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London Cocktail Week
October 6, 2014
London Cocktail Week– the UK’s leading drinks festival – is back for its fifth consecutive year, offering more events with fantastic brands from Monday 6th to Sunday 12th October.
200 venues across the capital will showcase London’s unrivalled cocktail culture, with tastings, master classes, pop-ups and parties. Festival wristbands can be collected from one of four dedicated London Cocktail Week hubs throughout the city (see below for details). Wristbands cost £15 and allow wearers discount cocktails (£4) in all 200 venues across London.
At the heart of the action is the London Cocktail Week Ketel One Hub, located within Seven Dials, Covent Garden. From here, festivalgoers can collect wristbands, plan activities, visit the farmer’s market, and use ingredients to create their own seasonal Ketel One Vodka cocktail.
For those looking for something other than vodka, highlights include but are not limited to:
Offering a taste of Tanqueray throughout the ages, guests will be able to explore the glamorous past of gin at the Tanqueray No. TEN Hub. Discreetly tucked away in the underground Mark’s Bar beneath Hixter, the hub will celebrate the style and sophistication of the 1920s with live bands, flapper dancers and exclusive gin and food pairing dinners. In addition, daily master-classes led by Brand Ambassador, Tim Homewood will guide gin lovers on a journey through the history of the spirit, brought to life with experimental cocktails and dramatic flourishes. Entry and master-classes free.
Bulleit Bourbon and London Cocktail Club will bring a slice of the Midwest to the West End with an authentic 1950’s pop-up American Diner. Taking residency in London Cocktail Club on Shaftesbury Avenue, the Bulleit Bourbon Diner will celebrate indulgent, old fashion fun times and new age kicks. The transformed bar will feature a traditional Bulleit juke box playing 50’s sing along classics, roller- skating waitresses and a Bulleit cocktail menu to accompany classic diner dishes. Bulleit Hard Shakes and cocktails will be served alongside American favourites such as corn dogs, deep fried pickles in Bulleit Rye batter and fries with Cajan salt dusting. Entry Free.
Don Julio returns to Translate Bar once again, transforming the venue into a lively Mexican street scene adorned with artworks influenced by Don Julio’s rich heritage. For the duration of the week, visitors can savour the largest and most eclectic list of Tequila cocktails in East London whilst tucking into Mexican street food, inspired by the serves. Top DJs will create a Mexican party atmosphere throughout the week. Just don’t be late to the fiesta; from 5pm daily, the first 50 customers to buy a Don Julio cocktail will have the opportunity to create, make and wear their ownbespoke Mexican inspired T-Shirts. Entry free.
A fully immersive flavour experience will await guests that locate the secret Zacapa tasting chamber. Guided on a sensory journey, rum lovers will ‘travel’ to Zacapa’s origins in The House Above The Clouds, 2300m above sea level in the Guatemalan rainforest, followed by a special tasting created by a renowned guest chef. Entry by token, available at the London Cocktail Week Ketel One Hub.
On selected nights throughout the week, bartenders from some of Paris’ most renowned bars will bring their Parisian flair to London as they guest bartend with Brand Ambassador, Julien LaFond. During each takeover, visitors will be immersed in a world of French flavour with Parisian music and Grand Marnier-infused dishes, including the iconic Crêpes Suzettes. They may also be treated to a special appearance from the Grand Marnier Charm Squad, who will be dropping in to offer a little ‘je ne sais quoi’ to consumers with special prizes and Grand Marnier hints and tips. Entry free.
On Thursday 9th October, visitors to the Punch Room and the London Edition Hotel will be able to sample a delicious variety of canapés expertly paired with six expressions of Talisker. Live rhythm and blues bands will introduce each whisky as Whisky Ambassador Colin Dunn guides guests through each delicious pairing. Tickets £20.
For one night only, on Monday 6th October, whisky enthusiasts can join Colin Dunn and his band The Lagavulins at Worship St Whistling Shop for a musical tasting of Lagavulin 12, 16, and Distillers Edition. Guests can expect a whisky-filled evening tasting six of Islay’s finest drams accompanied with a soundtrack of live rhythm & blues. Tickets £35.
Tickets for events are available online and wristbands are collected from the dedicated London Cocktail Week Ketel One Hub, 9 Earlham Street, Seven Dials, WC2H 9LL and the Tanqueray Hub at Hixter bar and restaurant in Liverpool Street, plus other pop-up spaces across the city – The Bluebird Café and Courtyard, Chelsea and The Whisky Exchange at Vinopolis, London Bridge.
Vicky Ilankovan – Lifestyle Editor