformed into bars, event spaces and tasting rooms for the duration. Brands already planning pop-ups include Belvedere vodka and Monkey Shoulder whisky while Beluga Vodka cocktails will be served from a luxury railway carriage on the terrace of restaurant L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. The festival will also spill out onto the streets, such as the Disaronno Sour Station – a branded trike with an in-built lemon-juicing mechanism. There will be a secondary hub this year in Shoreditch in east London, based around Translate Bar in Kingsland Road.

In all, more than 160 bars across London will be partnering the festival as part of the Cocktail Tour, each offering £4 cocktails throughout the week for people wearing the official wristbands. These can be picked up at either at the Seven Dials hub in Earlham Street, sponsored by Ketel One vodka, or the Shoreditch hub, sponsored by Don Julio tequila. With the wristbands, people can jump on the official vintage Routemaster buses for free trips to areas around the capital where bars are taking part. Consumer involvement is set to be huge thanks to a partnership with listings guide Time Out.

New this year will be the Bartenders’ Lounge – a place in Seven Dials for members of the bar and drinks industry to network and relax. It will be run by Tim Robinson and his bar management and events company Twist London, which will also create a Bloody Mary bar, serving up twists on a Bloody Mary.

Other highlights of London Cocktail Week include the return of Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands’ training team for Cocktail Culture, offering inspiring seminars from leading experts and bartenders. The seminars, running from October 7 to 11 at 69 Neal Street, will feature the likes of Bacardi rum’s master blender José Sanchez and Bombay Sapphire Gin’s master distiller Nik Fordham.

Events exclusively for the bar industry include a panel looking at gin and botanicals on October 8, featuring some of the world’s leading gin distillers such as Beefeater’s Desmond Payne, Tanqueray’s Tom Nicol, Charles Maxwell of Thames Distillers and Peter McKay of the Langley Distillery. The event is free but ticketed.

London Cocktail Week also links with The Whisky Show, which runs from October 5 to 7, and Rumfest, which will be at Excel in London Docklands on October 12 and 13.

Click here for our archive of stories about London Cocktail Week 2013 events.

For full details of all events during London Cocktail Week and participating bars, visit

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