When you hear the phrase ‘bigger and better than ever’, it’s generally wise to take it with a pinch of salt. When it comes to London Cocktail Week, though, we believe them. It’s back again for the 5th year (where does the time go?) from 5-11 October, and this year they’re taking over Old Spitalfields Market, transforming the space into The London Cocktail Village.
There will be over 30 pop-up bars, trucks, and even bicycles surrounding a central bar run by the award-winning Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka Mr Lyan) of White Lyan and Dandelyan. There’s guaranteed to be a party atmosphere as visitors are encouraged to get hands-on with their favourite brands alongside great music and some of London’s best street food vendors. If that wasn’t enough, there’ll be 275 bars taking part across the capital, hand picked by the LCW team, and each serving £5 cocktails to wristband wearers. Plus there are loads of other great events happening over the week, including the iconic 50 Best Bars Awards (keep an eye on olive for the results).
If you don’t fancy venturing out east to the London Cocktail Village, the place to be is the World Class London Cocktail Week Hub. World Class represents some of the biggest and best brands in the drinks industry, and this is the first time that they’ll be gathered together, hidden through the Vinyl Factory record shop on Poland Street in the heart of Soho. There will be something for everyone here, whether you’re a cocktail newcomer or seasoned pro. The World Class Bar will give you the opportunity to enjoy cocktails from bartenders at the top of their game, and once you’ve been inspired, the World Class Studio will give you the chance to experiment and learn the techniques you’ll need to become a top bartender yourself.
The World Class Hub will also be home to the Tanqueray Art Deco bar; where you’ll be taken back to the golden era of cocktails and learn to make quick and easy cocktails to impress at home, Haig Club Dining Room; expect hosting tips, how to pre-batch bottled cockails and Haig Club pairings, and the Ketel One Vodka Kitchen, where you can experiment with infusing your own bespoke vodka soda and learn how to recreate the serves at home. Plus, there’s an interactive gift shop. This is the ultimate luxury drinks destination.
We’re British, and it’s not in our nature to brag, but the truth is that London is the capital of cocktail culture. During London Cocktail Week, we’ve got a chance to prove that with the Bacardi Brown-Forman brands and Patrón 24 Hour Bar Build. Four teams made up of 24 of the world’s best bartenders will descend on the capital to compete to crown one city the world’s best. The teams – New York, Paris, Singapore and London, headed up by Richard Woods of Duck & Waffle – will be tasked with developing a new bar from scratch, including everything from concept and design, to physical build and the cocktail list, and compete to be crowned the winners by the public.
Another must-visit is the Buffalo Bourbon Empire, where you’ll be transported to the Buffalo Trace distillery to sample the good stuff, explore their highly-anticipated Antique Collection, and be guided through a history of American drinking. Or, if you fancy yourself as a master blender, head to Chivas Regal to try your hand at creating a bespoke blend.
No matter what gets you excited about cocktail culture, there is something for you at LCW. Wristbands cost just £10 and are available to buy now at LondonCocktailWeek.com to be collected along with your own pocket-sized bar guide from the World Class Hub or London Cocktail Week Village. We’ll see you at the bar.