London Cocktail Week returns October 3-9 with a schedule ofpop-ups, distillery tours, tastings and parties that are busier than ever.There’s rum-fuelled tattooing, a world record Piña Colada attempt and what mustsurely be the first ever sneaker andcocktail-matching session. Here’s my pick of the week’s offerings:
World Class Pop-UpFrom October 3-8, the world’s most prestigious bartendingcompetition, World Class, will be hosting Into the Unknown, a five-floorpop-up in Piccadilly featuring top bartenders and an array of experientialdelights, including futuristic Bloody Marys, a botanical “forest” where guests canpick their own G&Tgarnishes, and a whisky cocktail menu that will see guests choose a cocktail using their sensory perceptions.
Japanese Whisky Tasting at RokaOn October 4, Emiko Kajifrom Japan’s celebrated Nikka Whisky company leads a special tasting of theNikka range, including some not-to-be-missed distillery-only bottlings. A greatopportunity to learn more about the world’s hottest whisky category.
The WoodfordAllianceFor three nights(October 4-6), Woodford Reserve bourbon will play matchmaker by hosting aShoreditch pop-up, pairing a leading London bar team with one from overseas.Guests include Nightjar, The Punch Room and Peg + Patriot (second picture) fromLondon, Little Quarter from Stockholm, New York’s Suffolk Arms and The Tailorfrom Amsterdam. Everything from the decor and the food to the music and, ofcourse, the drinks menu will change each night to reflect the visiting bar, andthere will be the chance to indulge in an Old Fashioned cocktail masterclass (which will cost £15).
Soho Negroni ChampionshipsSome of Soho’s mightiest bartendersclash in the inaugural Soho Negroni Championships on October 5, hosted in thenewly refurbished Blue Bar at Quo Vadis (first picture).Guests will enjoy Negronitasters as well as nibbles by Quo Vadis’s Jeremy Lee.
Tickets, £35, are open to members andnon-members and can be purchased by calling 020-7440 1463 or emailing email@example.com.
Whisky in the MakingGo behind the scenes of London’s hippest craft distillery as, for one morningonly (October 6, 10-11am), the East London Liquor Company (ELLC) in Bow teams up with California’sSonoma County Distilling Company to create a single-batch wheat whisky. The sessionalso includes a tasting of three Sonoma County Distilling Company whiskies, apreview of the ELLC’s London Rye White Dog (which will be matured up to the end of 2018)and the opportunity to grill the experts on every last detail of distilling.
Cocktails and Storytelling atZetter Townhouse MaryleboneBar supremo Tony Conigliaro andBrooklyn-based drinks author Dave Wondrich join forces on October 7 to mixcocktails and share anecdotes about the history of drinks. It’s a rareopportunity to catch the arch-raconteur Wondrich in action – bound to be intriguing,and delicious too.
Tickets, £45, www.zettertownhouse.com.
The Blend by Chivas Regal
Sip whisky cocktails (third picture), discover the secrets of making ablended whisky and have a stab at making your own (then take it home) at thiswhisky-themed pop-up in Brick Lane’s Old Truman Brewery, open all week (October3-9).
The Aviation ProjectThe delectable Aviation cocktail turns 100 this year and, inits honour, The Jones Family Project in Great Eastern Street will be deckingitself out all week (October 3-9) in the style of a 1940s airport lounge andserving the traditional formula of gin,maraschino cherry, lemon and crème de violette.
Some events are ticketed while others just require a wristband – visithttps://drinkup.london/cocktailweekfor details.