May has arrived, and even though there’s no way of telling what the Great British weather will get up to, at least it started with sunshine!

So whether the glorious weather continues or we find ourselves in that odd in-between-seasons situation, we’ve rounded up some of the best ways to spend the month of May when it comes to cocktails. Read on to learn about judging a gin competition, sky-high sipping, an exciting member’s bar concept, and more!

The Ketel One Urban Garden Collective launches – including London’s first Clean Air Bar

It’s finally here – the sanctuary in the heart of bustling London that we’ve all been waiting for! Ketel One Vodka have teamed up with independent neighbourhood bar No 29 Power Station West to launch The Ketel One Urban Garden Collective. This like-minded group of specialists include urban gardening experts Patch, who have created London’s first Clean Air Bar, designed to create a relaxed and healthy environment, and raise awareness of the important role that houseplants can play in improving the standard of life in polluted cities. The space has been decked out with plants that NASA found to be the most effective at removing common toxins from the air, including Golden Pothos, Boston Fern and Rubber Plant, chosen specifically for their pollution neutralising qualities and luscious leafs.

Guests can also get involved with the Living Garnish Wall, which allows them to tailor their Ketel One and Soda serves to suit their personal palates. Herbs will include basil, mint and rosemary, and are made to be paired with the three distinctive flavours of Ketel One – original, Citroen and Orange – the Garnish Wall will showcase the versatility of the Ketel One and Soda serve, perfect for summer sipping.

@ketelone | @no29powerstationwest | @patchplants

Skylight reopens for rooftop cocktails

Sipping cocktails accompanied by delicious street-food, all on one of the coolest rooftops in London? Yes please! On 3rd May Skylight at Tobacco Dock will be returning for another spectacular sun-filled season of live entertainment, croquet, pétanque, DJs, and much more.

The urban lawn club – which debuted last year with the aim of breathing life into unused space in central London – was a huge hit. This year’s Skylight boasts three floors of street food, unrivalled view of our iconic skyline, and of course bars, which will be serving an all-new refreshing seasonal cocktail menu alongside spritzes, pitchers, bubbly and wine.

So whether you’re swinging by to watch a Wimbledon match, dance along to resident DJ collectives Gold Teeth and Coastal Haze, indulge in a spot of yoga, or try your hand at croquet, then this is definitely the place to enjoy a spot of sky-high sipping now May is here!

Reopening 3rd May | Thurs & Fri 5pm – 11pm, Sat & Sun – 12pm – 11pm | Free Entry

www.skylightlondon.com | @skylight_london

Callooh Callay relaunches the JubJub members bar ahead of 10th anniversary

If you ever stepped beyond the wardrobe and up into the concealed rooms at the back of Callooh Callay, there’s a chance you’ll have headed to JubJub Bar. This hidden bar opened back in 2015 and was accessed via a secret code, open to members only from 10pm. Well, JubJub is back – and has had a dramatic transformation. It’s now relaunching as a members space, and these lucky imbibers will be either chosen through application, or by invitation from the bar team, and will be given a special JubJub key to unlock the door and give them access to the bar.

But this doesn’t mean they’ve turned pretentious – apparently the JubJub will be exclusive yet inclusive, welcoming applications from and extending invitations to anyone who is eager to know about its drinks, whether working in the hospitality industry or simply a lover of great cocktails and spirits. Perks include a personal key to access the front door of the JubJub, an exclusive monthly e-newsletter with advanced access to booking for events, and priority access to weekly events including complimentary tastings and cocktail masterclasses.

The JubJub relaunch is part of a host of activities at Callooh Callay in the build up to the bar’s 10th Anniversary later this year.

Members can apply here: https://www.calloohcallaybar.com/jubjub/ | @calloohcallaybar

Arbikie Gin Pop Up at Ask For Janice

Gin, gin and more gin! That’s what May is looking like Ask for Janice, the laid-back bar and restaurant in Smithfield Market. Throughout May, the team will be collaborating with one of its favourite small batch gin producers – award-winning Scottish distillers Arbikie – for a series of fun masterclasses exploring Arbikie’s ‘field to bottle’ process.

