Cocktails in the City 2016!

For it’s third year in a row, Cocktails in the City came in for the weekend 10th-12th March and knock out 1000s of cocktails for thirsty Londoners, this time at the majestic One Mayfair (Hogwarts with alcohol, basically) – Last year’s CitC Summer Edition brought 25 bars representing several spirit brands together under the sunny skies at Bedford Square Gardens where 2,000 Londoners came down over 2 days to try a whopping 7,724 cocktails!

Cocktails in the city london 2016

Bars and a representing brand set up stalls where bartenders presented the brand in a cocktail of their devising to the public for judging, with scores gathered at the end of the weekend judging best cocktails, and best stalls – let’s give a hand to last year’s winners: Best Cocktail by Coq d’Argent, and best stand by Loves Company!

Now, let’s have a look at the best of the 2016!

Cocktails in the city london 2016

First up, the Looking Glass Cocktail Club, Shoreditch – harking back to Maker’s Mark’s history as breadmakers, this cocktail is inspired by Italy’s sweet panettone bread loaf and it’s potent almond flavour.

The Maker’s Baker cocktail mixes Maker’s Mark whiskey, cider reduction with winter spice, Americano vermouth, ‘Liquid Panettone’, and Sinner Bitters. A sweet wintery Manhattan with heavy mix of cinnamon, nutmeg and spices, with lingering almond certainly took centre stage with it’s innovative homemade creations of ‘liquid panettone’ and spiced cider reduction.

Other cocktails presented by LGCC included the Honey Loaf, and Fig Muffin – each an excellent rendition on the baker/distiller theme.

Cocktails in the city london 2016

Another whisky contender that stole some attention was the Golden Square by last year’s winners, Coq d’Argent, and Johnnie Walker Gold Reserve.

Mixing the scotch with Earl Grey syrup, fresh lemon juice, Old Time Bitters, bitter orange marmalade, topped up with Lachamte Hideyoshi sparkling sake, garnished with orange zest and edible orchid – the Golden Square is a light, refreshing drink, with an edge of whisky, and depth from the Earl Grey. The floral sake and marmalade is uplifting, and surprisingly soft. A well balanced drink for Spring if there ever was one.

Cocktails in the city london 2016

Another star came from the OXO Tower Bar with the Love Buzz: Patron Tequila, rose syrup, yuzu, and strawberry infused Cocchi Vermouth – silky and delicate. An initial hit of strawberry mellows to a light tequila tang and bright rose, ending with a pale citrus of yuzu.

Cocktails in the city london 2016

Whiskey Ginger brought out recent release Pogues Irish Whiskey with the Irish Rover, including H by Hine Cognac, Orange bitters, Benedictine, caster sugar and mint: a light, bright whiskey cocktail with some herbal tartness. Next door, the Hawksmoor Spitalfields Bar kicked out a much harder short whiskey and cognac cocktail with the Sunset Sazerac: Strawberry infused Maxime Trijol VSOP Cognac, Coconut washed Rittenhouse Straight Rye, gomme, Peychaud and Pineapple bitters. In the face of powerful flavours like Rittenhouse and Trijol, many of the lighter ones drifted off – but still a fabulous cocktail for Sazerac fans (even without the absinthe!)

Cocktails in the city london 2016

68 and Boston surprised with a good cocktail: the Spirit of Adventure was a well balanced drink that didn’t overdo the sherry: Burleigh’s London Dry Gin, Amontillado sherry, apricot liqueur, hibiscus syrup and lemon juice created a fruity, citrus touched cocktail with a hint of dryness than would be a crowd-pleaser.

Cocktails in the city london 2016

We can’t leave without a hand to some amazing cocktails by our international visitors!

Little Red Door Paris brought in mystery cocktails – one powerfully Laphroaig was long and refreshing, but a short, perfumey cocktail of absinthe, Islay whisky and Chartreuse was also a clear winner.

