London Cocktail Week, which returns this year 5-11 October, has announced that it will be taking a week-long residency in Old Spitalfields Market, transforming the whole 1200 square meter space into The London Cocktail Week Village – a bustling hive of the very best cocktails in the capital.
Within The London Cocktail Week Village there will be over 30 unique pop-up bars, trucks, vans, even bicycles, and a central bar hosted by the award-winning Mr Lyan. All will be serving up bespoke drinks specially created to encourage hands-on tastings, chances to meet the faces behind the famous brands and discover more about your favourite cocktails alongside street food, great music and a fabulous festival atmosphere.
The market is completely free entry and all visitors are invited to enjoy the delicious drinks on offer, although for London Cocktail Week wristband wearers, each pop-up will also be serving a menu of £5 signature serves. Wristbands are available for pre-order online or to buy at the market for just £10.
The London Cocktail Week Village is open daily till 9.30pm and for those looking to extend their evening, a must-stop is The House of Angostura pop-up. Overlooking the bustling market, this intimate and exclusive house party will be rocking every night of London Cocktail Week with DJs, delicious Angostura cocktails, and as with every good house party, people hanging out in the kitchen.
This upper floor also houses the LCW info point and ticket office – where you can purchase wristbands and snap up last minute ticket deals to any of the tastings, parties and pop-ups across the capital.
Alongside The London Cocktail Week Village, there are also 275 fantastic bars stretching right across the city, each serving £5 cocktails to those wearing wristbands and cherry picked by the LCW team to showcase the very best of London’s unrivalled hospitality scene. Beyond the Cocktail Tours and The London Cocktail Week Village – there’s also a huge host of incredible parties and pop-ups…
Here’s our ‘What Hot’ Guide…
Switching back across the capital, to heart of the West End, festival-goers will discover a world of incredible mixology, exquisite spirits and unforgettable experiences in the home of the festival – the stylish World Class London Cocktail Week Hub. This one-week luxury pop-up will delight and surprise guests with a host of bespoke drinking experiences in this multi room hub, curated to celebrate the craft of the cocktail. Not only will you be able to pick up your wristband and free pocket bar guide, but roam from one room of playful discovery to the other – suitable for the curious newcomer to the seasoned cocktail lovers alike. The Hub, located at 51 Poland Street, W1F 7LZ, promises to be a true highlight of the week’s activities.
A stones throw away from the London Cocktail Week Village, Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands and Patrón Tequila will bring the 24 Hour Bar Build, flying 24 of the world’s best bartenders into London to host a 24-hour international bar clash and crown one city The World’s Best. Some of the most prestigious bars from New York, Paris, Singapore and London will be united under one roof for the first time to compete in 24hr Bar Build. The four city teams will be tasked with developing a cutting-edge new cocktail bar concept. From designing the space to leading the physical build and inventing an inspiring new cocktail list, creating a social media buzz and then it’s down to you to decide. Enjoy all four bars as the cream of the cocktail world pit themselves against one another.
An exciting return from previous years’ pop ups is the Buffalo Bourbon Empire. Here for yet another year in time to dispel some of your post-summer blues. From the moment you step through the door, immerse yourself in all that is Buffalo Trace. Taste some of the world’s greatest whiskey whilst they transport you to the Buffalo Trace Distillery. Whether you’re learning how to make your favourite cocktails, sample the highly anticipated Antique collection, watching the hilarious award winning comedy duo ‘The Thinking Drinkers’ who will be taking you on a journey through American whiskey drinking and sampling the Buffalo Trace range along the way or just sitting back and relaxing with some sublime drinks, there is a little bit of something for everyone.
Amongst the incredible selection of whiskies at this year’s LCW, you can delve into the Art of Blending with Chivas Regal: Chivas have been carefully selecting and blending whiskies since 1801 and this London Cocktail Week you can get an insight into the skill of a Master Blender. Popping up in The London Cocktail Week Village all week, you can attend their Art of Blending experience and leave with your very own unique blend! Drop in and join a session while you’re in the market – or get ahead and book in your slot through the website.
A classic cocktail is hard to beat. Simple and easy to make, they never go out of favour. Just like a classic story. And everyone loves a good story so DIY Cocktail classics with Absolut will never go out of fashion. With the pioneering creation of flavoured vodkas like Absolut Citron and Absolut Peppar, contemporary cocktail serves such as the Cosmo and the Bloody Mary became staples of the bar menu, and favoured classics forever more. Rico Dynan, Absolut Vodka Brand Ambassador, invites you to discover all there is to know about your favourite tipple. Choose your session based on your favourite Absolut Classic.
Finally, what better way to enjoy and refresh at London Cocktail Week than with Schweppes, the exclusive soft drink for the DrinkUp.London bar this year. The original quintessentially British mixer that first bottled bubbles back in 1783, Schweppes will be bringing its pop up bar at The London Cocktail Week Village.
London Cocktail Week wristbands cost just £10 and are available now at LondonCocktailWeek.com. They are collected from either The World Class London Cocktail Week Hub or The London Cocktail Week Village once the week begins on Monday 5th October, along with a FREE pocket sized bar guide mapping out all bars participating in the festival. As well as £5 cocktails in all partner venues and pop-ups, wristband wearers can benefit from a whole host of delicious offers around town – meaning there really is something for everyone during this fantastic week.
By Siobhan Payne