Apologies for the late post, readers, but writing this up last night was impossible with the room spinning and uncontrollable giggling in the shower – which means London Cocktail Week has kicked into gear!
Welcome one and all to the recap of the first day of London Cocktail Week 2015! Wield a red or white wristband and enjoy the discounts/events that LCW has to offer!
This year the Hoodooist will be bringing you #YourDailyDoseOfHoodoo, a daily review of each day of London Cocktail Week ’15.
Today we look at October 5th: Where the Hoodooist and friends tackled the LCW Village and the City!
Of course, the hangover was improved by the wonderful guys from Ohayo Tomorrow! Their hangover cures can be found at the all new London Cocktail Week Village at Spitalfields – a massive space converted into the LCW’s main hub where you can collect your wristbands and peruse some of the exciting brands and bars that set up shop, serving cocktails and cocktail equipment!
Set up around the giant SodaStream carousel, there are some must visit stops.
James Elliot of Pizza Pilgrims (Who made a lifesaving appearance at the Bussey Bar Rooftop this summer) manages the all-new London limoncello brand – Pococello, using exclusively Amalfi lemons with spirit produced by the Chase Distillery UK.
The result is a deliciously smooth spirit that balances sweet and tart when drunk neat and ice cold, but works absolutely beautifully with the slightly bitter Fevertree tonic. Make sure to grab yourself an L&T before trying out their limoncello slushie which is a fantastic picnic drink.
While you’re at the village, make sure to pop by Loves Company stall for a ginger mystery cocktail using Bathtub Gin and grab selfies in the (obviously necessary) bathtub with a bottle! You can always trust Loves Company for the quirkier stalls at a festival, winning Cocktail in the City 2015‘s Best Stand award.
And don’t miss the Vestal Vodka stop right next door! Take a quick look at the history of this smooth potato vodka that is a longstanding Highball Hoodoo favourite, and grab a Vestal Martini before you leave. Velvety, with distinct blueberry and liquorice notes, makes this a fantastically easy to drink Martini.
The Hoodooist and co. make their way to the heart of City to check out what the bars have to offer.
Company all have a Pappy 10 Old Fashioned in hand at Barbecoa. Yes – a Pappy 10.
Rarely seen in London (to the point where wristband wearers are limited to one per visit), the Pappy was exciting, an Old Fashioned made with demerara sugar and orange bitters, topped off with a large ice cube.
The first glass came in, the nose sweet with sweet corn, toffee, and dried fruits, the palate, however, felt a little watered. You could tell the heart of the cocktail had that beautiful buttery, thick, dates, walnut, caramel with a hint of spice – but it seemed somewhat lost in the cocktail.
Our bartender was wonderful enough to try a few changes: chill the glass beforehand and lose the ice cube (it melts surprisingly quickly) and minimise the sugar – the Hoodooist wishes he asked to switch the strong orange bitters to Angostura as well, but the changes were an improvement for the company at the table. It is a change we’d recommend.
Making our way to The Sign of the Don Bistro, company finally grab food to eat after a long day of imbibing – the octopus salad is not to be missed!
A round of The 10/10 comes to the table: 10 year port meets the Glenmorangie 10 year scotch, Campari, Monin gomme syrup, lime juice, chilli and coriander. This drink is interesting, the Glenmorangie’s citrus nose bursts through, the mouthfeel light and refreshing.
It begins with a citrus and coriander, that develops into the Glenmorangie’s creamy, fresh scotch, followed by a length of port and chilli, leaving an aftertaste of strong Campari and a prickling of the chilli.
This drink was a surprise, and not what we were expecting – worth trying for the novelty and popping by for the food!
In the basement of the Arbitrager, we find the beautiful drinking den of Demon, Wise, and Partners. Classically designed and luscious, a fantastic spot to get away from the noisiness of the day.
In typical DW&P fashion, the drinker is given options on which direction they’d like to take their drink: The Rabbit Hole presents the imbiber with a ‘Sweet’ or ‘Dry’ choice.
Both have the same base of Wild Turkey whiskey, Campari, lemon.
However the ‘Sweet’ comes with sweet Cinzano 1757 vermouth, and a red capsule full of a smoke and orange blossom powder.
And the ‘Dry’ comes with Cinzano Dry vermouth, and a blue capsule with powdered Green Chartreuse.
The result are two completely different cocktails, distinctly sweet and distinctly dry.
The sweet Rabbit Hole begins with the floral orange blossom, followed by the whiskey’s thick butterscotch and pepper, laying of a bed of smoke, finally ending with the lingering Campari.
The dry Rabbit Hole is beautiful is you like your drinks dry and bitter. It follows a similar pattern as above, but beginning with the herbal, pungent Chartreuse – the mouthfeel is the most interesting though, malty or yeasty in the best of ways.
Highly recommend this cocktail, one (two?) of my favourites of the day!
Hoodooist and co. are overlooking London from the gorgeous Art Deco bar that is City Social at Tower 42.
A wonderful place to relax and end the night in the comfy, dark recesses of the couches with the glittering city below, we grab ourselves the LCW offering: the Vitamin Sea.
Hendrick’s Gin, sea buckthorn and orange sherbet, Cocchi Americano, lemon and carrot juice,and a touch of absinthe. The name is accurate. Served in a medicinal bottle, the nose is powerfully citrus, you can almost smell the sea bukthorn’s high vitamin C content. The cocktail tastes almost exactly like an alcoholic vitamin supplement. There is a distant touch of absinthe, but barely there, otherwise the palate is dominated by the berry and orange juice, with undertones of the Hendrick’s.
An odd choice of offering, a bit flat. An interesting twist on a gin and orange, however, but only subtle differences.
The Hoodooist downs his Ohayo Tomorrow and collapses in bed, vowing to be up early to write this article. That didn’t happen.
Alright! That’s our recap of Day One of London Cocktail Week 2015! I do hope it may have helped you one way or the other, dear readers, on our quest through the most magical week of the year.
Remember to check out Highball Hoodoo every morning of London Cocktail Week for more reviews of the LCW cocktail offerings, parties and events!
Get #YourDailyDoseOfHoodoo each morning from 5th to 11th October!
*Tune in tomorrow for our coverage of Hoxton and Shoreditch!*