Door 74 Amsterdam was spectacular with their Old Fashioned T&T: Woodford Reserve whiskey, Pekoe Ceylon tea liqueur infused with mandarin, orange and speculaas spices, maple syrup, and whiskey barrel aged bitters – a sweet Old Fashioned with kick and no shame in being both potent and flamboyant – garnished with a caramel pancake biscuit. Nom.

Cocktails in the city london 2016

Honourable mentions include Dishoom and Lanique Rose Spirit bringing a Julepy retelling of scandal from the last Viceroy of India; while The Whip and Chase Vodka brings the Radler back into style. Reverend JW Simpson, as ever, bursts in with a double production with Sauvelle Vodka in a chaste vanilla Martini, and a sinfully spicy punch.

And that was only a small taste of what dominated in the cavernous halls of One Mayfair on 10th March! The Hoodooist still believes this is one of London’s top cocktail events of the year, and cannot wait for next.

Tickets for Cocktails in the City London, Leeds, Manchester and Edinburgh can be bought at:

http://www.cocktailsinthecity.co.uk/

 

 

 

 

London Chocolate Week 2015 Cocktails!

You though London Chocolate Week would take a break from your liver after Cocktail Week?
Hah.

London Chocolate Week 2015 elebrates the world of fine chocolate from 12th to 18th October, 2015. The week culminates with The Chocolate Show London at Olympia National Hall from 16th to 18th October, bringing the best of the industry together all under one roof.

Hundreds of events are expected this Chocolate Week around the UK, with the country’s top chocolatiers and chocolate companies, as well as hotels, bars and restaurants celebrating by hosting talks, tastings, demonstrations and sampling, as well as creating exclusive products, new launches, offers, chocolate meals, cocktails and recipes using some of the best chocolate brands from around the world.

What you didn’t guess was bars like Opium and Jinjuu were offering limited edition Choctails for this week only!
Here are some of the recipes you can try out at home!

Opium’s Choctails:

The Belize Averna Flip

The Belize Averna Flip

Belize-Averna Flip 
25ml Averna
25ml Fair Belize 5 Year Rum
25ml Sierra Nevada pale ale syrup (equal parts Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and sugar)
1 free-range egg
 
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a tasting glass.  Garnish with fresh nutmeg and serve with a bar of Divine milk chocolate.
The Jackie Brown

The Jackie Brown

 
Jackie Brown
(adapted from a 2006 recipe by Rich Hunt at The Player, Soho)
 
50ml Belize Averna 5 Year Old Rum
7.5ml maple syrup
5ml D.O.M. Benedictine
2 dashes angostura bitters
 
Stir in a double Old Fashioned glass with cubed ice.  Garnish with an orange twist,  grate dark chocolate over the top and serve with the rest of the bar.
Jinjuu’s Choctails:
The Bounty Hunter

The Bounty Hunter

Bounty Hunter to Kill some Rum 
35ml FAIR. Belize Rum 5yo
15ml Dark Mozart
20ml Coco Lopez …

25 Double cream
There you have it! Prepare at home, or grab some at Opium and Jinjuu till October 18th!!
Happy London Chocolate Week everyone!

Day SIX: The 24 Hour Bar Build!

The contest London Cocktail Week was leading up to!

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24 HOUR BAR BUILD, SHOREDITCH – 10th October

N&C Showrooms, 3-10 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6PG

4 teams, 4 cities, 24 bartenders, 24 hours. Award winning bartending teams from around the world – London, New York, Paris, Singapore – come together to build 4 bars in 24 hours, competing to be crowned the World’s Best.

Team London (WOO!) will be led by Richard Woods of Duck & Waffle, working with Patrón Tequila – against New York (Leo Robitschek of NoMad, with Grey Goose Vodka), Paris (Carina Soto Velasquez of Candelaria, with Bombay Sapphire Gin), and Singapore (Joel Fraser of the Cufflink Club, with Bacardi Rum).

From concept to cocktails in 24hrs, which city will you crown the World’s Best?

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These 24 star bartenders knocked it out of the ballpark with their incredible bar concepts and cocktail menus, from first entry, let’s see what we got with Home Team London!

