Five bars to kick start your London Cocktail Week
PUBLISHED: 15:53 26 September 2018 | UPDATED: 16:00 26 September 2018
London Cocktail Week gets underway from Monday and plenty of local bars are getting involved. Here’s five of our favourites
But October is also the month of London Cocktail Week – a seven-day festival which pays homage to the best mixed drinks the city has to offer.
With 300 bars taking part and a Cocktail Village at the Old Truman Brewery, the fun gets underway on Monday and runs through until Sunday October 7.
Digital passes – which cost £10 – get you special £6 cocktails (and £4 non-alcoholic drinks) at all participating bars, free entry to the Village and priority access to pop-up events and parties arranged under the LCW umbrella.
One such event is Patrón Tequila’s Drinks at Home, which will see an array of bartenders from award-winning venues put on a masterclass at a secret location in Hoxton. The pop-up is to run between October 3 and 5, with drinks guru Matt Whiley among those who will be making tequila cocktails for you to enjoy and then replicate at home (tickets £15, eventbrite.com).
The festival expands to boroughs and communities all over the city, but if you are looking for the best bars taking part in London Cocktail Week in Islington and Hackney, look no further.
Sporting a wall of flowers, a floating book shelf and a handful of snug booths, Little Bat is a neighbourhood hangout with a communal vibe that lends itself to date night. You’ll find this cosy, comfortable venue tucked away from the Upper Street hubbub serving drinks of the same ilk as Callooh Callay; its multi-award winning sister venue in Shoreditch. Little Bat’s LCW special is the High Tea, a blend of Belsazar Rosé, grapefruit aperitif wine, honey water, lime and mint. It comes served in a tea cup and garnished with a flower.
Barrio’s featured cocktail for the week is colourful, of course it is colourful. It will, after all, be served at this bold and extravagant party place which is home to Latin flavours, Amigo Hours and dancing ‘til late. The South American influences are out in force for Barrio’s Prickly Rita, a “mind-blowing twist on a margarita” topped up with El Jimador tequila, prickly pear, grapefruit, Ancho Reyes chilli liqueur and a dash of Montelobos mezcal. So yes, this will certainly pack a punch.
And so to another late-night party palace in the form of Oslo, where their Night Sky cocktail (Kettle One vodka, akvavit, lemon juice, earl grey & bergamot syrup, egg white) is yours for £6 next week. Renowned for their live music programme and pulsing club nights – it’s open until 4am come weekends – Oslo offers a number of delicious brunch options to refresh and rejuvenate the next morning, just in case LCW gets the better of you.
69 Colebrooke Row
Otherwise known as the Bar With No Name, Tony Conigliaro’s flagship venue is a regular fixture among many a ‘best secret bars in London’ shortlist. 69 Colebrooke Row has won plenty of high-profile plaudits but remains humble and focused on providing brilliant, seasonal cocktails. Look for the lantern outside and make your way into this tiny retreat where they have two LCW specials; the Dirty Lemon Martini and the English Tickler.
Last Tuesday Society
We aren’t in the business of labelling the most quirky bars in London, but Hackney’s Last Tuesday Society is surely right up there. Nestled within the Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, this place exhibits all kinds of bizzare bits and pieces. The cocktail bar has daily absinthe hours in the week but if you’d prefer to keep it casual, their Half Moon Henry is an old-fashioned style cocktail and boozy tribute to the great explorer Henry Hudson. It’s one of two £6 cocktails available here this LCW.
London Cocktail Week is on between October 1 and 7. For more details and festival passes visit drinkup.london