SB Picks: Our guide to London Cocktail Week28th September, 2012 by Becky Paskin
London Cocktail Week is back for another year, this time setting up shop in and around Seven Dials in Covent Garden, and promising an exciting line-up of masterclasses, seminars and tastings to make any bartender froth at the mouth.
Running for one week from 8-14 October, London Cocktail Week must be the highlight in the capital’s drinking calendar.
This year will see Seven Dials play host to a series of pop-up bars, from the likes of Ginstitute, Smatt’s Rum & Ice Cream Shack, the Fever Tree Botanical Bicycle, Buffalo Trace’s The Bourbon Empire and Edinburgh fave Bon Vivant.
The Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands’ Training Team will also be setting up shop in their Home of Cocktail Culture pop-up at 9 Mercer Street, providing some pretty interesting masterclasses and talks. The team will also be on hand throughout the week to provide trade visitors with advice and tastings.
In addition, the week-long event will play host to a few cocktail competition UK finals, including the Monin Cocktail Cup (10 October) and the Beefeater 24 Perfect Host Cocktail Competition (11 October), both of which are free for visitors to pop by and cheer on their fellow bartenders.
Our highlight however has to be the Angostura aromatic bitters masterclass with The Maestro, Salvatore Calabrese. A free event, attendees will walk away having been taught by one of London’s greatest mixologists, and will have a certificate and gift to prove it.
Cocktail Tours of London
The team over at Diffords Guide, the organisers of London Cocktail Week, have hand-picked a selection of London’s best bars they recommend visiting. Those interested in sampling some of the city’s best drinking joints can visit www.londoncocktailweek.com for bar maps of several areas of London. Every bar on the map will be offering £4 cocktails to those wearing a London Cocktail Week wristband.
Wristbands are available to trade only who have registered their details at the website address above using the code ‘TR4D3’, and allow wearers entry to some of the most exclusive events during the week. They can be picked up in advance from 15 Shorts Gardens, WC2H 9AT on 7 October.
If all this seems like a bit too much to take in, and having visited the organiser’s website you’re feeling a bit perplexed as to what you should visit, don’t worry. We’ve raked through the exhaustive list and hand-picked the most interesting and worthwhile events for bartenders to attend.
If it all still seems like hard work, just remember the advice from those visiting Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans this year: “Use your daytime to go to seminars, masterclasses and tastings, but mind how much you drink. That’s what the evenings are there for.”