Thursday, 7 August 2014

Cocktails In The City: A Festival of Cocktails in London

For some time I've been making a list of London bars I'd like to visit. Sadly the list grows much quicker than the time it takes me to tick them bar at a time. If you're a drinks geek like us here at Vinspire you'll probably have a similar list and when a new bar opens, on the list it goes! 

So how would you feel if we told you that you could get a taster of thirteen top bars without having to rack up the pounds on your Oyster card?

Working with thirteen popular spirits brands some of the UK's top bartenders will be shaking it like a polaroid picture under one roof to bring one spectacular cocktail party with some ah-ma-zing cocktails to London's Grand Hall, St Pancras.

This September, the Cocktails in the City event which has proved popular in Leeds, Manchester and Edinburgh, is back in London.

Along with DJs pumping out the tunes and food by Bubbledogs (we've told you about them before!), this is a must visit event for cocktail enthusiasts. And you can learn on the night too, with cocktail demonstrations throughout the evening. If you wanted to impress your friends, now is your chance to learn how to do it!

So how do I know it's going to be awesome you ask? Lucky me went to the Cocktails in the City press launch at the Hoxton Hotel.

On arrival I was handed a little green bottle of 'The Rocket Man' produced by new London bar Call Me Mr Lucky by our friends at the Breakfast Club.

'The Rocket Man' by Call Me Mr Lucky

Starring Tequila Blanco, Creme de Cacao Blanc and featuring rocket, mint leaves, coconut water, lemon bitters and a dash of salt, it gave me a good kick up the butt to get in the mood for an evening of cocktails!

In one corner of the room which felt more science lab than bar, The Alchemist (popular Manchester bar, soon to be opening in London) showed us why they are continuing to push the drinking experience with their alchemy of ingredients and scientific methods.

The Alchemist creating 'Lady Loire'
Heating Chambord, Finlandia Grapefruit Vodka, Sweet Vermouth, Dry Vermouth, citric acid, orange bitters and gomme syrup (no, I'd never heard of it either) then adding dry ice (see image above), their cocktail, Loire Lady felt part science experiment, part magic, but the result was sensational.

Harvey Nichols 5th Floor bar teamed up with Chase distillery to present us with Lady Marmalade - a shaken cocktail of Chase Marmalade Vodka, Chase Elderflower Liqueur, Chase Apple Juice, lemon juice and gomme syrup .A delight for the senses, this was far too easy to drink but oozed elegance and the Harvey Nic's sophistication. Served in a jam jar - of course.

Perhaps offering the most intrigue was A Gentleman's Breakfast presented by the London Cocktail Club and made with Gentleman Jack (premium Jack Daniel's), but not just Gentleman Jack....bacon infused Gentleman Jack. Yes, indeed.

'A Gentleman's Breakfast'
by The London Cocktail Club

The bacon infused Gentleman Jack is shaken hard with orange marmalade, one egg (yolk included) and a couple of dashes of Angostura bitters. For the full breakfast experience it's strained into a tea cup and a served with a slice of crispy pancetta. It sounds odd, but it works....very well.

In short, this is going to be a cocktail event to remember and I've touched just the tip of the iceberg. Tickets are available for just £12 per person on the Eventbrite website, via the Cocktails in the City site - and that includes one cocktail plus a cocktail book and entry.

You can pay for additional cocktails on the night, plus there are private demonstrations if you want to get up close and personal. If you're gasping to know more about who is going to be there, head to the Cocktails in the City London 2014 page for the full line-up. We'll be there for sure - the preview just wasn't enough!

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