Lauren heads to The Hoxton Hotel to learn a few mixology tips and tricks during London Cocktail Week…
Once again London Cocktail Week has come to a close after what’s been a fabulous edition. Londoners have been shaking up each day with martinis, old-fashioneds and more mojitos than a Cuban beach bar, while the city’s top bartenders and mixologists have worked tirelessly at pop-ups across the capital.
We started the week off with the Monday-night opening event Shaken at The Hoxton Hotel in the heart of Shoreditch. The purveyors of home-delivery premium cocktail kits, Shaken Cocktails, teamed up with El Dorado 8yr Old Rum to turn The Hoxton hotel’s event space into a mixing and shaking rum cocktail masterclass that felt more like a party.
The people behind Shaken Cocktails embarked on their venture with the aim to make mixing cocktails at home ‘as easy as making a cup of tea’, without having to buy in expensive liquor, bitters and specialist syrups that you might never use again.
Each month, Shaken sends each of their subscribers a selection of lesser known high-end bottles, along with that month’s cocktail recipe cards, ‘tips and tricks’ and a bit on each cocktail’s history. Named the Explorers’ Club–I don’t know about you but I want to be a part of that–it takes people on a journey through classic cocktails and specialty spirits from around the world, enabling each person to discover what it is they really like.
Our masterclass started with a lesson in making the Queen’s Park Swizzle, the Trinidadian hotel of the same name’s 1920s version of a classic Caribbean cocktail. After bruising mint leaves and filling our glasses (half-full) with crushed ice, the El Dorado rum was added, along with Velvet Falernum (a Caribbean syrup with hints of almond, ginger and vanilla), fresh lime juice and angostura bitters, followed by another helping of ice. With a ‘swizzle’ to combine the flavours, and topped with lime and a sprig of mint, we said santé, salut and chin chin.
Next up was the rum classic El Presidente. Once again looking back to the 1920s, the Shaken recipe reflects the original Cuban version. This time the El Dorado rum was poured in a shaker with Cocchi di Torino (a sweet vermouth with citrus and cocoa), Dry Curaçao, Grenadine and ice, then it was finally time to get our shake on (A sure fire way to break the ice!). With a twist of lemon rind, this Presidente was served in a chilled coupe glass.
The Shaken Cocktail masterclass was a memorable start to London Cocktail Week, but I also left excited about the idea of monthly home-delivery cocktail kits and the concept of the Explorers’ Club. I might just be about to make my incoming post a whole lot more interesting.
Until next time x
Thanks to Shaken Cocktails for a fantastic masterclass at The Hoxton Hotel. For more information, visit The Shaken Cocktails website, follow them on twitter @ShakenCocktails on instagram @ShakenCocktails or find them on Facebook.