Preview – London Cocktail Week

By Michelle Connolly Tuesday 13th Sep, 2016

Ah, Cocktail Week, where the best and the brightest from London’s scene strut their stuff for seven days of delicious decadence. This year there are over 200 bars taking part, and an immense cocktail village popping up in Old Spitalfields Market. All you need to get involved is your festival pass – on sale now – and a sneak peek from Dapper Chapper on what’s on where.

Drop in for a whiskey cocktail masterclass for just £10 with Buffalo Bourbon Empire at Hackney House, head for a sitting in the private dining room of City Social for a very special three course meal including Ford’s Gin Martinis and fresh oysters – the £50 tag also includes a little gin goodie bag, or enjoy a journey through some of the more specialist Talisker whiskeys with tutored tastings.

Enjoy a partnership between London’s epochal hidden away speakeasy, Nightjar and Stockholm’s New Orleans-inspired Little Quarter with Woodford Reserve, discover the origins of the Negroni with Cocchi Vermouth at the Worship Street Whistling Shop, or discover the link between cocktails and perfume in a sensory exploration with Tanqueray No. 10 Gin at the Savoy Beaufort Bar.

Head on down to The Punch Room, paired in the Woodford Alliance with New York’s Lower East Side cocktail bar, where you can compare the pencil portraits and modern cocktails of New York’s Suffolk Arms with the wooden panelling and punch-style drinks of London. Or try your hand at creating your very own liqueur with the Recipe Design Workshop – learn about the history, the story behind Sweetdram, and create your own liqueur recipe.

Book an Espresso Rumtini masterclass for £12 at the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs with Grog Rum, and taste their entire range. See how the quirky and experimental Peg + Patriot pairs with the rich history of Amsterdam’s finest offering, The Tailor thanks to Woodford Reserve. Or pimp your prosecco with Christabel’s – mix and shake your own ‘Flirt’ and ‘Zinger’ cocktails before transforming them with (edible) glitter, sequins, jewels, flowers, vibrant ice cubes and flamboyant stirrers, and try some DIY canapes which you construct yourself from £40.

Celebrate Drambuie’s iconic age with the The Brass & Crimson for a night of Drambuie cocktails and performances from world class jazz musicians at The Hoxton Hall. Or try your hand at blending with Chivas Royal, tasting grain whisky and single malts from The Highlands, Lowlands, Speyside and Islay, before being tutored in the craftsmanship of a master blender and making your own unique whisky to take home for £22. Or enter the world of foraging with Islay island gin The Botanist for a masterclass at Blixen for £15.

Claim your free Sailor Jerry tattoo from the artwork of the granddaddy of old school tattoos, Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins and wash it down with a Sailor Jerry Ginger Colada slushy at the Cloak & Dagger, or grab a crew and head over to The Bike Shed to take part in Bulldog Gin’s Brompton Bike Polo, where after some expert tuition you and two friends battle it out FA Cup style to win one team member’s weight in BULLDOG Gin & Tonic – entry is £15 and includes two cocktails, but we can’t say if it will help or hinder your performance, chaps.

See a Clumsy smash up with Calloh Callay and the famous Athens bar for some of the best cocktails straight from the sandy white coast. But don’t miss pop ups at the Cocktail Village – Grey Goose meet Duck & Waffle, Patrón are doing a Cocktail Lab Takeover, experience the Auchentoshan: Welcome to the New Malt Order, try out the Baileys #PSILoveYou Freakshake Bar, or try Fever-Tree’s Ultimate Gin & Tonic Bar – there are loads more but head on in to see for yourselves.

Bottom’s up, chaps!