While we’re focused on The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show this week, life does continue after it. The show is not only an excellent thing in its own right, but is also the opening event of a now-yearly fixture in London’s drinking calendar – London Cocktail Week, running from 6-12 October.
It’s run by our sister company ABV Global, and takes place across 200 London bars, as well as a number of pop-ups and ‘hubs’. The core of the week is your LCW wristband, which costs £10 at the moment, and gets you cocktails for the knock-down price of £4 in each of the participating bars. It also gets you into the tastings, masterclasses and special events taking place all week – make sure you check an event’s details before you turn up, as many need you to book tickets in advance. Wristbands go up to £15 soon, so don’t delay in getting one.
There are a huge number of things going on during the week but, ever-helpful, we’ve pulled out a few of the whisky-focused ones to give you at least a place to start.
The Nikka Hub and ‘51.4’ Bar
The Whisky Exchange Shop at Vinopolis plays host to the Nikka Hub all week, acting as both a spot to buy or pick up your wristband and a cocktail bar in its own right. Pop by for a quick dram or a cocktail before heading over to their main pop-up in Covent Garden, The ‘51.4’ Bar, for a more in depth look at Nikka’s whisky.
Woodford Reserve’s master distiller in town
Chris Morris, master distiller for Woodford Reserve, will be appearing at a variety of events through the week, but there’s one that many people haven’t noticed – a tasting with him from noon-1pm on Wednesday 8 October. It’s free to sign up to, and is open to both the public as well as trade folks. It promises to be a a great session – if you can get out of work during the day.
The Famous Grouse Blending Bar
Blends get a bit of abuse from whisky geeks, especially the more popular ones like Famous Grouse, but the FG gang will be in town to change your mind. They’ve got a team of bartenders shaking up cocktails as well as a bottle customisation bar, to get your face on the front of a bottle of Grouse.
On Monkey’s Shoulder
The Monkey Shoulder team are well known for their slightly crazy pop-up events, and while there’s no marshmallow gun this time, there will be cowbell.
Details are a bit light at the moment, but they’ve not let us down yet.
Ain’t No Foolin’ with The Lagavulin
Long time friend of The Whisky Exchange, Diageo brand ambassador Colin Dunn is a man who understands how to run a fun and slightly unhinged event. Now with a backing band, named ‘The Lagavulins’, Colin will be partying at The Worship Street Whistling Shop in Shoreditch on Monday 6 October, from 7.30pm until late. Expect dancing, music and more than a little bit of whisky.