London Cocktail Week 2016
Held between Monday 3rd and Sunday 9th October 2016, the London Cocktail Week is the biggest and most vibrant celebration of the art of mixology in the city. We hope you’re ready for one hell of a boozy bonanza - anybody with a wristband (£10) gets access to over 200 venues involved, where bartenders will whip up signature cocktails for the exclusively discounted price of £5. With so many amazing watering holes to discover, here’s just a handful of our favourites taking part in LCW this year.
Last updated on 3rd October 2016
Typically known for their authentic tapas sharing plates and Spanish-influenced drinks, Camino is getting into the LCW spirit by unveiling an extra special Paula Punched Pablo’s Pepper (El Jimardor tequila, Absolut pepper vodka, fresh coriander, lime and honey syrup served with Himalayan pink salt and a padron pepper). Three of their sites are taking part (Blackfriars, King’s Cross and Bankside) so pick your most convenient and tuck into this fiery, bespoke cocktail.
Doused in rich woods and textured furnishings - and inspired by Lewis Carroll’s The Walrus and The Carpenter - The Walrus Room’s literary theme continues to their Moby Dick cocktail for this festival week. Take your LCW adventures out towards Battersea Rise and indulge in an exquisite taste of Courvoisier VSOP cognac shaken with Perique, ginger, clove syrup, egg white and a splash of grapefruit.
Plating up NY comfort food washed down by an exciting array of cocktails - all soundtracked by a golden playlist of old-school hip-hop, soul and funk - Dirty Bones is one seriously cool place to head for a drink or two. Catch them at any of their Kensington, Carnaby or recently opened Shoreditch venues during LCW to sample the Club Row Sour, a heady mix of JD, limoncello, vanilla schnapps and bubblegum syrup garnished with a toasted marshmallow.
One of London’s leading sky-high spots will be beckoning thirsty wristband-holders up to the 10th floor of the ME London hotel this LCW, where a refined taste of the good life and views of the city's skyline await. Grab yourself a La Dolce Vita (Bombay Sapphire gin, Campari, limoncello, passion fruit puree and fresh grapefruit juice) and take in that vantage point in true style.
Pull out all the stops and discover one of London’s most decadent drinking spots by checking in at The Gilbert Scott this LCW. Offering grand, timeless vibes from the comfort of the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, the signature A Feather in the Cap drink fuses Frapin cognac with fig, apricot liqueur and sherry and is available for the exclusive discounted price for those with a wristband.
Specialists in seasonal cocktails that utilise bitters and syrups made from scratch, Ekcovision invites you beneath the railway arches on Brixton’s Atlantic Road to revel in the spirit of their cosy speakeasy setting this LCW. Make yours a Banana Nuclear Daiquiri if you like the sound of Cana Brava rum, fresh lime, falernum and green Chartreuse finished off with a helping of homemade banana liqueur.
Any cocktail lover with a penchant for whisky needs to have Black Rock on their radar. One of their talented mixologists has just won a prestigious competition hosted by Rebel Yell bourbon and is headed for the Kentucky Bourbon Festival to showcase his skills, and you’ll be able to see what all the fuss is about for yourself during LCW, where the bar’s signature Java of Skye will fuse smokey Talisker 10yo Scotch whisky with atomised Skye essence and coffee cream soda.
Known for serving up highly creative concoctions in a whimsical, fantastical setting right in the heart of the city, there’s no better time to stumble upon The Trading House than during Cocktail Week. Their bespoke serve for the festival is the Intrepid Forager’s Collins, which promises a beautiful and invigorating blend of gin, tea syrup and fresh coriander topped off with soda water.
To be fair, the stunning views from the rooftop terrace at Aqua Spirit are probably worth the visit alone. There’s a lot more to this central London haunt than just the spectacular views though, and you’ll find the skilled bar team muddling Ketel One Vodka, Yuzu sake, fresh lemon juice, ginger syrup, Angostura bitters and soda water to create their LCW signature; the Japanese Citrus.
Tequila your tipple of choice? You’ll want to hear all about Cielo Blanco’s LCW offering. A tribute to all things Mexican with delicious and thoughtful cuisine washed down by lashings of authentic mezcal and tequila spirits, approach the Dancing with the Devil (Don Julio blanco tequila, home-made blackberry shrub, ginger-infused agave syrup, fresh lime juice and ginger ale) with caution; it packs an almighty punch.
Bittersweet Symphony isn’t just a timeless tune from The Verve, it’s also the name of the bespoke cocktail of choice knocked up by The Wright Brothers this London Cocktail Week. Available at their Spitalfields and Soho outposts, pop in at any time during the week for a refreshing pick-me-up of Bombay Sapphire gin, Bold London spirit, rose lemonade, marmalade and fresh lemon juice.