#LONDONCALLING

London 24 Hour Bar Build London Cocktail Week

London’s design seemed to have two distinct influences, one being the Team Leader, Rich Woods’ Duck & Waffle bar, with it’s London skyline in the bar’s ‘window’; the other being the outer barrio feel with Mexican influences with team’s sponsor, Patrón Tequila. The bar, with it’s atmosphere and music, captured your modern London bar scene, and patrons seemed to sink right into their comfort zone. Familiar, with twisted classics for drinks, with London’s sudden developing love for agave spirits.

A drink that stood out was Nathan Shearer (of Callooh Callay), knocking out fantastic Negronis using Patrón Reposado, Martini Rosso, and Amaro. Almost a deadringer for the classic. One of the Hoodooist’s favourite drinks of the night.

London Patron 24 Hour Bar Build London Cocktail Week

Team London’s Negroni!

Not to be outdone, Team New York set up a massive stall up west.

#PaulsBoutiqueNYC

NYC 24 Hour Bar Build London Cocktail Week

Again, two major influences here: Graffiti and hip hop calling up the infamous 8os for that distinct NYC feel, and the sleek, minimalist bar for Grey Goose vodka’s style. A fun gambling alley next door to double or nothing your drinks token with a game of dice amps up the bar’s seediness with lightwork of NYC’s longtime love affair with vodka.

Drinks were a lot quicker to dish out here, the Block Party gave us Grey Goose and watermelon juice; and the Kool Hero Aid gave us Grey Goose le Citron, St. Germain, and Kool Aid for a sweet, fruity long drink.

NYC Grey Goose 24 Hour Bar Build London Cocktail Week

NYC’s mixers

Standing up to NYC’s minimalism, Singapore goes all out and throws us into the ring!

#TeamSingapore!

Singapore 24 Hour Bar Build London Cocktail Week

From boxing arcade games, to a straight up boxing ring, complete with bartenders in costume for a fight, inspiration obviously comes from Singapore’s rich boxing industry. Certainly a fun set up, with drinks coming pre-bottled in themed glasses.

Sweeter and juicier fitness themed drinks from Bacardi rum included the Bacardi-Ade: Bacardi Superior, Martini Rosso, tea, citrus, pineapple and ‘ringside electrolyte bitters’; to the Ringside Breezer: Bacardi Superior, dry maraschino, orange, lime, ‘easy breezy’.

Singapore Bacardi 24 Hour Bar Build London Cocktail Week

Team Singapore’s themed cocktails!

Finally, a major contender of the evening was Team Paris, going all out to cross the Channel with Francophone flair:

#LeGrandBleu

Paris 24 Hour Bar Build London Cocktail Week

Bringing out the disco ball, turning up the French hip hop and the wearing the Tricolore, Le Grand Bleu was winning points with tophatted host pouring champagne for everyone throughout the evening. This team’s design went all out with the pizzazz and flashes of sponsor Bombay Sapphire Gin’s signature blue.

The cocktails were, the Hoodooist must admit, his favourite. *distant yelling of ‘traitor!’*
The Like a Virgin twisted the Dry Martini with spice mix and olive for a spicy, lip-smacking short drink to take your time with; and the excellent Gold Digger; Bombay Sapphire gin, cognac, pandan, sesame, cordial, Amontillado, sherry.

Initially caramelly sweet with powerful sherry and cordial, it gives way to the sesame and herbal gin, finally ending with an effervescent pandan finish.

Bombay Sapphire Paris 24 Hour Bar Build London Cocktail Week

The Parisian offerings, Like a Virgin on the left, the Gold Digger right.

The night wore on, more tokens exchanged at each bar until tokens were to be counted to see which of the 4 cities outranked the others, and lo and behold, Team London’s #LondonCalling once again leads the world’s bar scene!

Were we all a bit biased? Probably. Do we regret it? Highly doubt it.

Still, that Gold Digger tho.

