After all that’s happened this year, we’ve never been in more need of a cocktail. Fortunately, London Cocktail Week is back and, to compensate for the earlier 10pm coronavirus curfew, it’s been extended to London Cocktail Month for all of October 2020.
Now in its eleventh year, this year’s London Cocktail Week will see participating brands and bars host a number of masterclasses and immersive experiences and create a range of signature cocktails at a time when the hospitality industry needs your support the most.
For those of you who don’t feel comfortable venturing to bars at the moment, they’ve made sure that there are also plenty of digital events to get involved in, and many of the cocktails on the Cocktail Tours are available for home delivery, so you can enjoy everything from the comfort of home.
Co-owners and organisers Hannah Sharman-Cox and Siobhan Payne said: “We have worked tirelessly for a decade to put our city firmly on the map as the cocktail-capital of the world and we now occupy a unique position as the conduit between brands, bars and our thousands and thousands of guests. As such, we feel it is our duty to use our platform and our voice to provide a solid, trusted foundation to help rebuild our incredible industry and get the London bar scene back where it should be as soon as possible.
“As always, we want London Cocktail Week to continue to be a platform for like-minded brands and venues to create innovative activities, attract eager consumers, and create relevant and worthwhile content that challenges both seasoned professionals and enthusiastic amateurs. But – more importantly – we want the 2020 festival to help ensure as many venues as possible survive this crisis.
“We’re all working very hard behind the scenes to ensure that, as we march into our second decade, we will be bringing you the most considered and most important London Cocktail Week to date.”
If you were wondering where you can try CBD-infused cocktails this month, we’ve rounded-up the bars where they’re on the menu.
Since opening in Notting Hill in 2016, Farmacy’s flagship restaurant has become a go-to for tasty vegan and healthy seasonal food. As everything on the menu is plant-based and free from dairy, refined sugars, additives and chemicals, we’re not surprised that CBD has its own section on the cocktail menu, which also combines organic and small batch artisanal spirits. For a tastier take on CBD than you’re probably used to, try Farmacy’s There’s Something About Mary (£12), which mixes organic wildcrafted CBD, vanilla-infused vodka, house-made hemp and bayleaf syrup, a dash of chilli sauce, mango puree and lime juice, or Grass Me Up (£10), which includes organic wildcrafted CBD, raw coconut water, pineapple juice, fresh lime juice, house-made hemp and bayleaf syrup, acai protein powder, hemp seeds and frozen banana.
If you’ve missed having a kebab and a few cocktails on a night out, get yourself to Maison Bab in Covent Garden pronto for a fancier reminder of days gone by. Instead of the greasy version you may be used to, Maison Bab’s menu of delicious rustic kebabs combines homemade ingredients in a cool and contemporary setting. The drinks menu is pretty modern in its thinking too with no and low-alcohol options and creative takes on a classic gin and tonic. For a hit of CBD oil, opt for The Remedy (£10), which also includes Three Spirit herbal elixir, lemon and egg white.
The Ivy Asia
From its bright green floor upwards, this newish branch of The Ivy is a colourful and cool spot to enjoy Asian-inspired cuisine or late-night cocktails. You’ll find its unique blend of flavours and ingredients that includes CBD in the heart of the city, next to St Paul’s Square, with views of St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tate Modern. Complement its impressive selection of sushi and sashimi and larger plates such as black cod and wagyu beef tataki with one of its cocktails that incorporates MEDA’s range of wellness-focused CBD beverages. Choose from a Glowing Monkey (£10.50), which includes Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin served with MEDA Glow Elderflower and lime CBD-infused botanical mixer, or a Cranberry Elixir (£9.75), which includes Absolut Elyx vodka mixed with MEDA Boost – a cranberry and lime-based mixer with CBD, echinacea, aronia berry and aloe vera.
Ladies & Gentlemen
Don’t be deceived by this former underground toilet, this retro-inspired Kentish Town dive bar and working micro distillery knows its way around a classic cocktail or too. Located at the bottom of Highgate Road, it’s the creation of Kentish Town resident and Vestal Vodka founder William Borrell. It’s also the home of some of the capital’s best CBD cocktails. Not only does it use Cornwall’s very own Dead Man’s Fingers Hemp Rum in its creations, but it also has its own low-alcohol CBD-infused spirit. Another William Borrell production, Willow began life in Ladies & Gentlemen’s 2.5 litre copper pot micro distillery after requests from customers for a tastier no and low alcoholic alternative to what was already out there. It can be enjoyed neat as an alternative to a whisky or with tonic as a refreshing replacement to a G&T.