Shaken, stirred, mixed or muddled, there’s always room for a cheeky negroni or two. And with London Cocktail Week taking over some of the best bars and restaurants in the city this week, there’s no better excuse to fall ever-so-slightly off the wagon. From booze-fuelled breakfasts to chauffeur-driven gin tours, we’ve whittled down some of the best boozy offerings in the capital…
Belvedere Single Estate Rooms
Vodka lovers are in for a treat this week as Belevedere Vodka swings open the doors to its Single Estate Rooms to lead a cocktail masterclass. You’ll get to mix and muddle your way through the evening, learning all the tricks of the trade, whilst enjoying canapés and vodka-infused tipples (some of which you’ll have masterfully crafted yourself). The fun doesn’t have to end there either; once the class has finished, guests can then make their way over to The Estate Rooms Private Bar, for an after-class nightcap.
Motel Studios, Arch 407 & 408, Long Street, Hoxton, E2 8HG; 5th and 6th October; tickets £30
World-Class Garden To Glass at Ham Yard Hotel
Soho’s hipster hotel hangout will be hosting a series of boozy pop-ups this week. There’ll be all kinds of creative masterclasses held on the glorious foliage-filled rooftop, so you can watch, learn and sip, whilst soaking up some balmy autumn rays. Each class will be inspired by home-grown ingredients, so you’ll get to pimp your drinks with everything from jasmine, lavender, tomatoes, scotch bonnet chillies and honey, and learn how best to use them.
Ham Yard Hotel, 1 Ham Yard, Soho, W1D 7DT; 2nd to 7th October; tickets £10
Schweppes Alchemy Bar
Dust off your old science goggles, this lab is worth swotting up for. Schweppes Alchemy Bar will serve up the latest creations from mastermind mixologists Smith & Sinclair and Tony Conigliaro, alongside quirky cocktails inspired by unusual flavour pairings that span the entire periodic table. Cocktail drinkers will be also taken on a journey into the curious world of alchemist Jacob Schweppe, at the Schweppes Laboratory Experience, where they’ll learn the 200-year science of bubble making.
Schweppes Alchemy Bar, 21 Slingsby Place, Covent Garden, WC2E 9AB; 2nd to 8th October; FREE entry or £10 for the Schweppes Laboratory Experience
Pizza Pilgrims Pit-Stop
Dreaming of sunnier climes? For a taste of the Amalfi coast, head to Soho’s sunny courtyard, where Pizza Pilgrims will be handing out thirst-quenching glasses of limencello under the lemon groves – it’s an installation and not a flight to Italy unfortunately, but with slice of margarita pizza in the sun (weather forecast permitting), you’ll be transported to the Mediterranean before your first bite.
Pizza Pilgrims, Kingly Court, 11 Kingly Street, Soho, W1B 5PW; 2nd to 8th October; FREE entry
Secret Breakfast at Magpie
As the revered Pidgin restaurant’s younger sibling, you know you’re in for a culinary treat at this slick Mayfair hangout. They’ve recently launched a new breakfast menu served straight from the trolley, with an array of tasty morning treats – think crunchy granolas, fresh homemade pastries (the ‘Red-Eye’ bun with bacon, coffee and maple syrup is certainly catching our eye) and fermented potato bagels with hoisin-cured pork. And to wash it all down, Magpie’s mixologists Ajax Kentish and Rikesh Patel will be re-imagining the Bloody Mary and the Morning Glory Fizz with a whiskey twist. They’re also working hard to create a whiskey and smoky marmalade-based creation, too. Breakfast of champions indeed.
Magpie, 10 Heddon Street, Mayfair, W1B 4BX; LCW menu available 2nd to 8th October; FREE entry, whiskey cocktails £6 each
The Dead Rabbit at The Sun Tavern
New York’s famous bar, The Dead Rabbit, will be taking up residency at Bethnal Green’s The Sun Tavern to throw a party night to remember. Work your way through the bespoke cocktail menu – ‘God Is A DJ’ has our attention; served with toasted sesame-infused Irish whiskey, pale cream sherry, banana and maple syrup, lemon, cinnamon and pimento bitters. Be sure to practice your dance moves too, there’ll be a DJ spinning throwback classics throughout the night; think David Bowie, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen.
Sun Tavern 441 Bethnal Green Road, Hackney, E2 0AN; 4th October; FREE entry, cocktails £6 each
The Scotch Egg Club Emporium at TT Liquor
Head to TT Liquor for Scotch whiskey, beats and games (think thumb wars and bingo). For the ultimate flavour sensation, you can dazzle your senses with a Scotch egg and whiskey pairing session too. Not for the fainthearted, this zany mash up is a sure-fire way to ignite the taste buds – not to mention the cockles.
TT Liquor, 17B Kingsland Road, Dalston, E2 8AA; 3rd and 4th October; FREE entry, Scotch egg and whiskey pairing session £12
MEATliquor and Jägermeister are launching a Soho pop up for one night only for a fun-filled night fuelled with cocktails, live DJs and FREE dirty burgers for all.
JagerSoho, 22 Great Windmill Street, Soho, W1D 7LD; 4th October; FREE entry and burgers
Get into the spirit of cocktail week with an outing to Shoreditch’s bonkers boozy pop-up. London’s very first prison cocktail bar has unlocked its gates to discerning drinkers, transporting them into a world of crime and corruption. ‘Convicted criminals’ will be marched into a cell, donning prison jumpsuits, where they’ll have to smuggle contraband alcohol past security and convince the in-house mixologists to shake up a few cocktails on the sly, without getting caught by the warden. Be on your guard, that booze could get confiscated…
Alcotraz Penitentiary, 212 Brick Lane, Shoreditch, E1 6RL; open now until 17th December; tickets £30
Dante at Madison Rooftop Bar
Voted one of the world's best bars, New York's Dante will be popping up in London for the very first time, at Madison Rooftop Bar. Choose from an exclusive menu of Manhattan cocktail classics, including the likes of Garibaldi, the Italian Sour and the Chocolate Negroni, as well as two new contenders, by Madison’s rooftop scene – Endless Summer and Rooftop Life.
Madison, 1 New Change, St Paul’s, EC4M 9AF; 29th September to 4th October; FREE entry, Dante cocktails from £11.75
History of Gin Cocktails
For those who like their gin in the fast lane, botanical buff and master mixologist Leon Dalloway, aka The Gin Boss, is upping the ante for London Cocktail Week and whisking gin lovers around the city by Gini-Bus (a posh mini bus), taking them on voyage of discovery around some of the capital’s hottest gin spots. You’ll learn all about London’s gin-soaked past, whilst stopping off for killer gin concoctions to sink along the way.
Devil's Darling, Napoleon Hotel, 9 Christopher Street, EC2A 2BS; 4th October; tickets £21.20