try something new

LCW wows once again

London lives for cocktails, so when it comes to London Cocktail Week, the city does not disappoint.

Organiser Drink Up London took this year’s festival to new levels. A cocktail village was set up in the old Truman brewery in Shoreditch, with three inside and outside areas brimming with innovative food and drinks.

From Schweppes’ steampunk bar with popping candy cocktails, to Monkey Shoulder’s whisky mixer (full-sized cement mixer parked out back), the village offered every kind of cocktail imaginable.

The friendly bartenders and company reps made the experience even better. They took the time to explain what they were doing and why each signature cocktail was on the menu.

We could well have stayed at the village the whole week, but hundreds of bars across the city put on deals and events. Drink Up London have an app that is available all year round, but during the festival, a pass (at the very reasonable price of £10) got you into bars and events throughout the week.

Schweppes went all out and put on a very hard to beat masterclass at the London Eye. Half of the champagne lounge was taken over by the brand, which hosted a tasting session of its new line of tonics (paired with the best spirits). The class then moved to the Eye, where an eccentric man called Algernon explained the story of Schweppes and how it became such a global brand. The cocktail at the top and the steampunk fancy dress made the experience extra special.

Absolut Vodka hired a townhouse in Soho and hosted an incredible Pornstar Martini experience. Each of the four floors represented an element of the drink, ending in a class to make your own.

The first floor was home to the vanilla forest — a room filled with trees and a vanilla flavoured mist. In this room, we were given a jelly ball filled with vanilla vodka and butterscotch, and treats of chocolate and fudge.

The second floor was a bubblewrap maze — to represent the champagne element of the cocktail. A shot of champagne was the reward for making it through the maze.

And on the third floor, the passionfruit was represented by an orange room with a bean bag floor and giant kaleidoscope on the ceiling. This was accompanied by a giant passionfruit marshmallow.

Cocktails will always be a huge part of the industry in London, but sometimes it can be hard to come up with fresh ideas to entice customers. This fully immersive experience was one of a kind and really opens the door to what companies can do.

While the amazing people working the festival (and our livers) are probably glad it’s over, a week was not enough to get though all the incredible events on offer. And not only was it great for the customers, it was great for the city’s industry as a whole. The festival makes networking easier for companies and individuals in the business, and we definitely can’t wait to see some new collaborations in the coming year. If you didn’t manage to get to any events this year, make sure you do next year, because the festival just keeps getting bigger and better.