Paris Bombay Sapphire 24 Hour Bar Build London Cocktail Week

Alright! That’s our recap of Day Six 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 recap of The best of the week!*

Day FIVE: Soho Weekend!

Welcome one and all to the recap of the fifth 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 9th: Where the Hoodooist and friends tackled Soho!

London Cocktail Week Green Bar Hotel Cafe Royal

The Aged American

1.30PM:

The Green Bar at Hotel Cafe Royal is always a good place to start!

The green tiled surrounds of the venue and the gorgeous bar in the centre offer an Aged American: Maker’s Mark bourbon, 20 year old port, Briottet figue liqueur, egg white. A great drink to start with this early. A balance of sweet and citrus, slightly velvety, easy to down. Vanilla and light notes of rye spice, but stronger orange and fig – bit of toffee.

A great drink if you want to start off with something light.

London Cocktail Week World Class Bar

L-R: The Old Fashioned Date Night; Hops & Glory

3.30PM:

After lunch at the Brasserie Zedel, the Hoodooist finally makes it to the The World Class London Cocktail Week Hub – hosting masterclasses and being hosted by several World Class bartenders each day – this is a must-see of the week.

Two of the cocktails on offer were the Hops & Glory, and the Old Fashioned Date Night:

The Hops & Glory provided Tanqueray 10 gin, shaken with London IPA syrup, Italian vermouth and lemon – for a crisp, but exceedingly smooth and crisp Martini. The full body of the Tanqueray 10 and the malty sweetness of the IPA syrup make this a winning citrus cocktail that even non-Martini drinkers absolutely must try.

The Old Fashioned Date Night  brings Ron Zacapa rum, popcorn and cola infusion, chocolate bitters and a date garnish – After the first sweet hit from the Ron Zacapa, there is an immediate procession through cola, then a long moment of popcorn, and intense bitterness. This drink might tend toward a lot more bitter than expected about reading the menu – and demands time be taken with it.

Off to the Blind Pig next door!

London Cocktail Week Blind Pig Social Eating House

L-R: The Canhattan; the Monkey Shoulder Snakebite

4.30PM:

The Blind Pig at the Social Eating House gets busy. Fast. Getting early or managing to book a table is best advice. Luckily, 4.30 is 15 minutes before the crowd roll in, and the bar suddenly goes from quiet to bustling.

There are two drinks on offer here:

The Canhattan offers Monkey Shoulder whisky, sweet vermouth, Angostura bitters and ‘canned maraschino cherry’. Expecting the unexpected from any Gareth Evans concoction, the Hoodooist was still surprised by the presentation – not over the top, but still fun! The cocktail’s beautiful nose thanks to the Monkey Shoulder’s winter spices and malt – palate of cloves, berries, dried fruit, honey, and then orange from the vermouth make this a fantastic Manhattan that is neither too sweet nor bitter, with a bit of kick.

The Monkey Shoulder Snakebite was a surprise! Monkey Shoulder whisky, pear liqueur, ale reduction, cider syrup, lemon juice, citrusy, malty and velvety, sweet. Bursts of spice and butter come clean through the cider with a fresh fruit finish. A long and heavy drink, and certainly an enjoyable one.

London Cocktail Week The Vault Milroy's Soho

The Prohibition

6PM:

Today’s drinks have been mostly light, citrusy, sweet, and usually involving some hop-related ingredient – so it was time for the Hoodooist to return to his roots with The Prohibition by The Vault Soho.

Whisky, dry vermouth, homemade Amer Picon, cherry liqueur, and orange bitters make this a bitter, but addictive cocktail. Rye spice and dried fruits is cut through with liquorice and bitterness before being followed but a wave of cherry liqueur and ending with the orange bitters. If you enjoy them strong and bitter (with a hint of fruity sweetness), this is the one for you. Great job by the Vault.

London Cocktail Week Shackfuyu

The Comin’atcha

7PM:

So the food at Shackfuyu is fantastic. After spectacular okonomiyaki styled prawn toast and smoked eel tostada, we turned to the Matcha Comin’atcha: Gin infused with matcha powder, lime and cucumber garnish.

