Ah, London Cocktail Week – those glorious, booze-soaked seven days when mixology fans trip from bar to bar, purchasing special libations for the fabulous price of £5. Just by flashing your wristband, you can attend parties, demonstrations and pop-ups, as well as being first on the scene for exclusive events.
Day One is done, and we’ve planned our route through the city with military-like precision, ensuring all items in our possession are clearly labelled with our home address, should we need to be bundled, hiccuping, into a taxi. So, what venues are we excited about visiting? And what tipples are we most looking forward to trying? Here’s a little Best of Everything £5 drinks for London Cocktail Week.
Pop in to this Pop-Up: The Art of the Old Fashioned
Bourbon has been riding high on a wave of popularity recently – no longer is it purely associated with Man-Men types toasting their achievements with a 2pm tot. It features heavily in best-selling cocktails, and both genders gleefully sing the praises of this amber spirit. One of our favourite varieties has to be Woodford Reserve, (notes of vanilla and caramel that make it more than a little palatable) and so what do you get when you ask some of the most skilled bartenders in the business to get creative? A pretty awesome pop-up, is what. The Art of the Old Fashioned will be located at 347 Old Street in East London, featuring a menu that includes The Dead Rabbit Old Fashioned (using Benedictine for a herbaceous twist), and The Belmont House, resplendent with all kinds of tea-time additions (teapot bitters, for example), and a sweet treat in the form of a Disappearing Dining Club Old Fashioned Float (it’s got ice cream, FYI). The one we’re most looking forward to? The Cocktail Lovers Old Fashioned, made using banana liquor and toffee & nut syrup. At only £5 each, these could be dangerous.
The Art of the Old Fashioned runs from 6th to 9th October 2015 from 6pm to 11pm each evening. To book masterclasses check here
Our favourite Baja Californian cantina is getting into the fiesta spirit by offering up two of their best selling cocktails – the Tommy’s Margarita and The Pink Chihuahua. The latter is also the name of the underground member’s bar, where many who have stumbled into Soho late at night will have lost a good few hours of their life to revelry. Invented by cocktail maestro Dick Bradsell (also responsible for the Espresso Martini) it is pink (pomegranate), fluffy (egg white), and has a necessary kick from Blanco tequila. The Tommy’s Margarita replaces the triple sec in a regular margarita with agave syrup, giving more depth of flavour and a different kind of sweetness, and all fans of tequila kind of have to give it a go. Whether or not you finish the night dancing on the tables downstairs is up to you…
Uber sleek and super chic – these are the words to describe the Shepherd’s Bush hotel that is high on everyone’s hot-list. Promising to turn curiosity into admiration as soon as one steps through the doors, now they are ramping up the passion levels with two limited edition ‘Love Potion’ cocktails. Designed For Him and For Her, both drinks contain the secret ingredient of ‘herbal aphrodisiac drops’ – as if we needed any more encouragement after a few too many tipples. Ladies will be offered an indulgent blend of Patron Tequila, Frangelico, and Mozart Chocolate Liquor with a dash of double cream and fresh raspberries to garnish, while the gentlemen’s cocktail is made from a heady concoction of Silver Tequila, Gin, Blue Curacao, a dash of Red Bull with an orange twist garnish – and those ever important plus aphrodisiac drops. Wonder how many guests will be lured into booking a last-minute suite?
Stylish steak emporium and cocktail haven MASH are asking you to Bring The Knowledge for their MASH-ed up pub quiz. If you think that whiskey, meat, and spirits are your areas of expertise (so much more interesting than University Challenge subjects), you’ll love this. There will be tasting rounds as well as the usual questions, and your ticket gets you a complimentary cocktail voucher, as well as nibbles to keep you fuelled up throughout the evening. And naturally, prizes feature heavily. Guests just need to email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve their spot and then they can pay on the night.
Need to lubricate the vocal chords for team discussions? Make it a ‘Maker’s Milk Punch’ – this boozy milkshake is pimped to perfection with Maker’s Mark, almond, and violet – served in miniature milk bottles, naturally.