Just when I was starting to recover from a slightly over-indulgent summer – BAM. London Cocktail Week rears its boozy little head. I mean, I’m happy to see it – it’s been a year and we do get on very well, but it’s also a terrible influence. So – if I’m going down, you lot are coming with me. If you haven’t joined in the carnage before, here’s what you need to know. 300+ bars across the capital are offering up unique serves throughout the week for £6, and there’s a tonne of exciting popups, bar takeovers and events every day. The magnificent LCW Cocktail Village is back, but this time it’s spread over three larger spaces just off Brick Lane with a later closing time of 11pm, and its only open from Wednesday to Sunday. To get involved with any LCW events and to gain access to the village, you’ll need to buy your £10 digital pass in advance on the free DrinkUp.London app. Head to the LCW website here for all the info. Read on for a few of my recommendations for the week ahead!
The Light House| 5-7 Grape Street | Mon 1 Oct – Sat 6 Oct
The Light House promises guests a multi-sensory experience of colour, scent, sight and sound, alongside a selection of inventive light cocktails, each under 150 calories. By night The Light House will come into its own with incredible lighting. 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. Each will explore their own interpretation of light to craft low-calorie cocktails using the finest spirits and London Essence’s range of tonics, gingers and sodas.
The Light House, 5-7 Grape Street, London, WC2H 8DW
Mon 1st Oct – Sat 6th Oct | 11am-10.30pm | £12 tickets here
The Dead Rabbit at The Sun Tavern | Tue 2 Oct
Manhattan’s award-winning Dead Rabbit crew are bringing their NYC taproom over to The Sun Tavern again for one night only to showcase The Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey in three cocktails including The Dead Rabbit’s celebrated Irish Coffee. One of the specially created cocktails, The Lone Oak (Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey, Green Chartreuse, Pistachio, Fresh Curry Leaf, Lemon & Angostura Bitters), will be available throughout London Cocktail Week.
The Sun Tavern, 441 Bethnal Green Rd, London, E2 0AN
Tue 2nd Oct | 6pm-1am | Free Entry
Patrón – The Three Amigos | Napoleon Hotel | Tue 2 Oct
Three international bartenders are each taking over a different floor of the wonderful Napoleon Hotel on Tuesday presenting three signature cocktails made with Patrón Tequila. Nikos Bakoulis of The Clumsies (Athens) will be on the top floor The Devil’s Darling. Below him is Artem Peruk of El Copitas (St.Petersburg) in Sack Bar, and finally Shingo Gokan of Speak Low (Shanghai) in the basement boozer Black Rock. Rumour has it there will be a rather special DJ set there too.
The Napoleon Hotel, 9 Christopher Street, EC2A 2BS
Tue 2nd Oct | 6pm-late | Free Entry
The Ultimate Dinner Party… Aussie Style| 16 Cotton’s Gardens | Tue 2 Oct – Sat 6 Oct
Starward whiskey cocktails and sexy food from a Michelin-starred Australian chef in a converted Victorian zip & suspender factory in Shoreditch – sounds good right? To showcase Starward’s recently launched signature cocktail list inspired by their city, ‘The 5 Boroughs of Melbourne’, they’ve teamed up with ex-Texture chef, Andrew Wandless, to create a 5 course paired menu that is available from Tuesday – Saturday during London Cocktail Week. Whiskey soaked lamingtons anyone?
16 Cotton’s Gardens, London, E2 8DN
Tue 2nd Oct – Sat 6th Oct | 7pm-11pm | £65 – tickets here
Matt Whiley’s highly rated, sustainable bar Scout recently relocated to Hackney Central, just in time for London Cocktail Week, and he’s invited some friends to play. On the Tuesday, he’s teaming up once again with superstars Luke Whearty (Operation Dagger / Byrdi) and Alex Kratena (POUR) for Like Minded Creatures Vol.4 – a one-night only menu of outstanding cocktails. Luke is then sticking around until the 6th Oct to showcase Byrdi drinks from his soon-to-open Melbourne bar.
