Past Events



November: FONO with Monkey Shoulder

Posted by on Dec 4, 2013 in Past events | 1 comment

November: FONO with Monkey Shoulder

Canon you say? With popcorn? Well that could only be epic right? Especially if you throw in a few cocktails, and especially if one of said cocktails was designed by the crazy talented Tom Walker of the American Bar at The Savoy! Following on from our epic evening with Monkey Shoulder whisky last year, the night themed around Tom’s cocktail: the popcorn flip returned. One metric tonne of popcorn. One new home in Shoreditch. The lovely glass-half-full-not-empty @fullpint reports on our evening: If you’ve been living under a rock for the past year or so, you’ll be blissfully unaware that the lovely people from Monkey Shoulder have been running a series of themed pop up nights, ‘For One Night Only’, in and around central London. Last year saw a barrage of events, with something like ten in the space of around fourteen weeks. You’ll forgive your humble reviewer for being hazy on the exact figures, as many cocktails have been consumed since and the brain cells responsible for storing that data have well and truly gone to the big cocktail bar in the sky. This year the events are less frequent, but bigger and most definitely better. The one I was lucky enough to attend with the LCS was their ‘Pop Corn Flip’ event. This one, like many of the others, was in some railway arch or other in trendy Hoxton. The evening began with the usual clipboard/name check routine, and once past that we were presented with three poker chips and a protective boiler suit. Having been to the event the year before, I took this in my stride, popped off my boots (a trick learnt from last year) and donned the suit in double quick time. My +1 however, was now terrified…. “You said we were going to a cocktail night, not some Breaking Bad convention!”. Once suited (and re-booted) we were allowed to enter the main room. The first thing to hit you is the popcorn. And I mean literally. In the face. That will be the popcorn cannon then, being operated by some glee faced little monkeys. Their aim was good, and all guests were welcomed with a similar blast of popped corn. After recovering from the shock, you notice that you are in a large set of railway arches with around 150 other boiler suit toting cocktail lovers. There was something slightly unnerving about this, and I now know how ET felt when he really wanted to phone home. Other than the popcorn cannon, there was a bouncy castle (covered in popcorn) and a ball pit (full of popcorn, obvz) – in fact there was over one metric tonne of popcorn ‘in use’, enough apparently for 7,000 trips to the flicks. So if you were in Hoxton last Thursday and were wondering why there was a faint sniff of popcorn in the air, now you know. The main reason for being there though, was for the cocktails, and there were five drinks to choose from, Rusty Nail, Boulevardier, Popcorn Flip, a lovely ginger/beer/citrus number and a couple of other tasty libations each available for the exchange of one poker chip, and each made using Monkey Shoulder by some of London’s finest. And that’s not all, not only did they mix your excellent drinks, there...

