LONDON WELCOMES FOUR VILLAGES DEDICATED TO BOOZE

London Cocktail Week opens four, pop-up villages dedicated to your love of booze

London is set to welcome four new VILLAGES this month - each of which will be packed full of cocktail bars. The four Little Cocktail Village sites - in Belgravia, Borough Yards, Covent Garden and Devonshire Square - are popping up as part of London Cocktail Week and will host events as well as bars hosted by cocktail, spirit and mixer brands from around the world.

The villages run from October 13 - October 23. and are free entry, although you might want to bag a wristband if you want to take advantage of £7 cocktails these and hundreds of other venues across London.



BELGRAVIA
Eccleston Yards, 21 Eccleston Place, London, SW1W 9NF

A five minute walk from (and a ten minute stagger back to...) Victoria Station, the Little Cocktail Village Belgravia will be serving drinks in the beautiful, brick courtyard of Eccleston Yards.

Luxury ready-mixed cocktail brand, Mirror will be bringing the party with their Mirror Margarita Bar. Made with Patron Silver Tequila, malic acid and grapefruit, this fresh twist on the traditional Marg is the signature cocktail at Hacha on Kingsland Road, so rest assured that your cocktail has been approved by the finest in the industry.

The Schweppes Bar will offer up a longer menu in an attempt to showcase its mixers, which have been vital to mixologists since the late 1800s, when they first launched their Tonic Water and Ginger Ale products. Their mantra for this pop-up is 'more fizz, less fuss,' so expect bubble-filled cocktails, plenty of colour and a wide range of drinks to see you through the evening.

Fancy something a little out of the ordinary? How about Catalan booze brand El Bandarra, who are tuk-tuking into Belgravia on the back of a marketing campaign that declares, 'Grannies Know Best.' Nope, we don't know why either, but we won't question anything that leads to Knit & Spritz evenings at El Bandarra's Granny Spritz Bar. They're also seeing it through by handing over a percentage of all sales to Re-engage, a UK charity that provides social connections for older people. Bravo!

Now, Tuk Tuks are one thing, but bicycles are much more controversial these days. Cycling under the influence is heavily frowned upon, but buying your cocktails from a bike is to be celebrated at the G'vine Gin Bike. For those not in the know, G'Vine is one of the 200 or so French distillers who've taken on England's national booze and given it their own twist. Produced in Cognac, the name gives you a clue as to one of the gin's unique ingredients. Gin wine? Ok, now we're listening.

Thurs - Sun: Midday - 10pm

Mon - Weds: 5pm - 10pm



BOROUGH YARDS
Stoney St, London, SE1 9AD

Borough has always been a hotbed of food and drink excellence, from the world famous market to the new bars and restaurants popping up every day. So, it's a perfect location for London Cocktail Week to bunker down and deliver one of its Little Villages.

In the brand new Borough Yards - a luxury regeneration of the arches behind Borough Market - you'll find the Tequila Herradura Extraordinary Awaits bar, where hopefully you'll be able to get a mouthful of booze to match that mouthful of a name.

Tequila Herradura has certainly pulled out all the stops. Guests enter the bar through a sensory tunnel, to find a 'colourful jungle' inside, with live music, 'stimulating lighting' and plenty of booze. They're hosting guest bartenders from Europe's most iconic and respected bars, each pouring their Herradura cocktails over two days. Come down to check out mixologists from Flying Dutchman Cocktails in Amsterdam (Oct 13-14). Sketch London (Oct 15 -16), Gong Bar in London (Oct 17-18), Hawksmoor London (Oct 20-21) and Edinburgh's Panda and Sons (Oct 22-23).

The House of Classic Cocktails does exactly what it says on the tin, with a menu packed full of timeless favourites including Margaritas, Martinis, Old Fashioned and Daiquiris.

Highland Park's Wild Harmony explores the odd harmony to be found between the contrasting elements of the island of Orkney, where the Highland Park whisky empire is built. They turn out some of the finest and most interesting pours and will be serving cocktails including the Salted Honey Old Fashioned and a comforting Winter Spice Hot toddy.

House of Suntory x Nine Lives Izakaya will deliver a mouthwatering take on the Kakigori, a traditional Japanese shaved ice-desert, reimagined as a cocktail created by the Nine Lives team. But if deserts in a glass aren't your thing, this Izakaya style bar (think an informal, Japanese dive bar), will serve everything from highballs to hot toddies, all with a glorious, Japanese twist.