I wanted to like this drink, since it was a refreshing polarity to the previous one – but the matcha doesn’t really do much to make it different from a gin and tonic. In any case, it’s a great 5 pound G&T, and worth popping by as a break with their amazing bar snacks.

London Cocktail Week Percy and Founders

The I Bee-long To You

8:15PM:

And so we find ourselves at Percy and Founders.

Something about this place, is reminiscent of ‘That Girl‘ in high school. The one you and your friends suddenly think of in conversation, but for some reason you just cannot for the life of you remember her name. Or her hair colour. Or if she was in your classes. Arrested Development fans might know her as Egg.

Egg was also responsible for the I Bee-long To You: Glenfarclas 15 whisky, Drambuie, lemon juice, honey, English Bitter Manzanilla.

I can’t think of a way to describe this cocktail without being disrespectful.

ON THE PLUS SIDE: Day Five has been dominated by a wide variety of cocktails: from the sweet and smooth at the Green Bar and Blind Pig, to the deep and bitter at the Vault and the World Class London Cocktail Week Hub, to the bright and refreshing at Shackfuyu. Soho has outdone itself this year with what it has on offer, just make sure to make reservations!

Tonight, the incredible international contest with bartending teams from across the globe, pitting city against city at the International 24 Hour Bar Build! Tune in for that recap tomorrow!

Alright! That’s our recap of Day Five 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 the International 24 Hour Bar Build!*

Day FOUR: Dalstonbound!

Welcome one and all to the recap of the fourth 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 8th: Where the Hoodooist and friends tackled Dalston and Whitechapel!

London Cocktail Week Original Sin

The Wanderer

7:45PM:

We already know that the Hoodooist loves Original Sin. A quieter evening, seated at the bar; the LCW offering, The Wanderer is presented: Kilchoman whisky, amontillado sherry, lemon, orange, pomegranate molasses.

My, this is beautiful. Balanced, toward sweet, but not sugary. Strikes a fantastic partnership with what feels like the Kilchoman Machir Bay. Maritime brine and smoke cut through the pomegranate molasses and light orange, all tempered by the amontillado.

A well-balanced drink that doesn’t patronise the drinker. A must try this cocktail week.

London Cocktail Week Ruby's

The Tropical Italian

8:30PM:

Finding oneself at Ruby’s Dalston, service is once again welcoming and warm.

As in our full review of Ruby’s, classics are very well done, but house cocktails tend to falter into extremes. The Tropical Italian (aka, Mambo Italiano): Campari, mango, chinotto, topped with prosecco, is no different.

The chinotto isn’t communicated well, the Campari and prosecco dominate the cocktail, with a bit of mango coming through between. Sadly, this cocktail went unfinished since the Campari was overpowering when combo’d with mango (this is coming from a Negroni fan, for the record).

Hope this was just a one-time mishap – otherwise atmosphere and service and fantastic.

London Cocktail Week Mussel Men

The Golf Gin Fizz

9:30PM:

Chomping through some excellent scallops, the Golf Gin Fizz is served at Mussel Men: Eden Mill Golf gin for a classic Gin Fizz.

A long and refreshing gin fizz, thoroughly enjoyable on a hot day. The lemongrass coming through might tip it over to the sweet side, in which case ask to mind the sugar.

Make sure to nip in for the seafood! Mussel Men will be hosting several events through the week for this LCW #ScottishInvasion series.

London Cocktail Week 46 and Mercy

The Blessed Thistle

10:30PM:

Down in the basement at 46 & Mercy (make sure to say hi to Mat), another favourite of the evening was being served: the Blessed Thistle brought together Ketel One vodka, Cocchi Americano vermouth washed with smoked pork fat & thyme, sherry vinegar.

Spectacular, everything is taken into consideration here (well, the nose can be a bit strong, if you want to nitpick). A fascinating twist on a vodka Martini, the washing lends to the cocktail a velvety smoothness and ease of drinking, as well as depth and herbaceous quality that goes to well with the floral Ketel One vodka. The sherry vinegar is a little bit of cheeky kick. An ambitious, and very successful, drink.

