Jason Allen 25/08/23
Any festival that sees some of London’s best bars travel across town to create a miniature village of pop-up bars…
…must be full of movers and shakers.
And that’s precisely what happens at Cocktails in the City, which, for three glorious, sun-dappled weekends each summer, brings together the cream of the city’s bartending crop in one beautiful, leafy square.
If you missed out on this year’s July and August editions, we come bearing great news: tickets are now on sale for the September weekend (7th – 9th). Except, that is, for Nudge Members – because you and a friend can once again join The Nudge Members’ complimentary guestlist. Which means that tickets that would normally cost £24 a pop, and which all come with a complimentary cocktail, are once again yours for the price of absolutely nothing. (Not a Nudge Member? Start a free trial here.)
So what exactly to expect? Well, you’ll weave through the smart Georgian terraces (a stone’s throw from the British Museum) to discover a festoon-lit garden thrumming with the sound of ice shakers, live music and a lot of people in a very good mood. Head inside, and you’ll be met with a micro-village of pop-up bars, each with their own distinct personality, and each working with a different spirit (some of which you may have never tasted before). Which brings us neatly to…
We don’t use the term ‘cream of the bartending crop’ lightly. In fact, we’ve never said it. But in this case, it’s entirely justified, because the CITC team seem to have an uncanny ability for bussing in only the best talent. The September edition will fill London’s largest private garden, the elegant, bunting-strewn Bedford Square, with 18 fantastic bars – some of which are returning after stealing the show earlier in the summer, some of which are brand new, and some of which literally haven’t even opened to the public yet.
Among them, you’ll find Bloomsbury Club Bar, who’ll be rustling up cocktails with a brand new Italian vodka; the much-missed Oriole (one of our all-time favourite bars in London, currently hunting for a new home); Bourne & Hollingsworth (who created one of our favourite August edition cocktails, A Rose A Day); and the cult agaveria at the vanguard of London’s tequila boom, Hacha. It’ll also be your first chance to sip cocktails from The Revery, a new cocktail den opening on Park Lane at the end of August.
To balance out all those drinks you’ll also find street food courtesy of Wood & Water (modern Jamaican), Prairie Fire BBQ (American BBQ) and Get The Greek (anyone’s guess…). And that’s not all.
Because you’ll also get to enjoy live music all day and night; the chance to win big at Monopoly Lifesized; a rum-fuelled coconut shy; some ridiculously satisfying ice carving workshops hosted by Tito’s Vodka; ongoing talks and demonstrations from drinks experts; the opportunity to shake your own drinks at TT Liquor‘s cocktail-making stations; annnd a silent disco, which they describe as “a transformative experience where cocktails and music intertwine”, and we describe as…
….“unexpectedly fun after drinking cocktails in the sun for three hours”.
NOTE: Cocktails in the City 2023 Summer Series | There is one more session this summer, happening in September. If you’re a Nudge Member you can join our Members-Only guest list for the final summer session in September now – just follow the instructions in the Members box at the top of this article. If you’re not a Nudge member you can sign up for a free trial here.
If you prefer you can ALSO purchase tickets the old fashioned way (they cost £22 + £2 booking fee each and include a complimentary cocktail of your choice on arrival), HERE.
Cocktails in the City | Bedford Square, WC1B 3HH
Like boozy mixed drinks? Pretty safe bet that you do. So here are the best cocktail bars in London.
Bedford Square Gardens, Bloomsbury, Central London, WC1B 3HH
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