London Cocktail Week (LCW) kicks off on Monday. If you’re not already scheduled for shifts every waking moment of the seven-day period, you’re probably eyeing the schedule of events to surmise which pop-ups, talks and activations you should grace with your presence.
That’s where this handy guide comes in. We’ve rounded up some of the most exciting happenings at LCW, so you can use your precious time wisely. How you use your precious liver – well, that’s up to you.
And before you head out on your tipsy tour, be sure to download your free digital pass. Available exclusively to the on-trade, it gives you access to the Cocktail Village and £6 drinks in participating bars.
When? Monday 1 October – Saturday 6 October
Where? The Light House, 5-7 Grape Street, WC2H 8DW
What? Each day of LCW, a different leading bartender will serve up their own creations using London Essence Company’s range of softs and mixers. The impressive line-up of bartenders includes:
Erik Lorincz, former head bartender at The Savoy’s American Bar; Ago Perrone of The Connaught; Yann Bouvignies of Scarfes Bar; Vasilis Kyritsis and Nikos Bakoulis of The Clumsies in Athens; Antonio Lai of Quinary in Hong Kong; Ricardo Nava from Licoreria Limantour in Mexico; and London Essence UK brand ambassador Andrea Brulatti.
All drinks will be under 150 calories, and the space will emphasise the theme of light with a ‘prismatic sculpture’ meant to offer a ‘multi-sensory experience’. We’re not sure what that means, but with such an impressive roster of bartenders, The Light House is worth a stop.
When? Tuesday 2 October
Where? Behind The Bike Shed, Bike Shed Motorcycle Club, 384 Old St, EC1V 9LT
What? If you’re in need of a healthy dose of education to supplement your boozing during LCW, look no further than the Tennessee Sessions. With speakers like LCW founder Hannah Sharman-Cox and The Dead Rabbit’s Rebekkah Dooley, this series of seminars will cover everything from entrepreneurship in the drinks industry to crafting the perfect cocktail.
When? Wednesday 3 October – Sunday 7 October
Where? Brick Lane, E1 6QL
What? No London Cocktail Week would be complete without paying a visit to the Cocktail Village, which has relocated to Brick Lane this year. The Village will house 40 pop-up bars and activations from drinks brands of all sizes.
This year will also see the premier of the ‘New and Niche’ area of the Village, where attendees can check out – you guessed it – new, small and independent brands looking to make a name for themselves.
Head over to the Cocktail Village on Wednesday 3 October for the trade launch, when you can experience the hub of LCW ahead of the general public.
When? Thursday 4 October
Where? Café Pacifico, 5 Langley St, London, WC2H 9JA
What? Scope out some new bottles for your bar at the launch of Curado, a range of spirits made by macerating cooked agave fibres in blanco tequila. The line is the latest from tequila legend Tomas Estes. At the event, you’ll be able to take part in a tasting, try cocktails made with the new products and line your stomach with Mexican snacks – never a bad idea after a stretch of drinking.
When? Thursday 4 October – Saturday 6 October
Where? Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, London, E1 6QL
What? Head to the Sidecar Bar, a collaboration between Rémy Martin x Cointreau in the Cocktail Village, to sample an array of cocktails that put a playful twist on the classic Sidecar. The drinks are the creations of the winners of the Sidecar Cup 2018, a trade competition recently hosted by the brands. The creator of the top-selling Sidecar variation will win a weekend at the Ritz in Paris – so choose your order wisely!
And if you’re feeling worn out after a day of LCW adventures, take advantage of the Rémy Martin x Cointreau shuttle service. The brands are offering sidecar rides to nearby tube stations for visitors.
When? Sunday 7 October
Where? Oriole, East Poultry Ave, London, EC1A 9LH
What? Close out your LCW experience with one last party. Hosted by Oriole and Grand Marnier, the details of the closing bash have been kept under wraps – but it’s described with words like ‘grandeur’, ‘theatre’ and ‘style’, so we’re expecting great things.