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November: Reyka Remix

Posted by on Nov 26, 2013 in Past events | 0 comments

November: Reyka Remix

November took us to a warehouse in Hoxton for the UK launch of Reyka vodka. Hailing from Iceland and named after the Icelandic word for steam (inspired by their awesome hot springs), Reyka partied the only way they knew how and transformed the space into the land of ice. Northern lights, immense vodka cocktails and…did someone say something about a polar bear? Member Matt Bone put pen to paper to bring you the following report: Honesty is a virtue”, or so, at least, my grandmother told me. Therefore I have to start this little tale with a confession, Reyka Vodka and I have met before. It was a cold, wet and terribly windy night in Reykjavik (the only kind I’ve ever known) in a wonderful bar called Kaffibarinn, where the resident Frenchman behind the stick said that I just had to try it. So I did, followed by a Reyka Martini, followed by collecting a bottle at duty free. So heading along to the Reyka Remix event with the London Cocktail Society was like meeting up with an old friend, only in warmer weather. Despite the best efforts of London Underground and my inane lack of direction, I arrived at Arch 402 in Hoxton (sans my plus 1, who was still dying from our night out the evening before) to be greeted with confirmation of my LCS status on the list and a handful of pebbles. Walking into the venue, the woolly jumpers on the wall, corrugated iron huts and a blast of “The Glacier” (a dry ice machine turned up to 11), it felt right. But enough about ambiance, which is all very good for setting the mood, it was time to spend some pebbles. Heading down the wall of jumpers lead to a wonder block of ice, bottles of Reyka and a very nice man filling glasses with both. I skipped the Icelandic Bitters (which I’ve had before and are very interesting, you should try them!) and went for a straight up vodka on the rocks to reacquaint myself with Reyka. Much like the land it’s from, Reyka is unusual. While most vodka has a bite to the aftertaste, Reyka has a burn similar to a whisky, leaving a rather fresh and almost menthol-y feeling. It is different and that is a good thing because the country it is from is as mad as a box of frogs, so a standard vodka would be a terrible disappointment. Wandering around the installation, watching fellow remixers build and pull apart a iceberg polar bear, it was clear the night was a success. Having finished my drink it was time to try the cocktails on offer. So fighting my way through The Glacier, I headed for the main bar and the offerings there. I started off with a Bitter Steamed Tea, which is Reyka, green chartreuse, elderflower cordial, apple juice and a mint garnish, and continued people watching. It’s a wonderful pastime, people watching. And my observations of the evening, in between the white outs, were that the vodka was a hit. The cocktails were lovely too. The Bitter Steamed Tea came across well, think green tea with a jot of vodka, for purely medicinal purposes off course. Be honest, we’ve all done it! I followed that up with a...

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October: Menu Launch at Megaro Bar

Posted by on Nov 5, 2013 in Past events | 0 comments

October: Menu Launch at Megaro Bar

When the folk at newly opened Megaro invited us down to try their brand new cocktail menu I jumped at the chance. Held on a suitably rainy Tuesday night, it was a pleasure to hide away in a beautiful basement bar, with loads of lovely members and some damn fine cocktails. One of our members @Charlotte_Fi shares her experiences of the bar, the cocktails, and the evening. After a long summer of gin and tonics in the garden and one too many Pimms beside the BBQ, the invite to sample the newly expanded menu at Kings Cross cocktail bar, Megaro, announced the beginning of autumn not a moment too soon. Open since July, Megaro had decided it was time to revisit the cocktail menu and launch a bigger, better beast. After months of deliberations and mixing, the new menu was ready and waiting for tasting. Luckily for us, the best people (or should that be guinea pigs?) to call in were the London Cocktail Society for the first night’s service. As the bar has been set up, and is being run by some familiar faces from behind the bar at the Zetter Townhouse, the menu had quite a lot to live up to and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Located beneath Karpo, the basement bar feels intimate without being diminutive, and the various booths and old cinema seats allow private liaisons throughout the room without anyone feeling like they’re sitting on someone’s lap…unless they wanted to… We started at a table by the bar with a Perry Mason and the Perjured Parrot made from Four Roses Small Batch gin and a Borsh Mary 1.2 with Mamont vodka. Perhaps a strong choice to kick off a Tuesday evening, but selected canapés were on hand to provide some welcomed sustenance, with full info on provenance and ingredients on request. The first of the canapés was inhaled with little questioning I’m afraid, but the following salmon cream cheese cigars and venison sausage rolls were exactly what was needed to accompany the cocktails; perfectly formed and absolutely delicious. Having finished the first round, we opted for the signatures Hokkaido Collins with Nikka Pure Malt Black, and the Fig French 75 with fig infuse Martell VSOP and Perrier Jouet. Both were spot on, although the Collins definitely won the popularity contest, and the accompanying scallop ceviche with orange and pea purée was worth a return visit on its own. The bar itself is a masterpiece; set out as half-dark room, half-photographic studio, and the menus in old photography viewing plates perfectly complement the stylish yet relaxed venue, rather than distracting from a seriously considered cocktail menu. The muted gold disco ball suggests evenings of dancing long into the night, but as we heroically stopped at two cocktails each to ensure we were able to get to work the following day, the rest of the menu is definitely awaiting a second visit for tasting as soon as...