If that's a little too much whisky for you (there is no such thing!), then head over to the Small Beer Minibar. These local heroes created the world's first brewery dedicated to low alcohol bars - everything Small Beer is a very manageable 2% alcohol, giving you enough of a kick to party the night away, but still leave you able to get up for work in the morning.

Thurs - Sun: Midday - 10pm

Mon - Weds: 5pm - 10pm



COVENT GARDEN
Covent Garden Piazza, 35 The Market, London, WC2E 8RF

Over in the piazza of Covent Garden you'll be drinking in the shadow of the beautiful old market building, and just as this area has long been a trading place for exotic products, the pop-ups here have a distinctly International feel.

Tequila maestros, Rooster Rojo will be bringing their distinctive (and awesome) Rooster Rojo Bus Bar, which looks like the love child of an airstream caravan and a taco truck. An on-site team and regular, guest bartenders will be heading for the gleaming, metallic bullet to serve up cocktails containing the 100% Blue Weber Agave spirit. Each guest will bring their own signature serves, ensuring an ever-changing menu throughout the event. Master Blener Alejandro Garcia and Global Brand Ambassador Ansis Ancovs will also be giving masterclasses on site, and they'll be releasing a brand new pour - the Ahumado Smoked Tequila.

Vodka brand Stoli recently changed its name to prove to the world that it had cut alll ties with Russia (it's Latvian-owned nowadays), and after a year of putting out metaphorical fires, it's now sending the Stoli Fire Truck to London Cocktail Week. It's a colourful thing, emblazoned with the same peace-and-love artwork that covers their new, limited edition bottles. They were designed by artist, Jason Naylor, with the message of boldness, bravery and free-spirit. If you fancy a try after a few vodkas, there'll be graffiti cans on hand and 10-minute masterclasses from street artists.

Bumbu have been named by Rolling Stone magazine as 'one of the best rum brands to try right now,' and boy, have they ridden that recommendation hard. Visit the Bumbu G.O.A.T pop-up (yep, that's Greatest Of All Time...) where they'll show you why they're the leading super premium rum in the UK. Bumbu also tantalisingly suggest that "you might even see a goat or two whilst you're there," which, quite honestly, is pushing the whole thing a bit far but we would 100% turn up to have a gander.

Taking a much more subtle approach to marketing is Puerto de Indias, who will be pouring their pink gin, which was the first in the world to be made with real strawberries, and introducing their new Blackberry gin to the market.

Thurs - Sun: Midday - 10pm

Tues - Weds: 5pm - 10pm



DEVONSHIRE SQUARE
Devonshire Square, London, EC2M 4YE

In the shadow of the city skyscrapers and Liverpool Street station, Devonshire Square will nano doubt be a popular drinking spot this month, especially given that it offers weather-proof boozing under a glass roof.

Taking advantage of the bumper crowd will be Bombay Sapphire, Grey Goose and Tequila Patron, who are joining forces to create a huge bar in the Central Courtyard. With all those spirits on offer, you can be sure of a top class Espresso Martini, a rich Espresso Martini, Patron Palomas or Grey Goose Martinis. Whatever your poison, you'll be well looked after here.There will also be masterclasses held by brand representatives, so by the end off London Cocktail Week you'll be a master mixologist. Oh, and if you need any more convincing, the heroes at Patron are bringing a taco truck with them. Taco my money right now!

It's also Diwali season, which will be celebrated with gusto at the Five Rivers Diwali Bar. The Indian rum company will serve cocktails including Saffron Negronis, Desi Daiquiris and Punjabi Punches, along with Indian snacks, in the colourful, lantern-lit surroundings of their courtyard bar.

Over in the West Courtyard, posh Fanta brand, Sanpellegrino will be delivering a slice of Italy in their Sanpellegrino Piazza Bar. Drinks on offer will include the Sanpellegrino Milano Mule, Wood Collins or Light Buongiorno, all made with premium and authentic Italian ingredients.

Regular readers of Time Well Spent will know we're partial to a whisky, so you'll probably find us at Cocktails and Drams with Benriach Whisky.Pouring The Thirty - officially the oldest dram of the festival - as well as some mystery drams and an ever-changing menu of hard-to-find bottles, this is a whisky-lovers' dream bar. Even if you're not an aficionado, a few sessions with the brand ambassadors on site and you'll leave a connoisseur.

Thurs - Sun: Midday - 10pm

Tues - Wed: 5pm - 10pm




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