A look ahead at some of the highlights of this year’s London Cocktail Week
London Cocktail Week is back with a bang for 2018. Now in its ninth year, the UK’s largest drinks festival is set to take over the capital from 1 to 7 October with an exhilarating celebration of cocktail culture, featuring pop-up bars, promotions, tasting events, masterclasses and more.
To accommodate the growing number of visitors to London Cocktail Week, the team have moved the heart of the festival, The Cocktail Village, to a new location at The Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane. The new site will play host to three spaces jam-packed with creative cocktails from the biggest names in the drinks industry, as well as smaller, emerging brands. Also new for this year, The Cocktail Experiments will give visitors the chance to learn about the craft of cocktail-making and how to create the perfect version of their favourite tipple.
In addition to The Cocktail Village, this year’s festival is made up of a timetable of parties, masterclasses and supper clubs suitable for everyone – from amateur to expert – as well as the renowned self-guided Cocktail Tours. Over the course of the week, Grand Marnier will be hosting several events with alchemy at the core, and there is a rare opportunity to sample the core range of Michter’s super-premium ryes, bourbons, and American whiskeys.
More than 300 bars across the capital, including the likes of 46 & Mercy, Cocktail Trading Co, Satan’s Whiskers and Trailer Happiness, will welcome visitors in to enjoy specially created cocktails showcasing creativity and their passion for cocktail culture, for £6 to any festival pass holder. Venues are also encouraged to offer a lower-alcohol option, as well as a non-alcoholic option for £4, alongside their signature serve to promote the growing trend for mindful drinking.
Fever-Tree is bringing a brand-new Whisky & Ginger pop-up bar to The Cocktail Village this year. Teaming up with Shoreditch basement bar and whisky haven Black Rock, the pop-up will bring together a menu of whiskies, paired perfectly with Fever-Tree’s range of premium ginger ales and ginger beer.
As London Cocktail Week’s sole beer brand, Peroni Nastro Azzurro will be serving up a variety of Peroni-infused cocktails. Championing emerging talent, Peroni’s world-renowned resident master of mixology, Simone Caporale (pictured) and a selection of the UK’s best emerging bartending talent from The London EDITION, Bar Three, Bon Vivant and Cecconi’s, have created the ‘Aperitivo, Restyled By Peroni’ menu exclusively for wristband holders, offering a twist on the stylish Italian aperitivo trend that is sweeping the nation.
At LCW, Jägermeister will be showcasing the complexity of its 56 herbs and spices with a collection of cocktails, ice cold shots, events and workshops at their pop-up Der Wald bar, located in Big Chill, Brick Lane, a short walk from the Cocktail Village. For trade attendees, Marian Beke, owner of The Gibson bar, will present a talk on bar-trade sustainability.
To further the celebrations, The Light House will offer an immersive journey through the essence of light, where perception-shifting light design meets low-calorie cocktails (under 150 calories) crafted using London Essences’ mixers and spirit partners, such as Hendricks, St Germain, Reyka Vodka and non-alcoholic spirit Seedlip. During each of the six nights, the house will welcome an industry-leading bartender, handpicked by London Essence from some of the world’s most revered bars and hotels, including Erik Lorincz, former head bartender at The Savoy’s American Bar, Ago Perrone, master mixologist at The Connaught, Vasilis & Nikos from The Clumsies in Athens, Antonio Lai from Quinary in Hong Kong, Ricardo Nava from Licoreria Limantour in Mexico and London Essence UK Prestige brand ambassador, Andrea Brulatti.
On Tuesday 2 October, for Apéritifs and Pétanque at Petit Pois Bistro, St-Germain is gathering four of London’s finest French bartenders, Margaux Picard from Happiness Forgets, Jerome Allaguillemette from Sexy Fish, Sara Lecoyer from The Artesian and Steve Lawson from Bassoon Bar at the Corinthia Hotel, to serve bespoke St-Germain cocktails from 5-10pm. Later on in the week, on 6 and 7 October, the brand will also team up with Bourne & Hollingsworth to offer a decadent St-Germain Brunch, with a menu featuring St-Germain cocktails and sharing platters with an array of dishes.
Havana Club Icónica, a collection of four exceptional aged rums by Pernod Ricard, is partnering with New York’s BlackTail and Cub in London on the Paladar Series, a multi-sensory, private dining experience featuring cocktails and experimental dishes inspired by Cuba. Opening on 1 October, for two nights, Cub will be transformed into Cub-a, a unique collaboration between Havana Club, Cub and BlackTail that will host 30 guests each evening for an immersive exploration of Cuban food, rum and culture. An adventurous set menu will be complemented by drinks prepared by BlackTail, all celebrating the Havana Club Icónica collection.
A first for 2018, London Cocktail Week will also be offering VIP packages for cocktail fans to have access to fast track entry to The Cocktail Village, a free drink, and access to special VIP only areas. Festival-goers can download the free DrinkUp.London app to stay up to date with the London Cocktail Week action.
For more information and details of events and bars taking part, visit www.drinkup.london.