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October: Cocktail Hour with Talented Mr Fox

Posted by on Oct 29, 2013 in Past events | 0 comments

October: Cocktail Hour with Talented Mr Fox

The lovely @ginandjess reports on our fantastic evening with the guys from Talented Mr Fox. What better way to spend an evening during London Cocktail Week! After a little summer hiatus, the welcome return of London Cocktail Society landed, fittingly kick-starting London Cocktail Week with a sneak peek preview of Talented Mr Fox’s residency at One Leicester Street, the not-long-opened boutique hotel, bar and restaurant with Michelin starred Chef Tom Harris at the helm. Talented Mr Fox is the latest outing by cocktail pioneer Matt Whiley, formerly of Fluid Movement, the group behind Worship by Whistling Stop and Purl. Lucky members whose names had been drawn out of the coveted LCS hat were promised a taste of a got-to-try-that menu weaving elements like radish tonic and pistachio gin distillate into the drinks list. If Purl and Worship were anything to go by, this would be a London Cocktail Week highlight. Behind an almost unnamed hotel entrance hidden in the steam of China Town’s dumpling houses and throng of tourists, the darkened bar is nestled upstairs, a cosy hideout brought alive by Matt’s team behind the bar adorned with distillation devices and handmade bitters, liqueurs and distillates. Their intriguing drinks list was devised to complement Tom Harris’ menu at the hotel restaurant, which focuses on ingredients which have been cured, smoked and pickled in house…and offal. No challenge too big, it seems, as Matt has even distilled pig’s blood to add to his cocktail ingredients. In usual LCS style, our gathering of cocktail enthusiasts were ready to get tasting and investigating our menu for the night: Dog Nose Dry – Moonshine Kid’s Dog Nose hop gin, choice of TMF Bottle Age, Sherry, Sauternes, Port or American Oak. Have a Word – Few Gin, Dandelion Flower Spun Yellow Chartreuse, Lime, Maraschino Nuts about Bees – Moonshine Kid Pistachio Gin, Diplomatico Blanco, Soy Honey, Citrus People’s Republic – WS Cream Gin, TMF Strawberry and Radish Tonic, Pepper White Ape – Moonshine Kid Corn Whiskey, Kamm and Sons, Antica Formulas, Sweetcorn The White Ape was a particular favourite, with a garnish of pickled sweetcorn which satisfied my pickle back addiction, and was a delicious partner to the oysters we indulged in from the bar menu. As always, it was great to catch up with everyone and meet a few new faces. Job done, this was definitely a London Cocktail Week...

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June: Bombay Sapphire at Graphic