Another must visit, and very close to the Spitalfield Cocktail Village if needed.

If seated on the reclining chairs, don’t lean forward. Really.

London Cocktail Week Apples and Pears

The #borntoparty

11PM:

Okay, Apples and Pears wins point for atmosphere: aftar admiring the artwork, Hoodooist and co just became drunkenly absorbed into the classic Tom & Jerry and Merrie Melodies cartoons on the big screen. Because why the hell not.

The fun vibe extends to the cocktail, the #borntoparty: Courvoisier VS cognac, orange liqueur, Cocchi Americano vermouth, blackcurrant and vanilla tea syrup. Coming with a ‘polaroid’ of, um, Napoleon (give it a second).

Serving a cold drink in a balloon glass is a long time peeve of the Hoodooist’s, but if sticking to the theme, might as well go all the way. The drink has a bit too much going on, though. The blackcurrant and vanilla do come through, but once all the flavours mingle, it starts to taste like a liquid Curly Wurly – which, if you enjoy, you’ll love this.

Definitely a dessert cocktail, with a syrupy texture, and caramelly flavour.

 

1AM:

The Hoodooist has to stay up and type, taking on Soho needs an early morning.

But first, more pizza.

5 bars today, and we see some stand out winners like Original Sin and 46 & Mercy, and evidence that sometimes classics are classics with good reason with Mussel Men. Great selection.

 

Alright! That’s our recap of Day Four 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 Soho and Fitzrovia!*

Day THREE: Mayfair March!

Welcome one and all to the recap of the third 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 7th: Where the Hoodooist and friends tackled Mayfair and Marylebone!

London Cocktail Week Mayfair Whisk

The Original Sin

4PM:

The Sheraton Park Lane Hotel’s Smith and Whistle is a relaxed hotel joint with a distinct love for Irish whiskey, and Jameson’s in particular.

Besides their Caskmate’s cocktail, they were even hosting a raffle to win a bottle before going home! But their Original Sin is not to be a missed. A beautiful crimson cocktail topped with a spicy stout foam. The first sip through the foam brings out flavours of warm spices from  cinnamon, nutmeg and star anise – until you get to the cocktail of Jameson’s Caskmates whiskey, red wine reduction, and more of that homemade spiced syrup.

Expect to find an immediate hit of light warm spices (enhanced by the burning cinnamon garnish), the wine reduction’s dark fruits and raspberry, finally ending with the Caskmate’s Madeira, fresh and honeyed fruit, and vanilla. A beautiful cocktail – even the Hoodooist didn’t mind its sweetness.

Smith and Whistle raised the bar high before continuing on!

London Cocktail Week Mayfair Whisk

The Sakura Highball

5.30PM:

The ROKA Mayfair kept up the standard so far with the long Sakura Highball. Nikka From the Barrel whisky met Cocchi’s Barolo Chinato vermouth, Sakura cherry blossom tincture, topped off with a plum soda.

The nose is bittersweet and tempting, the first sip immediately brings out the Nikka’s fruit, winter spices and toffee along with the plum soda, before quickly setting onto a long wave of the Barolo Chinato’s orange peel, cloves and dried fruits with the bitter kick, ending on a bed of cherry blossom.

With excellent service and chat from the bartenders, beautiful surrounds, and bar snacks that are devoured in moments, this is an excellent highball drink, highly recommended.

London Cocktail Week Mayfair

The Amor y Amargo

6.30PM:

Into the winding side streets that lead us into the busy lane housing Cartizze, which seems more at home in a hotel than the lane that houses it, the Amor y Amargo is served at the table. Being rather busy, it took its time, the sweet drink caused a little debate.

Amaretto liqueur, Cynar, apricot liqueur, vanilla sugar, lemon, topped with prosecco. Some enjoyed the drink, the Hoodooist couldn’t taste much over the amaretto, lemon and a hint of apricot. It seemed to lack dimension, and blurred into a one-trick drink. Of course, if this is one’s style, a sweet tooth might enjoy it.

