Things we’re looking forward to this week…
If you’re a food and drink loving Brit, you’ve hit the motherload come October. No sooner has British Food Fortnight been burped and digested (17 September-2 October) than the London Restaurant Festival comes along (3-17 October). As we speak it’s Chocolate Week (10-16 October) but for us, the main event is London Cocktail Week running from 7-16 October. Well, we are cocktail lovers after all….
Although Friday was the official launch, the fun really starts today. In between boarding the special Routemaster buses and trying out drinks in the best bars in the north, south, east and west throughout the week, we’ll be checking out as many of the fun-packed events as possible.
Like the Pisco masterclass and competition at the Lockside Lounge in Camden later today. That’s followed by a Benedictine masterclass with Worldwide Ambassador Ludovic Miazga at newly opened Shaker & Co just down the road. Things get a bit choc-tastic later on when we try out Chocolate Martinis in the Light Bar at St. Martin’s Lane hotel, shaken up to celebrate London Chocolate Week.
Tuesday starts with an Absolut Bloody Mary Brunch at Drinkology Studios (yes it’s Tuesday but we figure we’re allowed – purely in the name of research, of course). Early evening it’s the much talked about Thinking Drinkers Guide, a sell-out show by drinks writers Tom Sandham and Ben McFarland, at Gordon’s Speakeasy Bar at Selfridges. Immediately after we’ll be heading along to the launch of Jameson Apartment a cinematic Speakeasy hosted by Clayton Hartley from the Disappearing Dining Club.
On to Wednesday for a vertical tasting of Ocho Tequila with the fabulous Tom Estes at The Social in Little Portland Street. Then it’s on to the Roof Gardens for the Tanqueray Distillers Dinner with Tom Nichol of Tanqueray No. TEN.
The next two days involves working but not the boring kind, no sirree… On Thursday we’ll be helping our friends at Societe Perrier for Cocktails Through The Ages at McQueen in Shoreditch. The evening promises to be mucho fun, taking guests on a historical drinking journey from 1920s to 1970s – all given a bit of fizz with Perrier. Straight after that, we’re slipping in to our posh clobber and heading to the Grand Marnier Le Grand Ball.
Friday is all about preparing for our London Shortlist chat in the Gordon’s Speakeasy Bar at Selfridges. Come and join us between 6pm-7pm as we talk through the history of cocktails invented right here in capital. We’ll also be serving up five mini drinks to get you in the mood for the evening ahead.
And on to the weekend and the non-stop party that is Rum Fest. We’ll be there on Saturday (and maybe Sunday, who knows?) before the Official Unofficial Closing Party at The Portobello Star.
Words to the wise
Of the many great cocktails invented in London we’ll be talking about at Selfridges is one of Ms S’s favourites, the White Lady. Like many cocktail recipes and stories there is some dispute as to its origin. It’s attributed to both Harry MacElhone, 1919 at Ciro’s Club in London, and Harry Craddock in his 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book. Although the former updated his recipe in 1929 replacing Creme de Menthe with gin to create a version very similar to the latter. Confused? Don’t be, make one at home instead…
White Lady (Harry Craddock’s version from The Savoy Cocktail Book)
1/4 Lemon Juice
1/2 Dry Gin
Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.
For details of all events and to join in the London Cocktail Week fun, see londoncocktailweek.com
Non London Cocktail Week events:
12-27 October (5.30pm ’til late) Jameson Apartment at Kettner’s, 39 Greek Street, W1. jamesoncultfilmclub.com
Light Bar, St. Martins Lane hotel, St. Martin’s Lane, WC2N 4HX. T: 020 7300 5500. stmartinslane.com