Posted by on Jul 1, 2012 in Past events | 0 comments

June: Bombay Sapphire at Graphic

In June we were very lucky to host a weekend event at Graphic bar in Soho. Sean Ware, Bombay Sapphire brand ambassador and long supporter of the LCS (he hosted our second ever event when he was working at Callooh Callay), talked us through Bombay Spirits and the gin category in general. With a bespoke cocktail menu on offer utilising some of Sean’s brilliant home made ingredients, tables set up with Bombay’s aroma kits, tasting glasses and plenty of water (it was 1pm in the afternoon after all!) all that we needed was our lovely members to turn up, and turn up they did, in their droves! We were given a rare opportunity to taste the difference between a steeped gin (botanicals in the belly of the still) and a vapour infused gin (botanicals sit in a basket above the belly and the gin is infused as the vapours pass through the basket – the way that Bombay spirits are distilled). Produced in the Bacardi Brown Forman labs in America, it was really interesting to see how the different methods of distillation produced different qualities in the gins. Then it was onto a blind tasting of a number of different styles of gin. In the order that they were tasted we sampled: Bombay Dry (vapour infused) Three Corner Dry Gin (only 2 botanicals) Bombay Sapphire (vapour infused and 2 additional botanicals to Bombay Dry) Sipsmith (traditional steeped London Dry) Monkey 47 (47 different botanicals) Whilst tasting the various spirits we utilised the Bombay aroma kits designed by aroma expert Dr George Dodd, which split the aromas found in gins into 28 separate commonly found constituent parts. Sean guided us though how using these kits can help when nosing and tasting gins Some tweets from the day and beyond: @miss_glassy: Just about to get stuck into some gin tasting with @BSapphireGinUK and @The_LCS (@ Graphic) 4sq.com/MxbYKI @miss_glassy: Punch and a gin wheel at @The_LCS instagr.am/p/L7y-bNq9uB/# @Di9it8 Sean with @The_LCS @graphicbar & @BombaySpirits #gin #london @ Graphic instagr.am/p/L71hr1ARr0/ @Noodlefish: Fascinating afternoon with @BombaySpirits w/ @The_LCS – forgotten how much I like Bombay Dry! @miss_glassy: Couldn’t help but try out a gin cocktail of course @The_LCS instagr.am/p/L8ICWFq9nd/ @Noodlefish: @swarebar Thank you. And thank you to @graphicbar for hosting and @GinMonkeyUK for organising @Di9it8: Thanks to @swarebar #ginscents #ginflavours @BombaySpirits HT to @graphicbar for venue & @The_LCS for organising on.fb.me/LPI6IQ @cocktaillovers: Thanks @swarebar @The_LCS @graphicbar @GinMonkeyUK for the fab #flavourexperience, looking forward to testing our gin aroma kit We’d like to thank Sean for helping us to put together such a brilliant, and most importunately insightful afternoon, and also for creating such a great cocktail menu for us. Thanks also to all of the staff at Graphic, some of whom had to come in earlier than usual to help us out. Final thanks to Bombay Sapphire for providing the stock, and being kind enough to let our members take the amazing aroma kits away with them, we’ve been getting reports of them being used to great success at home!...

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April: Adam Elmegirab at the Grosvenor Hotel

Posted by on Apr 26, 2012 in Past events | 0 comments

April: Adam Elmegirab at the Grosvenor Hotel

As any cocktail enthusiast knows, bitters are a staple ingredient in many of the tastiest recipes.  Such is their importance, we even made our own a while back.  Being big fans of this category, we jumped at the chance therefore when Adam Elmegirab, producer of a range of fine bitters offered to come and speak at an event for us. Hailing from Scotland, this was a rare opportunity to hear Adam speak and quite frankly we couldn’t wait till the day came. Usually our events focus on the single product in question, but given the role bitters play in ‘seasoning’ cocktails alongside other ingredients, it made sense for the evening to look at how they work in cocktails. Gin was selected as the obvious spirit of choice given that both products are produced using botanicals. This meant we needed hefty supply of cocktail ingredients, and so we were delighted when Adnam’s, Caorunn, Lillet, and Fentiman’s all agreed to sponsor the evening with their fine products. Adam presented a passionate, amusing and incredibly informative talk on the history of bitters, his own experience setting up a business, and of course the mixing of his products.  Rarely has a presented managed to deliver such a volume of information and kept the crowd as engaged as Adam did.  It turns out he is just as good at public speaking as he is at making bitters!  We were also to learn that he is a dab hand at fixing up delicious cocktails as well. A range of drinks were presented on the evening, each showcasing the flavour profile of the different spirits/bitters.  Things kicked off with a range of simple serves which attracted much discussion about how delicious such easy to make drinks can be; Gin, Dandelion and Tonic 50ml Caorunn Gin 100ml Fentiman’s Tonic 3 dashes Dandelion and Burdock Bitters Build over ice and garnish with a fresh apple slice Spanish Gin and Tonic 50ml Adnam’s Copper House Gin 100ml Fentiman’s Tonic 3 dashes Spanish Bitters Build over ice and garnish with a lemon zest Gin-Gin beer 50ml Adnam’s First Rate Gin 100ml Fentiman’s Ginger Beer 4 dashes Aphrodite Bitters Build over ice and garnish with a lime wedge and mint sprig Horse’s Neck 50ml Adnam’s Copper House Gin 100ml Fentiman’s Ginger Ale 4 dashes Boker’s Bitters Build over ice and garnish with a lemon spiral Next up were some more complex cocktails… Gin Crusta 37.5ml Adnam’s First Rate Gin 25ml lemon juice 12.5ml Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao 3 dashes Boker’s Bitters Shake all ingredients with ice and fine strain into a wine glass. Garnish with a sugar rim and lemon zest. Aristotle 40ml Caorunn Gin 10ml Bitter Truth Apricot Liqueur Barspoon Lillet Blanc 3 dashes Spanish Bitters 25ml lime juice Barspoon caster sugar Add sugar and lime juice to mixing glass and stir until dissolved. Add remaining ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into a frozen compete and garnish with a lemon spiral. Spruce Goose 60ml Adnam’s First Rate Gin 30ml Lillet Blanc 7.5ml Bitter Truth Apricot Liqueur 2 dashes Dandelion and Burdock Bitters Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled coupette. Garnish with a lemon zest. Highland Picnic 25ml Caorunn Gin 25ml Lillet Rouge 25ml pressed apple juice 12.5ml lemon juice 3 dashes Dandelion and Burdock Bitters...