When a friend at the table ordered a second, they were informed that only the first drink is subject to the LCW 5 pound offer. Something *no other bar so far in the history of the 5 years of cocktail week* has inflicted on wristband wearers.

London Cocktail Week Mayfair Whisky

The Sesame Street

7PM:

Next door, the Cartizze’s sister bar, Mews of Mayfair, offered the Sesame Street: Glenmorangie 10yr infused with apricots, sesame oil, topped with egg white and sesame seeds.

A major improvement from next door, the spicy nose is refreshing, the palate is instantly hit with sesame, followed by vanilla and bold fruits of the whisky, retreating once again into sesame and ending with bright apricots.

An enjoyable drink and a huge improvement, with multifaceted flavours, though a friend retorted, “I keep thinking of chicken yakitori.”

London Cocktail Week Mayfair Cognac

The Golden Shuffle

8PM:

Recently opened dinner and shisha bar, Noir W1, next door to Selfridges, serving up the Golden Shuffle: Courvoisier Exclusif cognac, yuzu juice, lemon, cocoa nib infused white truffle honey, egg white and black walnut bitters.

Tastes like a regular Sidecar.

Somewhat detectable honey.

London Cocktail Week Mayfair vodka

The Absolutly Dirty

10PM:

After a bite and some key lime pie in Marylebone, Hoodooist and co. find themselves at an old haunt that once had a long and beautifully complex menu.

Purl offered up the Absolutely Dirty for LCW: Absolut Elyx vodka, sherry (fino, perhaps?), capers and black olive bitters.

Only approach if Dirty Martini fan. After the first kick the face with black olives, you will feel a sharp slice of the sherry, followed immediately after by the black olives and a hint of caper.

The Hoodooist, a major fan of the bone-dry gin Martini, not so much a fan of this. At least didn’t enjoy the wincing with each sip.

As aforementioned: Only approach if Dirty Martini fan.

 

Midnight:

The Hoodooist remembers there are at least three more days to go, and has a lie down.

With a really high standard set up by the Smith and Whistle, and Roka, and a fun twist at Mews of Mayfair, the Mayfair March was a day of high highs, and low lows. Some, like the Cartizze and Purl, have targeted very specific audience palates that the reader must consider.

 

Alright! That’s our recap of Day Three 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 Dalston and Whitechapel!*

Day TWO: Shoreditch Slam!

Welcome one and all to the recap of the second 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 6th: Where the Hoodooist and friends tackled the Hoxton and the Shoreditch!

London Cocktail Week Whiskey White Lyan

The Ember 75

6PM:

Ryan Chetiyawardana, aka Mr. Lyan, brought out innovative cocktail bar White Lyan a couple of years ago, using no fresh ingredients outside the bottled cocktails – the LCW offering is no different, with a flute half-filled with the mystery drink topped off with Franciacorta sparkling wine.

The Ember 75 is a twist on the classic French 75, with Monkey Shoulder whisky, lemon distillate, BBQ fruit distillate, mixed acid solution, and mineral water.

You’d be forgiven if that made little sense, unfortunately, our bartender was not at all helpful in attempting to explain it – what we gathered is that it’s smoke and fruit. Neither did our bartender seem clear on the process preparing the bottled drink, or at least didn’t want to explain it.

Anyway, the first half of the cocktail was a bit flat with the sweet wine (I say that because the sparkling wine was not sparkling, the fizz was not fizzing. Why? Do not ask us.), as time passed the Monkey Shoulder became increasingly prominent, and by the bottom half, flavours of dried fruit, apricot and light notes of peach opened up, with a layer of smoke.

London Cocktail Week Buffalo Trace Bourbon

The Fairground Sazerac; and the Don’t Mug Yourself

6.45PM:

We find ourselves back at the Buffalo Bourbon Empire pop up we reviewed earlier this week!

