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LONDON COCKTAIL WEEK 2020

How do you like it baby, shaken or stirred? London Cocktail Week is back for 2020 and this time it’s been extended to an entire MONTH. And good thing too because there are a lotta cocktails for you to try. Here’s our pick of the best places to get a drink during this year’s LCW.

TAYER + ELEMENTARY

152 Old St, London EC1V 9BW, UK

Tayer + Elementary is a partnership between Monica Berg and Alex Kratena who have both had previous bars listed in The World’s 50 Best, one of which (Artesian) had the number one spot four years in a row. This dual concept space – Elementary, the brighter and sleek space at the front, and Tayer the naughtier, darker and more sophisticated space at the back – is divided by a concrete partition and it’s outrageously good. The drinks are serious so if you aren’t careful and don’t show them respect, they will slap you bang in the face. Believe. For London Cocktail Week festival wristband holders will get a £6 FRAGOLINO SOUR; Maker’s Mark bourbon, Noilly Prat dry vermouth, fresh citrus and Fragolino.

THREE SHEETS

510b Kingsland Road, London, E8 4AE

Small and unshowy, Three Sheets is the kind of place you could easily walk past without a second thought. If you’re in the know though, it’s one of the best little cocktail bars in all of London. Founded by Max and Noel Venning, it’s all about classic cocktails given a modern twist, like the Shiso Miso (a take on an Old Fashioned) and the Almond Flower Sour. Simple but oh so effective. For London Cocktail Week, wristband holders can get a £6 WHISKY HIGHBALL; Whisky Highball Batch (Pocari infused Suntory Toki, green tea vodka and sugar cordial), mandarin zest and topped with soda. Lovely.

ORIGINAL SIN

129 Stoke Newington High Street, London N16 0PH, UK

This basement cocktail bar in Stoke Newington is the sister bar to Hoxton’s Happiness Forgets. The narrow room is low lit, seductive and a bit of a gem in N16. With stools at the bar, booths and a pool table, it’s fancy pants drinks done well and a place where you are well looked after. For London Cocktail Week there are not one but two special serves for wristband holders. There’s the £6 EDEN FIZZ with Belvedere Smogory Forest vodka, rhubarb cordial, fresh lemon juice, pomegranate and orange blossom and the £9 PICON SANDY with cachaca, crème de cacao, Amer picon liqueur and fresh lemon juice topped with Moët & Chandon champagne. Enjoy.

THE SUN TAVERN

441 BETHNAL GREEN ROAD, LONDON E2 0AN

This brick-lined pub, which dates back to the 1850s, maybe on the small side but they’ve packed in an enormous selection of Irish whiskeys and poitin behind the bar as well as a contemporary cocktail menu, punch sharing bowls and local brews on tap. Dark and atmospheric, it’s everything you want a pub to be. A wristband gets you this serve for £6; WEE SWALLIE, an Aberfeldy 12 yo whisky, oloroso sherry, Umbrella Brewing ginger beer, salted mead and fresh citrus.

SCOUT

224 Graham Road, London, E8 1BP

Scout, the low-waste cocktail bar from Matt Whiley, may have moved from Old Street to Hackney but the philosophy remains very much the same. There’s no fancy decor, no crazy drinking vessels and no waste so all your attention is focused on the flavours in the cocktails. The serve a small selection of bottled classics like vespers and negronis (done the Scout way of course) alongside more inventive cocktails made with in-house ferments and seasonal ingredients from the UK. Get your HACKNEY COSMO, made with rhubarb ferment, mulberry cordial, hopped-Bombay Sapphire gin and tarragon for just £6 with an LCW wristband.

BLACK ROCK

9 Christopher Street, London EC2A 2BS, UK

Just in case you were unsure what they specialise in at Black Rock, they’ve whacked a great big tree trunk filled with whisky right in the middle of the bar. Yep this is the place to drink whisky, and if you don’t want it straight,you can get it in a cocktail. You’ve got a £6 JOHNNIE WALKER AFTERNOON TEA PUNCH on offer for LCW, which is made with Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch whisky, homemade JW tea blend (cold brew), homemade JW tea blend (hot brew), homemade tea serum, oleo Ssaccharum and strawberry acid.

NINE LIVES

8 Holyrood St, London SE1 2EL, UK

There’s a zero waste policy at this basement bar so when you’re knocking back the cocktails, you can rest assured that you’re doing your bit for the environment. What we can’t promise is that this will lessen the hangover but you’ll just have to sip on the LCW serves to find out. Try the £6 GRAPEFRUIT SPRITZ; Tanqueray No.TEN gin, homemade grapefruit cordial and topped with Double Dutch soda, and the £9 GRAPEFRUIT 75; Tanqueray No.TEN gin, fresh pink grapefruit juice, thyme sugar topped with Moët & Chandon Champagne and finished with an absinthe spritz.

ORIOLE

Smithfield Markets, E Poultry Ave, London EC1A 9LH

Oriole is run by the same people behind Nightjar, so you can bet they know what they’re doing when it comes to cocktails. They’re not afraid to think outside the box either, as you can tell by the two drinks they’re shaking up for LCW. The 1815 HIGHBALL includes Laphroaig Quarter Cask whisky, Amaretto liqueur, homemade peated barley syrup and muscovado tonic whilst the non-alcoholic TIAN SHAN COLLINS has Everleaf Bittersweet Aperitif and osmanthus tea topped with aloe vera tonic.

TRAILER HAPPINESS

177 Portobello Road, London W11 2DY, United Kingdom

It’s retro, it’s kitsch, it’s tiki and it’s totally great at this Portobello Road basement bar and yes, they have been known to light drinks on fire. Go all out this LCW with a PLAYA VIDA, that’s Havana Club Pro Edition B rum, dry vermouth, cherry heering liqueur and grapefruit and guava juice.

THREE LITTLE BIRDS

412 Coldharbour Lane, London, UK

Get a taste of Jamaica without leaving London at Three Little Birds. The Brixton bar, founded by former Apprentice contestant April Jackson, celebrates the best of the island with lots of rum and lots of good vibes. For LCW, they’re pouring the HAWKSBILL CRUSH, that’s Hawksbill rum, velvet falernum, pineapple juice, fresh lime juice, mango cordial, ginger syrup and Angostura bitters.

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