I’m a list maker. I have lists for everything; from reminding me to do that thing to suggesting that I try that place, but primarily telling me what I want to eat and drink. It’s never ending because I am constantly adding somewhere new to it and there just ISN’T ANY TIME. Where do I even begin when everywhere looks so flippin’ delicious?
It’s events like Cocktails in the City that make these decisions so much easier. Bringing together some of the best bartenders in London all under one roof, it means you can sample the skills of super mixologists all in one evening and put some nice juicy ticks next to places on your to-do list.
Katie and I headed to the preview event at the Hoxton Hotel where we had 12 rooms to swish in and out of, each one a temporary home to a well known London bar. Every establishment shared their signature cocktail, meaning there was something for everyone and making it easy to establish ‘hook me up to an IV of this stuff’ from ‘thanks but no thanks’.
We kicked off with something sweet with the Love Buzz from the OXO Tower. Made with the flavour of the moment, yuzu, plus a strawberry infused rose syrup, the main spirit was Patron Silver – a really smooth tequila that I really enjoyed. Tequila has such a reputation but I’ve always been OK with it and I think it’s majorly under appreciated in cocktails.
These bartenders really know what they’re doing so tastes are much more sophisticated than you’d often expect. The Gimlet from Powder Keg Diplomacy was almost like a fresh juice with a gin kick, incorporating carrots and horseradish for earthy flavours. At Dishoom we had a Julep called Edwina’s Affair, which had the expected mint base but took influence from the restaurant’s Indian menu and included coriander and rose and cardamom syrup.
My favourite was by The Whip in Mayfair called A Radler and made with Chase Rhubarb Vodka. Now I’m just going to have a little pit stop to say ‘GOOD GOD’. Rhubarb. Vodka.
Oh my giddy aunt, this is the future. It is crisp and fruity and I want to always have it in my cupboard but that’s’ probably dangerous. The mixologist shook it up with a gooseberry pale ale (another thing I could drink forever), fresh lemon, bitters and sugar. It was definitely the best drink of the night.
Cocktails in the City runs from 10th – 12th March. Put down your pint and try something new.
I was invited to the press preview event and all words are my own.