This weekend I’m off to one of my favourite Summer events, Cocktails In The City: Summer Edition, and I’m excited!

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Photo provided by Cocktails In The City

On Friday 29th and Saturday 30th July 2016, 25 of top London bars will be pairing up with their favourite spirits to set up pop up bars in one of London’s largest private Georgian gardens – Bedford Square Gardens in Fitzrovia.

A two day celebration of London’s vibrant and eclectic drinking scene, Cocktails In The City will feature cocktail tastings, interactive demonstrations, games and entertainment – including crazy golf, escape rooms (an Alice In Wonderland themed one no less!) and cabaret performances.

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Image provided by Cocktails In The City

Throughout the event, hosts Bourne & Hollingsworth will be putting on a series of ‘Spirited Sermons’ – interactive spirit masterclasses hosted by ambassadors and master distillers, exploring topics including healthy drinking, the origins of rum and Mayan Balché.

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Photo provided by Cocktails In The City

Food will be available from Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen (who by the way, created one of my favourite cocktails ever at the press preview of CITC, which I’ll tell you about in a moment) and there will be plenty of street food vendors as well.

Anyway, that’s enough blurb – just get yourself a ticket here for £15 (including one cocktail token – subsequent tokens available for £7.50) and come drink irresponsibly in the sunshine (hopefully, this is London after all!).

I was lucky enough to be invited along to the press preview event at Big Chill House in Kings Cross a couple of weeks ago – it was great fun, a cocktail shake off on a sunny rooftop!

Here I have for you my highlights of the night, and the recipes for them – so if you can’t make it to Cocktails In The City you can give them a go at home!

We Are Big Chill & Santa Teresa Rum – Watermelon Mojito

I love love love fizzy watermelon sweets, and We Are Big Chill gave me a whole watermelon full of them. Even without the candy bribe, their Watermelon Mojito was one of my favourites!

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50ml Santa Teresa

50ml Muddled Watermelon

25ml Watermelon Syrup

15ml Lime Juice

Top with Mint

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Add Lime Juice, Muddled Watermelon, Watermelon Syrup and Mint into a high ball, top the glass with crushed ice and add Santa Teresa. Churn the cocktail, top up with crushed ice and garnish with mint sprig and a skewer with 2 watermelon sweets.

Looking Glass Cocktail Club & Aviation Gin – Microlight

This is a low sugar martini style cocktail, which Looking Glass served in a small bottle to take away! A classic tasting gin cocktail – strong yet fresh, with subtle spice and floral notes, this was one of the only cocktails presented which wasn’t specifically Summery. But it was just so good.

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35ml Aviation gin

15ml Reina Lab. Mastrostefano vermouth (no added sugar)

5ml Reina Lab. Tonic syrup

5ml Reina Lab. Campi Elisi creme de aquavit

2 dash Reina Lab. Ada’s Lavender bitters

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Photo provided by Cocktails In The City

Loves Company & Reyka Vodka – Walk on the Wild Side

They definitely put the effort in with the presentation on this one…

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Reyka Vodka

Lemon

Soda

Herb Syrup of your choice (thyme/rosemary or basil)

Choice of berries

Edible soil made of Reyka Vodka infused with Black Forest Gateau

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Photo provided by Cocktails In The City

Shake all ingredients and pour into a plant pot. Garnish with edible soy made of Reyka Vodka infused with black forest gateau.

First Aid Box & Chambord – Chocolate Brioche French Martini

This one was fun, served in a mini Chambord bottle with a side of brioche! Not sure how you infuse the Chambord with brioche in the first place, so you just leave it the cake in the bottle for a bit maybe?

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25ml Brioche- infused Chambord

25ml gin or vodka

20ml lemon juice

50ml pineapple juice

2 dashes cherry bitters

Oh, and I had to show you their mixologists suit!

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Fifteen & Langley’s Gin – Strawberries and cream

Remember I told you this was my favourite? Of course it would be, because it is the most ridiculously awkward thing to make! But if you have a party coming up and two days spare, here’s how to make 20 servings…

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Day 1

2x Punnets of good quality Strawberries

1x Handful of tarragon

15x Coriander seeds

20x Pink Peppercorns

250ml Lemon Juice

250g Granulated Sugar

2x Lemon Peels

250ml Green Tea

750ml Coconut Water

700ml Langley’s Gin

650ml Dolin Dry Vermouth

Add all the ingredients which are not liquid based in a large container with hot green tea, muddling the strawberries and stirring until sugar dissolves, forming a syrup. This will be your base. Add rest of the ingredients, cover the top and leave refrigerated over night. This is Batch#1.

