Know your negronis? Got a thing for killer coladas? Whatever your poison, London Cocktail Week is here to quench your thirst. Back and bigger than ever, the boozy fest is reaching across 10 days - from 4th to 13th October - with over 300 of the city’s best bars involved. When you're not hitting up The Cocktail Village on Brick Lane, work your way through pop-ups led by acclaimed brands, international takeovers and workshops that’ll have you blending, mixing and tasting. Need a nudge on where to go? With a day-by-day pick of the best events in town, this is your essential guide to LCW 2019.
Wednesday 2nd October:
Lyaness x Fancy Free
Celebrations might not officially kick off until Friday 4th, but that isn’t stopping Lyaness from getting the party started. Joined by Melbourne’s Fancy Free, this slick hotel bar is warming up with bespoke whisky highballs created using specially made ingredients. If that’s not enough, then there’s also the Patrón tequila-laced Circle Fizz that’ll set you back just £6 with your LCW wristband.
Thursday 3rd October:
While exploring London’s bar scene is part of the fun, LCW is the perfect opportunity to get stuck into quirky pop-ups and interactive experiences. Cue The Essence House. Get ready for a journey of flavour exploration as The London Essence Company pops up in Leicester Square, enlisting a ‘flavour expert’ to scientifically match botanicals, flavours and aromas to your palate, creating the ultimate bespoke cocktails.
Friday 4th October:
Thought this Bloomsbury bar couldn’t get any hotter? Think again. Fitz’s has got a whole load of events lined up for LCW, but this one’s a corker as owner and head bartender of Katana Kitten, Masahiro Urushido, lands from NYC to bring you an evening of Japanese-inspired drinks in stunning surroundings.
Still feeling thirsty? Head a few roads over where The Bloomsbury hotel is welcoming Barcelona's Paradiso Bar at The Coral Room, while The Old Man from Hong Kong jets over to The Bloomsbury Club Bar below.
Saturday 5th October:
Davies and Brook at Claridges
One of the most anticipated openings of 2019, Davies & Brook is the upcoming restaurant from the brains behind New York’s Eleven Park Madison and The NoMad, and it’s landing at Claridge’s later this year. But first? A sneak preview of the cocktail offering as bartenders Leo Robitschek and Pietro Collina bring dirty martinis, honey cobblers and a celery fizz to the Mayfair hotel for one night only.
Sunday 6th October:
Immerse yourself in the world of gin as Hendrick's welcomes you to indulge in their Gin Tini Martini Townhouse. Get your hands on 6 cocktails in this otherworldly pop-up where teeny artists are housed in Instagrammable surroundings set to the tune of micro pianists. Spread over 3 days, there’s takeovers from Singapore’s Manhattan Bar, Amsterdam’s Super Lyan, Edinburgh’s Panda & Sons and more.
Monday 7th October:
Cocktail Karaoke at ROKA
Make your way to ROKA’s Charlotte Street outpost where the subterranean Shochu Lounge is being given a karaoke-fuelled facelift from the House of Suntory. So, what exactly is Cocktail Karaoke you ask? Choose between gin, vodka and whisky, pick your favourite track and the bar team will create a custom-made tipple based on your choices.
Tuesday 8th October:
Prepare to worship at the altar of Reverend JW Simpson because the Goodge Street drinks den is back with a special edition of Spirited Sermons, and this time, Appleton Estate is along for the ride. With a masterclass promising fun facts and amusing anecdotes alongside the chance to make your own concoctions, this is one for all you rum lovers.
Wednesday 9th October:
Whether you’re a negroni aficionado or still getting to grips with aperitifs, join POLPO in Smithfield for a vermouth-splashed masterclass courtesy of Cocchi. The experts will be on hand; dishing out welcome cocktails, guiding you through tastings and whipping up 4 different kinds of negroni. ‘Cos that’s what you’re here for.
Thursday 10th October:
Coming all the way from Finland, Kyrö Distillery Company is back at LCW once again, and this time around, they’re bringing you a gin-soaked workshop in an unlikely setting. Head to The Cocktail Village for a masterclass that’ll have you blending botanical distillates and creating your very own G&T at a 'sauna bar'.
Friday 11th October:
Setting up shop in The Cocktail Village, Bathtub Gin is here to satisfy your botanical thirst. Unwind with a welcome drink before creating your own gin at this interactive infusion workshop. Whether you've got a thing for juniper or love a little coriander, pipette your way to boozy bliss. You'll even be able to take a bottle home for keeps.
Saturday 12th October:
Still haven’t experienced London’s first ever whisky hotel? Now’s the time, as Black Rock is transformed into the Whisky House. With 9 days of late-night DJs, flight nights and takeovers from some of the biggest brands around, this isn't one to miss. Expect a Bulleit Bourbon kick-off party, an Irish quiz with Guinness and a night dedicated to hip-hop and highballs before Talisker close things out with a wild spirits workshop and mega party.
Sunday 13th October:
LCW Closing Party at The Sun Tavern
Not ones for a day of rest, The Sun Tavern in Bethnal Green is going out in style with a Sunday session that you won't want to miss. After a jam-packed week of events that welcomes LA's Broken Shaker and Two Shmucks from Barcelona, the whisky-loving pub is teaming up with Tullamore Dew and Yard Sale to bring you highballs and pizza led by a DJ set from Arveene. Boom.
In need of a little more imbibing inspiration? Check out our pick of the best cocktail bars in London.