If you noticed me going slightly bonkers over National Piña Colada Day a couple of weeks ago then you’ll know how strong my desire of a good cocktail is. Whether I’m sipping one on an exotic beach somewhere in the world or dressed up to the nines in a fancy London cocktail bar, you can pretty much guarantee that I’ll have a cocktail in my hand. Or even both hands on some occasions.
So you can imagine how thrilled I was to win a pair of tickets to Cocktails in the City, a mini cocktail festival where a selection of London’s best bars serve up this season’s most delectable drinks along with some mouth-watering street food, funky music, and fun and games.
I was on a mission as soon as we walked into Bedford Square, the small grassy square in the centre of the city for this years event. I had seen plenty of photos from the day before and the planner in me already knew which cocktail I wanted to try first.
I headed straight for the Coq d’Argent stand where the friendly bartenders poured and mixed up a Far East, the prettiest cocktail I have ever had the pleasure of drinking. It looked so wonderfully elegant with flower petals and colourful seeds sprinkled on top. So pretty in fact that I almost didn’t want to drink it and ruin the perfection! Almost.
I took about a hundred photos and then decided it was probably time I actually took a sip. Mixed with U’luvka vodka infused with kaffir lime leaves and chilli, Sochu with green tea, fresh lemon juice and Agave nectar, this wouldn’t usually be something I’d go for but the bitterness of the citrus blended really well with the sweet nectar to make a light and refreshing summer’s cocktail.
Mr Ayla went for a simpler and less girly looking cocktail – the Cointreaupolitan Fizz by The Craft Cocktail Co. – a mixture of Cointreau and a variety of fizzy fruit juices. Obviously I had a sip (purely for blogging purposes of course) and the fruity tropical drink was delicious for the sunny day but was one of those drinks that goes down far too easily thanks to all the fruitiness.
After our first round of cocktails we had a wander round and explored everything that was going on. Most people were chilling out with their cocktails on blankets on the grass, while others played bowls or croquet. Wannabe artists tried their hand at painting colourful tiles for the wall of a Barrio bar and the headphones for the silent disco sat waiting for when more alcohol had been consumed later on in the day.
We had a go at swing ball and I just about managed to get in a few shots while Mr Ayla hogged all the glory. I then very smugly beat not only my incredibly sporty and incredibly competitive husband at darts, but I also beat everyone else who had played that day too. I’m not quite sure how this happened but apparently I am the official darts champion.
After wearing ourselves out being big kids, it was high time for some more cocktails. The strange looking shampoo bottles above by The Cocktail Trading Company contained the Blend It Like Peckham cocktail, a fun and creamy mixture of Chambord, sherbet, egg white, soda and milk.
But the tastiest cocktail by far was the Tonka Bean Martini, a refreshingly cold iced slushy concoction of Tia Maria, Tonka Bean Monin Syrup, Absolut Vodka and espresso, flavoured with cocoa beans and a swirl of vanilla ice cream on top. Massive drool!
Relaxing in the deck chairs with our toes nestled in the sand in the middle of Central London meant I wasn’t leaving any time soon. I would have been perfectly happy to sit here with the dapper gentlemen from Loves Company serving me cocktails all day!
There were so many more fancy cocktails to taste but it was a Sunday evening and I was already feeling the effects of the few we’d already tried (yes, I’m a lightweight). I will be sure to visit again next year to taste some more of London’s most delicious cocktails.
Have you been to Cocktails in the City? What cocktail would you most like to try? Let me know in the comments below!
Thank you to Clerkenwell Boy who I won Cocktails in the City tickets from.