Day 2

1000ml Whole Milk

130ml Lemon Juice

Heat the milk in a large pan until boiling point, pour in lemon juice and take off heat and leave for 15mins or until you can see the milk split. It’s going to look like a baby just threw up everywhere. Normal. This is Batch#2.

Get another large container with a large sieve or shinao and a cheese cloth or a J cloth over it. Gently poor Batch#2 through it first, then Batch#1, filtering it. This will take sometime – the filtering process is just a waiting
game but be sure not to push anything through. You can then bottle it up and keep it cold.
If anyone actually gives this one a go, please let me know!
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Photo provided by Cocktails In The City

For more cocktail recipes, have a look here.

If you’re interested in reading a bit more about Cocktails In The City events, take a look at my post from earlier this year.

L xx

All photos my own unless stated otherwise.

Basically, this week I ate a lot of food…

Pancake Day

So I celebrated Shrove Tuesday twice. Technically three times if you count London Mardi Gras last week.

On the actual day I had half price pancakes from Giraffe in Notting Hill. £3.48 for pancakes stacked with maple syrup, blueberry compote and banana. Bargain. I’m a sweet pancake person.

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And I couldn’t resist a second round when I was in The Diner in Shoreditch on Wednesday. The Diner do amazing Red Velvet Pancakes all year round (and Sweet Potato Pancakes with or without bacon, which I’ve never tried), but they were slightly cheaper this week and there were three specials; Reese’s Pieces, Spiced Apple and Oreo Cookie. All priced at £7.50.

I was tempted by the Spiced Apple, but when I read the description of the Oreo Cookie (three Oreo pancakes, marshmallow fluff cream, broken Oreos and icing sugar) I had to go with them. Marshmallow gets me every time.

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Elite Night at Bubbleology with Yelp

You might have noticed I’ve become quite involved with Yelp lately. No doubt I’ll tell you about that a bit more in the not too distant future, but to summarise, as well as being a pretty damn good review site, Yelp have an awesome community and host regular events, most with a few perks.

Tuesday night they hosted a night at Bubbleology in Notting Hill for their new Elite members (Elite members are selected based on their contribution to the site and community, you can read more here) as a little welcome. We were treated to copious amounts of bubble tea (I have strong feelings for bubble tea), macaroons, cookie straws and popcorn. It was a good night.

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Cocktails In The City Preview

On Wednesday I was over the moon to have been invited to the preview of next months Cocktails In The City event in the swanky Apartment at The Hoxton Hotel in Shoreditch. Alcohol companies teamed up with high profile London bars to showcase their products and some of the cocktails they’ll be serving at the main event.

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You can read all about the preview here.

Blindfold Date

After a few cocktails at Cocktails In The City, we headed down to Concrete in Shoreditch for a bit of entertainment in the form of Blindfold Date (you may recall me mentioning the event in my Anti-Valentines post).

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It was a good evening, a bit different to what I usually get up to! It wasn’t really a dating event, although a tombola was used to select contestants from the audience, more for entertainment really. It was fun!

Slipknot at Genting Arena, Birmingham

I couldn’t make the London date, so on Friday I went all the way up to Genting Arena in Birmingham for Slipknot. It was a good choice, because I was basically side stage with an amazing view!

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You’ll know by now how much love I have for this band, and they were so good! They were supported by Sikth and Suicidal Tendencies, the latter who I’m a big fan of. And I had the chance to catch up with a couple of good friends I hadn’t seen in a while too.

Valentines Star Wars Tattoos

It was a quiet Saturday, I just met up with my friend Kat to get some cute Star Wars tattoos from Haunted in Holloway. It was my first time getting tattooed by the studio owner, Allan Graves – he was great and I spontaneously booked in with him to start a True Romance thigh piece in a couple of months!

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Anyway, this time he tattooed a heart shaped Death Star and heart shaped Darth Vader helmet on my thigh. I love them! Kat had a heart shaped R2D2 on one foot and a heart shaped C3PO on the other.

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After, we met up with Luisa of Eat Sleep Luisa Repeat and had a bite to eat at Pump in Shoreditch. There will be a post on Pump coming soon!

L xx

All photos my own.

 

 

It’s no secret I love a good cocktail, so I was delighted to be invited to the preview event for Cocktails In The City in the plush Apartment at The Hoxton Hotel in Shoreditch.

