This year’s London Cocktail Week was full of collaborations between some of the best London bars and bartenders from around the world. Take a look at my favourites (and least favourite) below…
1: Swift x Suffolk Arms
Highlight of the week has got to be Suffolk Arms’ takeover of Swift. This was the one collab in which the whole bar team was down, as opposed to one team member, and it really showed. The vibe was great, we loved chatting to the host and the drinks were on point. The team even went as far to bring their signature wooden coasters from across the pond.
Highlights include the Irish Pornstar, which was made with Redbreast 12, Passionfruit, Vanilla, Lime + Guinness in place of the usual Prosecco. The Black Pimm’s Cup with Pimm’s, Lillet Blanc, Ginger, Lime, Cucumber, Mexican Cola and Fresh Fruit was also super tasty. The boys from The Suffolk Arms definitely brought their A-game and are on the list for my next visit to New York!
2. The Sun Tavern x The Dead Rabbit
Bethnal Green’s The Sun Tavern had one of the most anticipated events of the week, as Jillian Vose from New York’s The Dead Rabbit was down and designed 3 drinks in partnership with Slane Irish Whiskey. Jillian’s selection included the Bare Faced Liar (Slane, Dubbonet, Raspberry, Beets, Lemon, Bitter Truth Decanter Bitters), God is a DJ (Toasted Sesame Infused Slane, Pale Cream Sherry, Banana Syrup, Maple Syrup, Lemon, Cinnamon, Pimento Bitters) and the Black Rose (Slane, Averna, Nux Alpina Nocino, Cane Syrup, Bitters).
The Sun Tavern also showcased their own trio, with the Sham Rocker (Slane, Amontillado Sherry, Lemon, Gooseberry, Elderflower, Ginger Beer), Good Morning Boyne (Slane, Pineapple, Eucalyptus, Lime, Gentiane, Absinthe Bitters, Seikforde) and the Helen Gar (Slane, Akvavit, Amaro Montenegro, Honey, Toasted Pecan Bitters).
The bar was absolutely packed and it was a miracle that we managed to snag a table. The great selection of drinks and reputation of The Dead Rabbit meant that the night had a real buzz. We never miss a Dead Rabbit pop-up when they come to London and this was no exception.
3. Patrón x Black Pearl
As I previously mentioned, Patrón’s Cocktail Lab was the highlight of The Cocktail Village. For seven days, the lab hosted seven bartenders from the Worlds’s 50 Best Bars. These included guys from Speak Low in Shanghai, The Clumsies in Athens, Dandelyan in London and more.
On Saturday, we stopped by as Chris Hysted-Adams of Black Pearl in Melbourne was in to show off his creation The Death Flip, which contained Patrón Silver Tequila, Jägermeister, Yellow Chartreuse, Vanilla Syrup, Egg. I wouldn’t usually go for a drink with Jägermeister, but it really was delicious. The accompanying drinks were just as tasty and the pop-up was a welcome change from the low lit bars of London.
4. Singer Tavern x Double Dutch
Double Dutch Tonic hosted a tasting at Singer Tavern, which included aperitif and tonic tasting, as well as a talk by Double Dutch in an intimate setting. Created by two twins from the Netherlands, the brand rests on the idea that a mixer should elevate the spirit, spurring the tastebuds to experience new and richer, deeper and more exciting flavours. This was illustrated through the tasting sessions. While this wasn’t the usual sort of collaboration that I would go to, it was a great way to learn about the brand rather than simply drinking all night.
And the rest…
There were so many great events during LCW and a huge selection of amazing drinks to taste. However, I cannot only write about the positive experiences and must sometimes mention the negative ones.
I was hugely disappointed with Three Sheets x Employees Only collaboration. We had high hopes for this (usually) impressive bar and attempted to end our night on a high, only to be extremely unimpressed. The bartenders were sloppy drunk and made my cocktail completely wrong. The menu was also underwhelming. Of course one of the perks in being in the industry is that you can drink and have a great night at work, but if this comes in the way of delivering cocktails then you need to sort it out. Considering there were only two drinks by Employees Only, it shouldn’t have been hard to remember. Take a look at what I was served (on the left) versus what I should have been drinking…
On the whole, the quality of takeovers this year was high. If you missed any of them, I would definitely recommend checking out Swift, The Sun Tavern, Singer Tavern and even Three Sheets…just not too late in the day!
London Girl ✖️