Scout, 224 Graham Road, E8 1BP
Tue 2nd Oct | 5pm-12pm | Wed 3rd Oct – Sat 6th Oct – check opening times | Free Entry
The Cocktail Village | Brick Lane | Wed 3 Oct – Sun 7 Oct
The never-ending maze of pop-up cocktail bars and food vendors is always unmissable. This year, it’s split across three spaces in Brick Lane, open from 12pm-11pm Wednesday-Saturday, and 12pm-7pm on Sunday; and there are over 40 cocktail experiences to get stuck in to. I’ve got my eyes on Monkey 47’s treasure hunt, Kyro Distillery’s forest complete with sauna and wooden skittles, and Monkey Shoulder’s 11,000 litre pimped out cement mixer. Entry is free with your LCW wristband. N.B. It’s not open on Monday and Tuesday this year!
The Cocktail Village, Brick Lane, London, E1 6QL
Wed 3rd Oct – Sat 6th Oct | 12pm-11pm || Sun 7th Oct | 12pm-7pm | Free Entry
#BeTheBotanist : The Forager’s Table | Shoreditch Treehouse | 3 Oct – 5 Oct
The Botanist Gin is putting on an innovative three-course dining experience, inspired by urban foraging and created by some of London’s top chefs and bartenders. Curated by Craig Grozier, founder of Scottish dining experience Fallachan and in-house chef for The Botanist Gin, the experience seeks to reconnect people with nature to bring to life the ethos behind The Botanist Gin. Each dish will be expertly paired with a cocktail created by Marcis Dzelzainis, drinks curator at Sager + Wilde, Rosey Mitchell, global competition winning bartender from Three Sheets and Robin Honhold from The Lyan Group.
Shoreditch Treehouse, Charlotte Road, EC2A 3PB
Wed 3rd Oct – Fri 5th Oct | 7pm-10pm | £45 – tickets here
Absolut Porn Star Martini Townhouse | 19 Greek Street | 3 Oct – 6 Oct
From Wednesday 3rd to Saturday 6th October, 19 Greek Street Soho will transform into the Absolut Porn Star Martini Townhouse. Discover a unique multi-sensory journey across four floors of this beautiful Victorian building, including an immersive Passion Fruit Kaleidoscope created by renowned London-based designer, Fred Butler. From a mist filled Vanilla Forest to a bubble filled maze, the town house will bring to life the tastes, aromas and sensations of this iconic cocktail. The final stop will be the Absolut Vanilia Bar, where you can make and enjoy your own Absolut Porn Star Martini.
19 Greek Street, London, W1D 4DT
Wed 3rd Oct – Sat 6th Oct | 5pm-9pm | £6-£9 – tickets here
Smith & Sinclair X MADE | MADE HQ | 4 Oct – 5 Oct
Smith & Sinclair have partnered with MADE to put on a “Multi-Sensorial Cocktail Masterclass” filled with all sorts of nonsense! Think edible G&Ts, alcoholic gummies, colour changing cocktails and more. Hosted by two of Smith & Sinclair’s top cocktail connoisseurs, guests are invited to a private room where they’ll enjoy some welcome treats followed by an array of cocktails delivered in a unique fashion.
MADE HQ, 5 Singer Street, London, EC2A 4AP
Thu 4th Oct – Fri 5th Oct | 7pm | £26.79 – tickets here
Diplomatico’s Multisensory Mystery Tour | TT Liquor | 5 Oct
Multisensory experiences seems to be the thing this year! For £14, The Spirits Collective and Diplomatico’s European Brand Ambassador Jon Lister will take you through their beautiful range of rums, pairing with sights, aromas, sounds and more. Apparently you’ll leave “having taken three different holidays” – sounds good to me. You’ll also receive a welcome rum cocktail on arrival, as well as a discount voucher for the bottle shop afterwards.
TT Liquor, 17B Kingsland Rd, London, E2 8AA
Fri 5th Oct | 6.30pm-8pm | £14 – tickets here
Smoke | TT Liquor | 6 Oct
Another fun looking event from The Spirits Collective at TT Liquor. Smoke! Industry stalwarts Stef Holt & Gaby Moncada will take you on a journey, pairing smoky whiskies with smoky Mezcals and smoked food before rounding them all off into some delightful smoked cocktails. There’ll be a rum cocktail on arrival, goodie bags and more, if you are still going strong by Saturday!
TT Liquor, 17B Kingsland Rd, London, E2 8AA
Sat 6th Oct | 4pm-5.30pm | £14 – tickets here
That should be enough to keep you busy! I’ll either update this article with pictures as I go this week, or upload them to a separate LCW 2018 highlights post. Keep an eye on my Instagram stories here for live updates throughout the week.
London Cocktail Week 2018 – drinkup.london/cocktailweek