Celebrating the city’s revered reputation as a global capital of cocktail culture, London Cocktail Week will return from 12-22 October 2023. Now in its 14th year, the immersive takeover is one of the world’s greatest celebrations of all things cocktails, which sees London’s greatest bars – from Shoreditch speakeasies to five-star saloons – shake and stir their best serves. Whether you fancy learning more about whisky in an expert-led masterclass, or sampling new concoctions in opulent surrounds, here are the best things to do during London Cocktail Week 2023.
London Cocktail Week Connoisseur’s Collection
New for the 14th annual festival, the Connoisseur’s Collection is a programme of exclusive, reservation-only experiences held at a handful of London’s most prestigious bars representing the pinnacle of cocktail service. From 12-22 October, the schedule features The Savoy’s historic American Bar, where guests will be able to try an authentic vintage daiquiri made with rare 1970s Bacardi rum alongside a modern day interpretation, and The Beaufort Bar, involving a martini alongside a 5g ‘bump’ of French Sturia caviar. Elsewhere, The Aubrey’s bar director Pietro Rizzo will personally host a special series of Omakase cocktail experiences, while whisky fans can sign up to Sexy Fish’s tasting event on 16 October, which will give just six guests the opportunity to taste an extremely rare selection of the bar’s top shelf Japanese whiskies. Other venues taking part include Lyaness, Kwānt, Scarfes Bar at Rosewood London, Gong at Shangri-La The Shard and Velvet by Salvatore Calabrese at Corinthia London.
A popular mainstay of London Cocktail Week since its inception in 2010, the Curated Cocktail Tours will see more than 200 bars across the city offer £8 Signature Cocktails, that have been specially created for the duration of the festival. Cocktail lovers will be able to explore and experience the best of London’s bar scene by making their way through the curated selection of participating bars, with the Signature Cocktails available to those who show their festival wristband. The ticket price will also include a printed guidebook featuring all the bars taking part. A personal favourite is Nobu Bar’s Espresso High, made with discarded Cascara vermouth, lacto plum syrup, re-brewed coffee husk and cocoa nib soda, spent coffee husk dust and gold.
Möet Hennessy UK masterclass at The Langham
What better way to kick off London Cocktail Week than at The Langham’s critically-acclaimed Artesian Bar? In partnership with Möet Hennessy UK, expert bartenders will whip up a special selection of Moët cocktails, curated to showcase the versatility of the world-renowned champagne. On 12 October from 5-6pm, the five-star space will host a cocktail masterclass, demonstrating how Moët is not only a champagne but also an excellent base for cocktails. Spectators will discover how Moët can be paired with a selection of pre-batched tinctures to highlight the key grape varieties of Moët: pinot noir, meunier and chardonnay.
1C Portland Place, W1B 1JA, visit londoncocktailweek.com
Great Scotland Yard Hotel, Westminster
Great Scotland Yard Hotel will celebrate London Cocktail Week with two £8 cocktails, with one tipple coinciding with the hotel’s launch of Jo Loves as the hotel’s new amenity partner. The Jo Loves Pomelo cocktail, found in The 40 Elephants Bar, comprises Ramsbury vodka, orange dry curacao, lemon, Italicus, Pomelo cordial and cherry bitters, served alongside a mini Jo Loves Pomelo fragrance. Meanwhile Síbín, the hotel’s elegant whisky speakeasy, has created the Collinada cocktail: Ramsbury gin, spiced pineapple cordial, lime juice, pineapple and almond soda.
3-5 Great Scotland Yard, SW1A 2HN, visit hyattrestaurants.com
Scandi takeover at Callooh Callay Shoreditch
Join Callooh Callay – one of the Top 50 Cocktail Bars in the UK since 2019 – for a series of Scandi takeovers throughout London Cocktail Week. Bringing experts from several award-winning establishments in Scandinavia – including Svanen, Oslo, Copenhagen’s Nimb, Denmark’s Gedulgt before closing off with A Bar Called Gemma from Stockholm – each masterclass will be hosted in partnership with Scotch whisky brand Glenmorangie. Each bar will take over Callooh Callay Shoreditch to create a selection of delicious Glenmorangie cocktails which can be enjoyed throughout the evening.
65 Rivington Street, EC2A 3QQ, visit calloohcallaybar.com
Hennessy masterclass at TT Liquor
Join the team at Hoxton’s TT Liquor to immerse yourself in the world of Hennessy through exclusive masterclasses, cocktails and tastings from 18-20 October. The bright and airy bar on Kingsland Road will host a tasting masterclass exploring Hennessy’s renowned VS, XO and Pure White expressions. Start proceedings with a Hennessy cocktail before Hennessy’s global trade manager, Jordan Bushell, gives a lesson in the nuances, complexity and tasting notes of each blend. Afterwards, enjoy a guided tasting of the Hennessy range in TT Liquor's vaults looking at the past, present and future of the famous brand. Whether a cognac connoisseur or not, this is an opportunity to brush up on your knowledge or simply sample some of the world’s finest cognacs.
7B Kingsland Road, E2 8AA, visit ttliquor.co.uk
Gin Mare Med Transfers
From balmy summer nights to aperitivo moments by the sea, Gin Mare is bringing a taste of the Mediterranean to London for two nights during London Cocktail Week with its very own urban cocktail tour via a unique vintage campervan. Ideal for cocktail lovers and foodies, guests will be transported between three London venues – Kwãnt, Bar Daskal and Parrillan – in a royal-blue VW campervan to discover a selection of dishes and specially-curated Gin Mare cocktails around the capital.
First stop on 17 and 18 October is Mayfair’s Kwãnt, a 2021 World’s 50 Best Bar, which will be serving exquisite cocktails from globally renowned bartender Erik Lorincz and Mediterranean dishes from Joni Ketonen. Bar Daskal is a pocket of Mallorca in Borough Yard and a homage to the owners’ seafaring artist grandfather, showcasing the freshest Spanish flavours. Finally, Parrillan brings a flavour of the Spanish mainland to King’s Cross, curated by Angel Zapata Martin, where fish, meat and vegetables are grilled to perfection.
The LaLee at The Cadogan, Chelsea
Celebrate London Cocktail Week in style at The Cadogan’s new European café The LaLee, which has carefully curated two limited-edition cocktails. Drawing inspiration from the voyages of one of the hotel’s most legendary past residents, and Chelsea socialite, Lillie Langtry, the new cocktails are served in sophisticated Cadogan style with a touch of tableside theatre. Choose the punchy, rum-based Madame in Blue with Eminente Reserva Cuban rum and grapefruit garnished with a sprinkle of blueberry powder. Alternatively, the non-alcoholic version, Madame Finesse is made with New London Light, a refreshing non-alcoholic spirit, caramelised pineapple and ginger shrub, pineapple, lemon and garnished with raspberry sugar dust.
75 Sloane Street, SW1X 9SG, visit thelalee.co.uk
Seed Library x Moët & Chandon
To close off the London Cocktail Week celebrations, Seed Library at One Hundred Shoreditch and Moët & Chandon will be hosting a closing party on 22 October. Alongside hot dog canapes and DJ sets, Seed Library’s talented team of mixologists, led by award-winning mixologist Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka Mr Lyan), have created a list of bespoke Moët & Chandon cocktails which can be enjoyed while soaking up the ambience of this laid-back basement bar. Special guests Yacht Club and Sweden’s Röda Huset will also be joining the party with their own concoctions, including the Golden 75: Moët & Chandon, gin, pear, and sour London honey.
100 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JQ, visit seedlibraryshoreditch.com
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