Kicking off the pop up on 3rd May, guest bartender Francesco Petracci from The Gibson will be whipping up his winning ‘World’s Best Martini 2018’ which features Arbikie AK’s gin with Sea Herbs Vermouth. The pop up will also include a Supper Club on Saturday 19th May with a three course menu of small plates matched with Arbikie gin cocktails. The menu will focus on locally sourced ingredients, hand-foraged herbs, fresh greens and minimal waste and will unite both brand’s shared commitment to local and sustainable produce.

Running throughout May, to book tickets email: info@askforjanice.co.uk

The Graphic Bar Gin Off – Heat 2

April saw the first heat of the ultimate battle of the juniper spirits as the Gin Off returned to Graphic Bar in Soho’s Golden Square – and on Monday 21st May the next four gins will go bottle to bottle in an effort to be crowned Gin Off champion of 2018.

The competition will see sixteen of the world’s most exciting gin brands compete through a series of cocktail making heats to be awarded the title of winner, and the second heat will be a battle between esteemed gin brands Haymans, Daffy’s, NGinious and Scapegrace. Each will be whipping up the most impressive gin cocktails they can, with guests trying one of each drink before voting on their favourite tipple at the end of the evening. The final isn’t until November, so there’s plenty of chance to get quaffing in the name of competition.

So the question is – are you confident in your gin judging abilities?

Taking place on Monday 21st May | graphicbar.com | @graphicbar

South Place Hotel launches ‘Poptails’ drinks collaboration with
Joe & Seph’s Gourmet Popcorn

If cocktails and popcorn rate highly on your favourite things, then you’re going to love this next piece of news – East London’s South Place Hotel has partnered with award-winning gourmet popcorn maker Joe & Seph’s to create a collection of Poptails, available at the hotel’s 3bar. Launching this month, these signature cocktails, created by South Place Hotel’s passionate bar team, will each be paired with one of Joe & Seph’s innovative flavoured popcorns.

The signature cocktails will feature on rotation, with one cocktail appearing each month through to August. May sees the arrival of the The Cinnamon Sin – a mix of Mount Gay Black Barrel rum, Mandarin Napoleon, St. Elizabeth Dram, Orgeat and lime, garnished with dry pineapple, burned cinnamon and a mint spring. This cocktail will be paired with Joe & Seph’s Coconut & Cinnamon popcorn.

Each cocktail will cost £11.50 | Available from now until the end of May | https://southplacehotel.com/offer/poptails/

Moonshine Saloon launches on the King’s Road

Who doesn’t enjoy an immersive cocktail bar experience? If you’re a fan of unique drinking dens, then the end of May brings excitement in the form of Moonshine Saloon, launching on the King’s Road. Following on from the BYOB bar concept of Alcatraz, Moonshine Saloon will transport guests from the streets of West London to the streets of the Wild West.

Moonshine Saloon invites guests to bring their own liquor to be granted entry to the undercover saloon where they can immerse themselves into the dark world of moonshining.  Upon arrival guests will enter a street that looks like it’s been plucked straight from a dusty frontier town before being kitted out by the local tailor with Stetson Hats and Cowboy gear and delving into the shady depths of the spirit making business. Expert bartenders will then create personalised and expertly made moonshine cocktails while guests try their luck at cards and dice and avoid the beady eye of the sheriff.

The Saloon doors swing open this summer in time for the second May bank holiday and for a limited time only, guests will be able to stow away their weapons and join the King of the Moonshiners. Yee ha!

Thursday 24th May- 25th August | Bookings can be made online: https://www.moonshinesaloon.com/bookings
Booking fee: £33.99 (includes 4 cocktails from your brought drink of choice + 1.45 hours inside the Saloon)

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