Cocktails for £4 at over 200 bars during London Cocktail Week 2014

From a pedal-powered cocktail making machine, to the world's largest rum tasting event, there's plenty to get involved with. Oh, and Trouserless Tuesday

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Indy Lifestyle Online

A week dedicated to drinking? Shurely some mhishtake. Nope, not a bit of it. London Cocktail Week is a thing and a jolly good one at that.

In case you haven’t heard, it’s been a fixture on the calendar for the past four years – today marks its fifth birthday. Here’s the deal. You buy a wristband (they were £10 for advance bookings but are £15 from now on). Okay, you pay £5 more but when you consider said wristband gives you access to fancy London-priced cocktails for £4 a-pop, that’s pretty good going, particularly as you can choose from more than 200 participating bars dotted around the capital.

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There are events too – some out-and-out fun like drinks from the Hendrick’s Boneshaker Cocktail Bar, the world’s first pedal-powered cocktail making machine (9th-12th Oct), and Trouserless Tuesday at NOLA (7th Oct) – hey, don’t judge, they may go trouser less (only on Tuesdays mind) but they serve the most excellent drinks.

If you prefer some thinking with your drinking, there’s plenty of choice: go behind the scenes at London’s distilleries including Sipsmith, the London Distillery and recently opened East London  Liquor Company; learn all about your favourite spirits with tutored tastings from brands including  Tanqueray Gin (6th-12th Oct); Zubrówka Vodka (8th Oct), El Dorado Rum (9th Oct) and Cointreau (11th Oct); you can even elevate the experience with a Sonic Tasting with Ketel One Vodka (9th Oct).

Talk about a varied programme – Angostura Rum have recreated a walk-in Butterfly House to bring their story to life as guests are invited to press their own sugar cane juice to make cocktails (9th-12th Oct); Jamie Oliver’s Drinks Tube channel will be live and kicking it in Shoreditch (9th-11th Oct); the Tipple Taxi makes its debut in Camden; winners of the Monkey Shoulder competition get to host their own pop-up bar; and guest bartenders from Paris bring some French flair to London Bridge with Grand Marnier – all running throughout the week.

There’s even a chance to be a record-breaker at the World’s Largest Rum Tasting event (9th Oct). But it’s not all about consumers, if you’re in the drinks trade, be sure to check out the excellent programme of fun but very informative talks in the Bacardi Training Team hub located in Seven Dials.

And before you go tut-tutting about this all being an excuse for irresponsible boozing – it’s not. It’s a week dedicated to teaching people about the quality, not quantity of what they consume. Not convinced? Then Belvedere Presents: Drink, Eat, Live should put you right. The three-day pop-up (8th-10th Oct) will be presenting workshops and talks on positive drinking as well as serving cold-pressed juices, low alcohol and low and/or sucrose-free Belvedere Vodka cocktails. We’ll certainly drink to that.

London Cocktail Week runs from 6th-12th October. For more information and to sign up for wristbands, see www.londoncocktailweek.com

The Cocktail Lovers www.thecocktaillovers.com @cocktaillovers

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