Mix it up

Philip Salter
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I’VE just found out it’s National Inclusion Week. Nobody told me so I’m feeling rather left out. It’s also National Curry Week, and no doubt a dozen other “Weeks” that are busy passing us all by. One worth taking note of though is hosted in this great city of ours; in fact, in my humble, biased opinion it is the “Week” of the week; in fact, the week of all weeks: it’s London Cocktail Week. In case it passed you by, we’re a couple of drinks in already, so you've got some catching up to do.

For many, the most enticing thing about London Cocktail Week is the cheap booze. And given that a night on the cocktails can result in a painful fiscal hangover, it’s easy to understand why. You’ll need a £10 wristband, but once bought you’ll be able to buy cocktails at £4 a pop at scores of bars. Wristbands are available from Seven Dials, 7 Earlham Street, between Midday and 9pm. You can also buy wristbands at Translate Bar in Shoreditch between 5pm and 9pm.

Apart from offering the cheapest cocktail bar-crawl known to man or beast, there are plenty of events for anyone wanting to dig a little deeper. Here are a few highlights:


The Cocktail Lovers, £20

Time: 8-10pm

Venue: Monkey Shoulder DIY Drinks Kitchen

Address: 53 Monmouth Street, WC2H 9DG

The Cocktail Lovers (Google it) will be sharing invaluable tips and advice. This is a hands-on crash course in cocktails, which promises four Monkey Shoulder cocktails.


Ketel One Spice Market, £35

Time: 5-7pm

Venue: Bartenders Lounge

Address: Euphorium Bakery, Thomas Neal Centre, Seven Dials, WC2H 9LD

At the Ketel One Spice Market you can choose the cocktail ingredients from their market stalls, then sit back and let the bartenders do all the hard work.


An Anthology of Gin, £12

Time: 7.30-8.30pm

Venue: Hendrick's Carnival of Knowledge

Address: 33 Fitzroy Square, W1T 6EU

Hendrick's British Ambassador Duncan McRae will give a brief history of gin, including tastings of distillates from the various steps of its creation.


The Secret History of Absinthe, FREE

Time: 13.00-13.30

Venue: Bartenders Lounge

Address: Euphorium Bakery, Thomas Neal Centre, Seven Dials, WC2H 9LD

Learn about the origin of absinthe, why it was banned and the truth behind the myths. You will also get the chance to try a spot of it too. (No reservation necessary)


China Tang Lunch, £20

Time: 12.00-17.00

Venue: China Tang

Address: The Dorchester, 53 Park Lane, W1K 1QA

Get a three-course lunch at The Dorchester’s China Tang with a choice of cocktail for £20. What’s not to like? (email; reservations@chinatanglondon.co.uk and quote London Cocktail Week)

Visit diffordsguide.com/london-cocktail-week to find out more and book your tickets.