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If you aren’t familiar with it, Cocktails In The City is a three day celebration of Londons internationally renowned bar scene which is held across two weekends in 2016 – 10th to 12th March and 29th to 31st July. The March event will be held at One Mayfair, a beautiful Grade 1 listed building, formerly St Marks Church (you can see some pics of the venue from when I was there for Bulmers Live Colourful Live last year).

Cocktails In The City will showcase twenty London bars across three floors, as well as a few from other European cities including Little Red Door from Paris, Door 74 from Amsterdam and Ruby from Copenhagen.

It’s designed to be an immersive experience – guests will be able to try drinks from top bartenders, many of which will feature some more unusual and rare ingredients. As well as the cocktails on offer, there will be tastings, interactive demonstrations and entertainment.

I love how they’re planning to layout the event. In the Crypt (and obviously I’m dying to visit the crypt!) you’ll find some of Londons hottest newly opened establishments for concept cocktails. The Grand Hall (where Live Colourful Live was held) will house world famous cocktail bars serving classic drinks as well as creative cocktail themed dining at the feasting table. The aforementioned international guest bars can be found on the mezzanine level, and at the rooftop bar (which apparently has a spectacular view) you can enjoy a barbecue.

At the preview we had the chance to try some of the concept cocktails and watch how they were made. It was great fun!cahoots cocktails in the city

Cahoots in Soho, a bar which I’m yet to visit (and which features on my bucket list) was obviously my first stop. They’d teamed up with Martin Miller’s Gin and Fentimans (a bit off topic but I love Fentimans soft drinks in cocktails after trying a few at their Greenhouse pop up bar in L’Escargot last year) to create The Mayfair Miller, a cocktail which also included lychee, elderflower and spiced berries.

This one was delicious, way too easy to drink! And it was beautifully presented.

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Next up I tried The Rhubarb Radler from The Whip in Mayfair, a drink they’d created with Chase Rhubarb Vodka. As soon as I hear rhubarb I’m there, I love anything rhubarb!

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This was quite an interesting drink – it looked as though it would be citrus based rather than rhubarb. As well as lemon juice, sugar and bitters it included Wild Goose Chase pale gooseberry ale from The Wild Beer Co. I am desperate to try this ale by itself and will be hunting it down!

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I’ve never been to The Whip, now it’s on my must go list!

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I went for another gin cocktail next, this time The Root Gimlet from Powder Keg Diplomacy in Wandsworth, using Plymouth Gin. This is another bar which wasn’t yet on my radar, but I’m told it’s Victorian themed and now I really want to go!

As well as Plymouth gin, The Root Gimlet contained lemon  juice and something a bit more unusual – carrot and horseradish cordial! Sounds disgusting, but tasted delicious!

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To round up the evening I visited the station where Sophie Bratt of OXO Tower on South Bank was creating a cocktail using Patron Tequila (mmm, Patron…). Sophie actually was a contestant in the Patron Perfectionists Cocktail Competition, so it was a natural partnership!

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I loved how pretty Sophie’s creation, Love Buzz, was. It was perfectly named for its ingredients – as well as Patron it included Yuzu, vermouth infused with strawberries and a dash of rose syrup. Beautiful. And potent.

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I had a little chat with Sophie after her presentation, and found out she had a lot to do with one of my favourite afternoon teas in London, the slightly boozy Not Quite Afternoon Tea at OXO Tower Brasserie (if you’re sweet toothed you have to try it, it’s awesome and changes seasonally so you can go time and time again…). Anyway, that’s a little off topic!

Other bars which are confirmed to be at the March event include Coq D’Argent, Reverend JW Simpson, Dishoom, Looking Glass Cocktail Club and Hush.

Perfect for everyone, from cocktail connoisseurs to someone who just likes a nice fruity drink, Cocktails In The City will be a super fun experience which I’m excited for!

If you’re not one of us spoilt for choice Londoners, Cocktails In The City will also take place across two days in three other cities; Leeds on 7th and 8th April, Manchester on 19th and 20th May and Edinburgh on 27th and 28th October.

Tickets can be bought from Design My Night or YPlan, priced at £15 for the London event which includes one cocktail, multiple sensory experiences and a cocktail booklet. Psst… If you haven’t used YPlan before you can use my code LEVANS88 to get £5 off!cocktails in the city

Hopefully I’ll see you there!

L xx

All photos my own.