Yesterday marked my first day at the official London Cocktail Week.
Situated in both East London at Old Spitalfields Market and at the World Class House in Central, the festival has events, pop-up bars, discounted deal on drinks – (cocktails are all 5 pounds) and many bars across London also take part. If you have a festival pass, you can essentially use it to gain access to exclusive offers. The pass is 10 pounds, and the festival lasts for a week. Laura and I went to the cocktail village in Spitalfields, and you definitely need more than one day. This means you can go back to try more drinks and food so…its pretty much a win-win situation, and if anyone needs me, that’s where you’ll find me this weekend.
Some of the pops up bars also do food and have a deal for 8 pounds so you can eat and drink (the dream). Venues paired specific drinks with menu items: Southern Comfort and fried chicken , Tacos and Margaritas, Bodeans Bbq and Jim Beam and Scotch Eggs. if the food in there doesn’t get you excited, there’s a number of stalls outside the venue that stay open (when I was tipsy this knowledge made me happier than most people).
We started off our evening by trying alcoholic ice cream: toffee and vodka (6%). At first, it tasted just like toffee ( YUM), but as you ate it more, the vodka flavour really came out. This was quite tasty until the end where the alcohol was the most prominent (and overpowering) factor. While the guy said it was one of their most popular flavours, I didn’t necessarily feel like it was the best thing I’ve ever tried. Perhaps the espresso chocolate martini would have been better- I mean I do love coffee and chocolate. They did have another stall selling alcoholic ice cream so for my next visit, I’ll be sure to give that one a try.
We then went for some fabulous cocktails. There was one pop-up bar which was serving a twist on classic drinks from eight of the best bars in London. I had a Tom Collins (Hendricks gin, lemon juice, cinnamon sugar and soda) originating from the Beaufort Bar in the Savoy (fancy) and Laura had a bramble Royale (Champagne, Monin Cassis, Hendrick’s gin and lemon juice) from happiness forgets. I just need to take a moment to say that if you are ever in East London Happiness Forgets is a great bar to go to for casual drinks or a date. (you may laugh at me but I know you’ll thank me when you all have to take your tinder dates somewhere hip- hint hint Mark if you’re reading this I want you to take me)
I also had a delicious chorizo scotch egg with the strangest cocktail. It was called porridge, and it replicated the exact taste (even including oats). Except, the taste was the kind of porridge where people use water and not milk when they make it. (i mean.. milk always triumphs am I right?)
However, strange did not come close to the cocktail me and Laura were kindly given by Dean, one of the employees at The Winking Pig. The cocktail was: Yorkshire Tea infused rum, lemon juice, tonic and a mini bacon butty! (leighs not included) However, they had sadly run out of bread so we had some bacon on the side instead. I am a coffee person, so when I say that it REALLY tasted like tea- I mean it. The taste of tea was too much for my liking, but I did like that the bar was playing with British classics.
The wackiest cocktail of all and by far a highlight for me was the bacon cocktail I had. It was a genius concept, and I got to eat bacon and drink a cocktail to best accentuate the flavour combination. (bonus) It was: Bacon Oak Gin, Smoked Bacon, Golden Syrup and Angos Bitters.
I definitely want to try different places on the weekend, but I‘ll be going back for that one.