Of course, we reviewed the fab Don’t Mug Yourself in the previous article, so the Hoodooist went in for the Fairground Sazerac: Sazerac Rye Whiskey, Peychaud’s Bitters, sugar in a Herbsaint rinse with a large dollop of candyfloss in the tankard, and a small bit on the straw to drink through.

Now this is fun – to be fair, the Hoodooist is a major fan of the Sazerac as is, but the additional little bit of sweetness from the candyfloss doesn’t hurt, and injects a little bit of fun into and otherwise serious classic. The whiskey’s orange and warm spices is clear, the glass rinsed just right with Herbsaint – the candyfloss takes the edge off the finish with a bit of sugar. A fun quirky twist on an old loved classic.

London Cocktail Week Whisky Scotch Auchentoshan

The Auchie Ale

7.45PM:

The Translate Bar in Shoreditch retains it’s party atmosphere even this early in the evening – with the Auchentoshan and Ale workshop going on next door, Translate is knocking out 5 options for 5 pounds each: the Auchentoshan American Oak or Three Wood neat/on the rocks, a Glasgow Mule (with Ginger Ale), a Classic Sour, and their main offering for London Cocktail Week, the Auchie Ale.

The Auchie Ale brings together Auchentoshan American Oak, quince, lemon, simple syrup, topped off with Camden Pils in a handy mug and twist of lemon. Initially, the ale drowns out the flavour of this great whisky and the quince, but as it warms up about halfway through, both the nose and palate become clearer.

The toffee and chocolate nose begins to come through, the palate bursts into warmer flavours of chocolate, citrus, grain and oak, ending with a quince bite and the Camden Pils. Certainly a cocktail if you enjoy your ale.

London Cocktail Week Whisky Scotch Auchentoshan

The Auchentoshan Three Wood

The Hoodooist had more fun going straight for the Auchentoshan Three Wood – rested in Oloroso sherry, bourbon, and Pedro Ximinez sherry casks, this whisky is deep and rich, taking an almost rum like quality with strong espresso. Forest fruits, dark berries, glazed cherries, dark chocolate and treacle flood the palate. A beautiful dram.

London Cocktail Week Rum NOLA

The Creole Muse

9PM:

Back at an old favourite! NOLA did pretty well last LCW with Chris Dennis at the helm, and this year, the New Orleans legend Chris Hannah designed the Creole Muse for the NOLA’s own bartenders to prepare.

Havana Club 7 year rum, absinthe, agave, strawberry puree, lime creates a sweet and sour cocktail that begins with the lime, moving on to the strawberry’s sweetness for a long moment, before bringing out the toffee and coffee bean of the rum – ending with a strong absinthe knock.

Personally I’d add a lime peel to the rim to help neutralise the strongly anise nose – and the debate over this drink kicked off at the table – one loved it, one wanted to replace absinthe with Green Chartreuse, one though maybe a touch less absinthe would do it, maybe just a rinse. This twisted strawberry daiquiri will split the group into a debate. Trying it without the absinthe, it lacks dimension, so the bitter note is necessary.

London Cocktail Week Casita Tequila

The Hidden Bar’s Tommy Gets Spicy

10.15PM:

Because a night always ends at Casita.

The LCW offering being a Paloma (Ocho Tequila, lime juice, agave, Ting, pink grapefruit – a citrus, light on the tequila cocktail strong on the grapefruit and Ting) is a classic at Casita that will always be around, the Hoodooist was tempted away to try the one-day menu by the bartenders of the Ibiza Hidden Bar instead.

The Tommy gets Spicy gives us Tequila Cabeza, raspberry, agave syrup, lime, tabasco – this beautiful red cocktail begins with a mineral hit of the Cabeza, followed instantly by the tobasco spice transitioning into the sweetness of the fresh raspberry.

There is a reason the Hoodooist loves this bar.

Thing’s are a bit blurry here on out.

1AM:

“I could try to write this now, or I could binge-watch Rick and Morty.”

 

Alright! That’s our recap of Day Two 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 Mayfair and Marylebone!*