It comes but once a year, and this year we both happened to have the day off on the Friday. So, instead of doing a Jess and Tim special and cram loads in to our day, we decided to have a leisurely afternoon at London Cocktail Week and this is what there was on offer!
Schweppes were the first brand and bar that greeted us on our way in to the Cocktail Village, based in Brick Lane’s Old Truman Brewery. Promoting their new mixer, being released for Christmas, the 1983 range, they say, will provide us all with mixers to make exceptional drinks for any spirit. And they weren’t wrong. With tasters changing every 20 minutes, you could have spent your time with their brilliantly dressed, enthusiastic and friendly staff, telling you all about each one, and enticing you to have more cocktails. Our favourite was the whisky and ginger!
Talking of favourites, we couldn’t not stop off at the Talisker bar, where they were pushing for their #underthesea theme. I say favourite because Tim loves a Talisker, and this Friday was no different, getting himself a Talisker Sour with ginger syrup and a lust for spending the evening there.
There were some amazing stalls there that we didn’t necessarily drink at but spent ages looking at and enjoying the effort of their decor. It was brilliantly set out this year, much better than years gone by, and the space and journey meant that we had a chance to see it all, the Deco bar, the Tia Maria van, the Uncle Nearest stall and Tim’s new favourite bourbon!
We went to the Virgin Atlantic Lounge to try our hand at winning a flight, and tasting the culinary delights they had on offer, they weren’t bad, but were slightly different to what we were expecting.
Don’t worry though, we made sure to line our stomachs, there were a range of food stalls in the courtyard, and one of our favourite London burgers Patty and Bun were there, so it would have been rude not to tuck in!
The best part about London Cocktail week is that your £10 pass not only gets you in to the cocktail village, but gets you £6 cocktails at participating bars all over London. Like literally all over London. They publish a directory of which bars, and what cocktails, and its always a great time to take advantage of visiting those bars on your “I want to go there” list. This year we wondered next door to the Truman Brewery to Big Chill bar, who together with Jagermeister had their winter cabin takeover. They were doing all sorts of masterclasses and activities throughout the week including ice sculpting and urban foraging, which we hope is back next year, as we only popped in to try their new spirit Manifest – which is slightly sweeter and richer than normal Jagermeister – designed to be sipped and enjoyed. We tried some of their cocktails – the Manifest Hunters Tea and the Jungle hunt were our favourites!
Word on the street is that the dates for the 2019 Festival will be announced soon-ish, so keep your eyes peeled on organisers DrinkUp.London website to keep up to date.
The best part of the day? We avoided the after work TGIF drinks by going in the afternoon, headed to one of our favourite cheese shops on the way home and were tucked up with our cheese dinner and home by 7.30pm! We’re not completely old yet, promise!
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