Cocktails in the City returned to London for the second time this year for their Summer Edition, so we went along to soak up the sunshine and enjoy a drink or two in a cocktail lover's paradise!
Cocktails in the City hosted twenty-four of the city’s award-winning bars in the beautiful Bedford Square Gardens, for a consumer facing Summer fete type event. Each bar partnered up with a spirit, which they would use as a base for a signature cocktail, and all had a non-alcoholic drink on the menu. Included in your entry ticket was a free drinks token which could be used at any one of the bars. It’s a yes from us!
It was nice to see a variety of drinks on the cards including gin, whisky, tequila, rum, vodka and non-alcoholic beverages.
Our eyes were instantly drawn to Mr Fogg’s potting shed, which was decorated with gardening tools on the wall, a fan that had a hibiscus and lavender spray to cool off sticky Londoners, and they were also giving punters the chance to grow their own hibiscus seeds at home. They partnered up with Oxley Gin to produce their signature cocktail, ‘Britain in a bottle’, which was aptly aligned with the recently booming trend of pre-batched cocktails!
The bar that grabbed our attention was Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings, who brought the beautiful aesthetic of their greenhouse building to this outdoor space. Serving their St. Germain cocktails in a botanical wonderland, once you had been served your refreshing (and of course, aesthetically pleasing) cocktail, you could get your best poses ready for a photoshoot on their beautiful swing. We did just that!
Whilst exploring each of the multitude of the bars on show, we found ourselves stopping at the British Themed picnic put on by Cahoots who had partnered up with Ketel One Vodka to serve their signature cocktail “Picnic Plonk” and had a fun interactive photobooth.
As well as a variety of al fresco cocktails, there were interactive experiences such as the new tasting rooms journey hosted by 31DOVER.com and ‘Be the Bartender’ cocktail making classes hosted by TT Liquor, a cool East London drinks emporium. TT Liquor brought the fun with four cocktail making classes where consumers could choose to partake in making the Snow Leopard vodka fizz, Maker’s Mark bourbon juleps, Brugal 1888 rum daiquiri’s, and Courvoisier cognac frappe’s.
Other brands that stood out for us were Cocktail Trading Co and their partners Moët & Chandon, who hosted an Imperial Ice Cream Parlour complete with blow up rubber dinghies! Barrio brought the retro vibe with their brightly coloured stand and Havana Club Pink Elephant cocktails, not forgetting their silent disco.
There were some bars that we felt could have done more to draw their consumers in. The stand for Mint Gun Club with Belvedere Vodka was rather unimpressive and underwhelming, as they had replaced the traditional bar with a 'minimalist' table. We were a big fans of Ford’s Gin, but felt that Opium Cocktail and Dim Sum Parlour could have made their stand more special, possibly with serving some dim sum!
The cocktail culture seemed to show no sign of waning as Londoners sipped on their drinks amongst a kaleidoscope of cocktail stands; what a way to spend a magical Summer’s evening.