5 highlights from Cocktails In The City: London (30th March – 1st April)

Continuing its mission to champion the very best of modern mixology, Cocktails In The City returned to London again last week to pay host to 3500 cocktail drinkers enjoying incredible creations from 26 of London’s best bars.

Each bar chose one particular spirit to work with and crafted drinks especially for the occasion, the result turning the magnificent One Marylebone venue into a dazzling array of boozy brilliance.

I attended – strictly for research purposes, you understand – and here are my top five highlights from the event.

The London Cocktail Club’s Knickerbocker Glory

When first entering the doors – and if not overwhelmed by the sheer scale and variety of alcoholic delights available within – the first thing to catch eyes was The London Cocktail Club’s circus-themed stall offering Tequila Rose sweet shakes. The crowning glory was their Knickerbocker Glory, served with ice cream, and the best bit? A sweetie bar with scoops allowing you to garnish your own drink with smarties, marshmallows, hundreds and thousands and multi-coloured cereal hoops.

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Pour-your-own Brockmans cocktail fountain

In a whole venue of show-stopping set-pieces, few were show-stoppier than Brockman’s gushing cocktail fountain allowing you to collect your own glass of a delicious drink called Like No Other. Created by Three Six Six and based on an ‘enchanted forest’ concept, this cocktail really lived up to its name. Consisting of Brockmans infused with carrot and coriander, blueberry-infused white chocolate liqueur, mandarin and lemon juice, vanilla honey and – ulp – Viagra bitters, drinkers were invited to garnish themselves from herbs grown in a ‘love garden’, in addition to the supplied garnish of a dried apricot, bay leaf and balsamic vinegar pearls caviar.

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Going back in time with Cahoots

Having long been a favourite staple of the London cocktail scene, wartime-themed underground bar Cahoots had a centrepiece stall that infused the room with Blitz spirit. Offering three cocktails built around Jim Beam’s Double Oak Bourbon, the 40s-style bar kept its theme alive with colourful names that promised “high spirits, scoundrels and swing!”: Liberty Liquor, Dreamboat Dolly and its main drink, Seeing Stars & Stripes

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The Hide Bar’s Rhubarb Negroni

A celebration of cocktails wouldn’t be complete without some special focus given to the Negroni and The Hide Bar’s sweet version lived up to the task. Utilising rhubarb amaro alongside Campari, Bulldog gin and Red Cinzano 1757, this simple flavoured version was easily one of the best drinks available at the whole event.

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The Nordic Alliance

It’s a somewhat self-important name for a trio of Whiskey cocktails, but with Woodford Reserve bringing together Ruby from Copenhagen, Himkok from Oslo and Linje Tio from Stockholm to create some incredible recipes, it proves to be a worthy description of this epic trilogy of drinks. Choosing the best between them is impossible, but for sheer ingenuity, Himkok gets extra points for its 25 Carrot Gold, bringing Woodford Reserve together with Ginger, carrot and horseradish-infused Aperol.

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FYI, this article was first published on TippleBox.com, and I yoinked it back again for this site.

Tags: Cocktails In The City, The London Cocktail Club, Cahoots, Three Six Six, The Hide Bar,

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