Finally some good news! London Cocktail Week is returning to the city, bringing with it a month’s worth of tantalising cocktails and immersive experiences across London’s leading bar scene.
We’ve waxed lyrical about the hugely successful Eat Out to Help Out scheme, but now it’s time to give some extra love to London’s extraordinary bar scene. Here to help is the return of London Cocktail Week, the biggest city-wide celebration of cocktails in the world.
This year the hugely popular event has been extended for the entire month of October, meaning cocktail lovers can sink in a few tipples at their favourite bars in London, as well as helping the hospitality scene get back on its feet.
If you haven’t heard of London Cocktail Week before, the concept is incredibly simple. All you need to do is purchase a £15 festival wristband and you’ll have access to £6 self-guided Cocktail Tours across hundreds of London’s best cocktail bars. It’s the perfect chance to fall back in love with London’s lively cocktail scene and try out that bar you’ve always wanted to try but never got round to before.
Channelling the spirit of The Cocktail Village, which has been cancelled this year due to COVID, the month long cocktail extravaganza will boast a number of cocktail masterclasses and immersive experiences for all to enjoy, all socially distanced and compliant with the governmental guidelines.
Purchase your tickets here and read on to find out our favourite 11 bars taking part.
Handbook favourite, Lyaness is our favourite place to head for expertly mixed cocktails, stylish interiors and views overlooking the Thames. Brainchild of London’s top mixologist, Mr Lyan, it’s hardly surprising that the bar has been voted one of the World’s Top 50 Bars.
Pull up a pew and sample the Lincoln Julep, a delicate mix of Angel’s Envy whiskey, Plum I Suppose liqueur, mint cordial, Infinite Banana, a dash of wood-spice bitters and topped off with soda water.
Sea Containers London – 20 Upper Ground, South Bank SE1 9PD
West Hampstead’s Heads + Tails has become a cocktail institution. Known in the hospitality industry as the ‘industry bar’ that’s frequented by London’s best bartenders, Heads + Tails is spread over two floors and channels two extremes. On the ground floor, it’s light, airy and stylish, lined with gold and turquoise furnishings, while the basement bar errs more on the side of a traditional dark speakeasy.
Here your festival wristband entitles you to the Son of a Birch, a combo of Bergamot liqueur, Dild Akvavit, homemade birch cordial – carbonated, served over ice and garnished with a skeleton leaf. Perfect.
Those on the lookout for a cocktail with a kick should head to Lost in Brixton, the laidback tropical-themed rooftop garden tucked inside Brixton Market. Wave your wristband and you’ll be able to sink Lost in Brixton’s Casa Caliente, a mix of Casamigos blanco tequila, Supasara, agave nectar, fresh red chillies, basil leaves and raspberry powder.
It’s the perfect spot to soak up the last of the sunny rays before the cooler weather really kicks in.
New kid on the block, Rondo can be found tucked inside The Hoxton, Holborn and is the perfect spot for fresh, bistro-style dishes and a nightcap. From relaxed dining to trendy, neutral interiors, it’s the place to go for a catchup with friends or a midweek date night.
Enjoy exceptional dishes before capping the night off with the London Cocktail Week special, the Downtown Lady – Hepple gin, rose vermouth, homemade jasmine syrup, fresh lime juice, aquafina and fresh apple juice.
199-206 High Holborn, Holborn WC1V 7BD
Venture back to post-war Britain when you step foot inside Cahoots, the quirky underground bar inspired by the 1940s.
Set literally inside a disused railway station, the venue is clad with an old train carriage, sandbags, mismatched furniture and endless war inspired cocktails. With your trusty London Cocktail Week wristband, you’ll be able to pick up A Scoundrel Secret – a mix of Smirnoff Black vodka, homemade beetroot & honey shrub and fresh lime juice, all topped with home-infused coconut and basil soda. Sounds odd but it’s incredibly refreshing and light.
Undeniably British, Brown’s Hotel is renowned for its grandeur interiors and sensational service, and Charlie’s Bar is no exception.
The cocktails here are designed by the best in the business, Salvatore Calabrese and usually come in at £20 per pop, but head down during London Cocktail Week to snap up the Remember Me for a more healthy £9. This refined cocktail mixes a combination of Ratafia, vodka and topped with Moët & Chandon Champagne. Lovely.
The cocktails here are designed by the best in the business, Salvatore Calabrese.
Albemarle Street, Mayfair W1S 4BP
Venture to new venue Goods Way in King’s Cross and take part in London Cocktail Week’s huge experience series.
Throughout the month, The Whisky House at Goods Way will host a selection of exciting curated experiences, events and masterclasses, all honouring the vibrant world of whisk(e)y.
On arrival, wristband holders will receive a Johnnie Walker Highball, before being able to explore three independent whisky inspired spaces. From the Malters Locker at Nola’s where you’ll be able to sample the rarest of malts and special release whiskies to the Whiskey Rock ‘N Roller at Sweetwater, where you’ll be able to enjoy an inventive menu and whiskey and beer pairing, there’s something for all whisk(e)y lovers.
Find out more here: www.londoncocktailweek.com
For a bar with a difference, head to Flight Club Bloomsbury, London’s very own Victorian fairground themed carousel bar.
One for lovers of extrovert interiors, this lively venue is filled with dazzling fairground lights, bold colours and dartboards a plenty. Take a photo for the ‘gram and see those double taps reeling in.
All that’s left to do is order in the London Cocktail Week special – Lady Killer, a blend of Hibiscus-infused Ketel One vodka, strawberry liqueur lemon juice, strawberry puree, basil leaves, sugar syrup and topped with Prosecco – and play a few rounds of darts.
Sink in a few Kentucky Fencers to the sound of a piano at Corinthia London’s art deco inspired Bassoon bar.
The perfect spot for a nightcap, try the London Cocktail Week favourite – The Kentucky Fencer, a hearty blend of Woodford Reserve bourbon, dry curaçao, bitter aperitif, Martini Extra Dry vermouth and kaffir lime leaves aroma (vodka infused with kaffir lime to spray on top).
Corinthia Hotel London, Whitehall Place SW1A 2BD
Lovers of a sharp, fruity fix should head to Nine Lives, the neighbourhood bar in London Bridge known best for their dedicated stance on sustainability, and sample their London Cocktail Week special – the Grapefruit Spiritz. It’s packed with Tanqueray No.TEN gin, homemade grapefruit cordial and topped with a dash of Double Dutch soda. Or, level up your tipple for an extra £3 and enjoy the Grapefruit 75, a mix of Tanqueray No.TEN gin, fresh pink grapefruit juice, thyme sugar topped with Moët & Chandon Champagne and finished with an absinthe spritz. Refreshing and powerful.
From grand, eccentric interiors to killer cocktails, Seymour’s Parlour at The Zetter Townhouse Marylebone has finally reopened, and it’s just in time for London Cocktail Week.
Inspired by the fictional Uncle Seymour, the bar is wildly flamboyant and over the top, but it’s the cocktails that really steal the show. This month head on down and try out the Il Padrino, a simple but sensational blend of fig leaf-infused Monkey Shoulder Scotch whisky and amaretto.