There are many events that claim to be the world’s premier cocktail festival and London Cocktail Week has a genuine claim to the title. Now in its third year the festival most resembles that other great contender, New Orleans’ Tales of the Cocktail. Neither are limited to a singlevenue, instead they are anchored in a city district but then spread out across bars, tasting rooms, clubs and restaurants and include seminars, dinners and lavish entertainment.
London Cocktail Week 2013 is based in Covent Garden and is already well underway as we post, 7 to 13 October. Seven Dials is the hub of activity but cocktail tours taking in over 150 bars stretches the festival footprint to Islington, Shoreditch, Fitzrovia, Soho, Mayfair, Chelsea, Bermondsey and Shoreditch. £10 wristbands entitle the wearer to £4 cocktails at bars taking part in the festivities and they can be collected from points in Covent Garden and Shoreditch.
In what is the greatest celebration of cocktails in the UK, there are daily cocktail tours and a myriad of different events running each day. Giffard hosted an opening night party that saw over 200 people gather in Covent Garden to enjoy a collection of historic Menthe Pastille advertisements, many of which have not been seen in over a century and had never been gathered together in a collection before. Naturally, the four cocktails on offer were all Menthe Pastille based. The classic White Lady, was accompanied by a Botanical Explosion, a Stinger and a deliciously warming 1885.
25ml Blackwells dark rum
25ml Menthe Pastille
25ml Mozart dark chocolate liqueur
The Spirit of Art by Giffard is on display in the Central Avenue of the Covent Garden Market Building until 18 October and is a worthy inclusion on any bar tour criss-crossing Covent Garden.