London Cocktail Week is fast approaching, a week-long celebration of what makes our industry so special, creative and unique. Last year 112,000 cocktails were sold in the city's Cocktail Village across the seven days of festival alone, and this year, they're expecting even more.
Bars and brands from around the world will descend on London from 2-8 October, with pop-ups, masterclasses, discounted cocktails and parties. With all that's going on, it can be quite overwhelming deciding just what to attend. So we've picked out the top events that will appeal to the on-trade.
The Cocktail Village at Old Spitalfields Market
The epicentre of the festival, this year's Cocktail Village is bigger and better than last year, with a maze of pop-up bars and partnerships with spirits brands. It's running all week, with free trade entry (with your wristband) during the day. For the trade, it's a great networking space, as well as a place to sample new products and catch up with industry goings on. So stock up on those £6 cocktails...
16 Horner Square, London E1 6EW
The World Class Studios
From 2-6 October on the 6th floor bar at Golden Square, Diageo World Class will be hosting sessions to upskill bartenders with the new World Class training modules.
On Monday, two three-hour sessions hosted by Tom Soden, David Beatty and World Class GB winner Jamie James will take place (at 10am and 2pm). After, a drinks reception will be hosted by Bob Nolet (Ketel One master distiller) and Dennis Tamse (Ketel One distillery ambassador) with cocktails from Jones. These will be running throughout the week, so make sure to check out the other speakers.
World Class Studio, Diageo HQ, 6th floor, 12 Golden Sq, W1F 9JE, firstname.lastname@example.org
All the way from Edinburgh, Bramble, Lucky Liquor and Last Word's cocktail curator Erika Duffy will be guiding attendees through the world of coffee and how it matches with Courvoisier cognacs.
Cocktail historian Anistatia Miller will also be presenting on 4 October, taking you through the history of cocktails and cognac. To register, contact email@example.com
Joyeux Bordel, 147 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3QE
A Sustainable Approach to Running Your bar with Tom Soden
Part of a series of talks put together by DrinkUp.London and Bar Life UK, the bartender sessions are a series of seminars dictated entirely by bartenders, rather than brands.
A total of eight sessions will run throughout the week, with this session focusing on making your bar more sustainable.
Visit the Bar Life UK website for the full list of seminars and to register.
Golden Pineapple, 91 Brick Lane, London, E1 6QL
Akashi Tai Saké masterclass
Looking to up your saké knowledge? ROKA Mayfair is hosting an Askashi-Tai saké session, compromising a full tasting, hour-long masterclass and three ROKA canapé dishes. The masterclass costs £25 a ticket and will be led by one of the Akashi-Tai brand ambassadors. Spaces are limited, so call Sammie on 07393231293 now.
30 N Audley St, Mayfair, London W1K 6HP
Trash Tiki: Anti-Waste Punk Pop-Up
After months of touring the world, the Trash Tiki team of Kelsey Ramage and Iain Griffiths have returned to London, running an entire pop-up from the food and drink waste that London Cocktail Week vendors donate – clever eh? The pop-up is great for getting some sustainable ideas for your own bar, with international bartenders Bethany Ham (Los Angeles) and Zachary de Git (Singapore) also making an appearance for the week.
Nelson's Head Basement, 32 Horatio Street, London, E2 7SB
The Way of Whisky: A Tasting Evening with Dave Broom
Award-winning author and whisky expert Dave Broom will be hosting a whisky talk and tasting, drawing on his first-hand experiences of Japanese whisky distilleries. Introducing his book, The Way of Whisky, Broom will explore Japanese culture, as well as tasting six drams. Tickets cost £8 and can be purchased on the night.
6:30-7:30pm, Bull In A China Shop, 196 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6LG
Jigger Beaker Glass
Bacardi Brown Forman will be hosting its new educational platform, Jigger Beaker Glass from 12:30-3:30pm. Split into three eponymous workshops, the event will be held in collaboration with three of the most successful and creative international bartenders. These include Remy Savage of Little Red Door, Chris Hysted-Adams of Black Pearl and Operation Dagger's Luke Whearty. Check out the full information here.
Head over to the Napoleon Hotel's The Devil's Darling for an evening with whisky expert Colin Dunn and Thomas Aske. As part of The Devil's Darling's 'Classics Collective' series, which sees the bar partner with a drinks industry expert to shine a spotlight on a particular spirit or serve, you will experience a five-course tasting menu, with classic whisky cocktails to pair.
Dunn and Aske will also provide some insight into the history of the cocktail, how it came to be, and how it's shaped the way we drink today. Tickets cost a mere £15, so make sure to book yourself a spot at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7-9pm, 9 Christopher Street, London, EC2A 2BS
Clever Drinking by Stu Bale
You may have heard of Crucible, the world's first bar makerspace, and the man behind it Stu Bale will be taking Cocktail Week visitors on a scienfitic journey, focusing on various techniques used to create flavours and aromas. The day will include a 30 min session showcasing the influence of mineral water while tasting wine. This will be conducted by water sommelier Arnau Marco Casasempere. One of the best bits? You'll also get yourself a full day pass to be redeemed at Crucible whenever you like.
Crucible London, Unit 6, Ability Plaza, 1A Arbutus Street, London, E8 4DT
The best of the rest...
Tequila & Mezcal Fest
After a week of cocktails, you'll be wanting some neat agave, right? Celebrating Mexico, the exclusive agave festival is now in its fourth year and will return to The Old Truman Brewery over the weekend.
91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QR
Jägermeister's Bar Break-downs
As one of the busiest weeks in the drinks calendar, those of you behind the bar will definitely be in need of some well-deserved rest come last orders. Here's where Jägermeister steps in, offering free bar break-downs throughout LCW.
Select London cocktail bars will receive a surprise cleaning service from Jägermeister at the end of one of their shifts... so you could be in for a pleasant surprise.