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April: Monkey Shoulder Chocolate Trail Challenge

Posted by on Apr 20, 2012 in Articles | 0 comments

April: Monkey Shoulder Chocolate Trail Challenge

In January, some of our members came along with us to a preview of some of the events that Monkey Shoulder had planned for the year in conjunction with Anonymous Artists. During the evening we tasted a number of variants of a cocktail: The Malt Jockey (recipe below). The variations lay with the type of chocolate bitters used. And, after a vote, the favourite of the tested recipes was barrelled, to be unveiled at a future event. The time to try the aged Malt Jockey came in early April, at a temporary installation in Soho which popped up for the Easter Weekend…   Malt Jockey Ingredients 40ml Monkey Shoulder 30ml sweet vermouth 10ml maraschino liqueur 2 dashes chocolate bitters Method Stir and strain, garnish with an Orange Twist. The Monkey Shoulder Chocolate Trail was the best incarnation of an Easter egg hunt EVER. Small wooden eggs were hidden in the foliage, which, once found, could be traded at the bar for a cocktail, designed by the guys from London Cocktail Club. Each drink was paired with a different chocolate from the fantastic Nico B which complemented the cocktail wonderfully. For more info, and recipes from the trail head over to my piece on Gin Monkey. Running for just four days, LCS were incredibly lucky to be given exclusive access to this trail of wonderfulness on the Saturday evening. With brand ambassador Dean Callan on hand to talk us through the whisky, and Olivier Ward from Anonymous Artists to talk us through the various cocktails, we were given a whistle stop tour of the product, its production method, and where it got its name from, all whilst sipping on whisky and cocktails – fab!   Then the 12 members lucky enough to have gained a place at the event split into pairs and were set the challenge of coming up with their own cocktail and chocolate pairing. With a huge number of potential ingredients on offer, from the foliage on the walls, to the fresh fruit and various bottled liqueurs, the challenge for most of our members was to narrow these down to just a few key flavours. With some assistance from Dean, Olivier, myself and the lovely bartender working that evening, the members played around with the ingredients and tweaked their recipes before presenting them to us for judging – not an easy task at all.   Surprisingly varied in concepts and flavours, from almonds to chillis, the cocktails that were made were impressive. In the end though, there could only be one winner…and the winning recipe came out on top as, having tried each of the chocolates earlier on in the night, you instantly knew which one the cocktail was designed to be paired with!   Monkey Island by Mr G and Ms Stephanie Rae-Smith Ingredients 50 ml Monkey Shoulder 20 ml Cointreau 20 ml fresh pineapple juice 10 ml creme de peche Juice of half a lemon Dash rhubarb bitters Method Shake vigorously with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon. Serve with sea salt chocolate.   Then there was just time for Monkey Islands all round, a bottle of Monkey Shoulder for the two winning members, and a final chance to play on the literal musical chairs before it...

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March: Kamm & Sons at Detroit

Posted by on Mar 14, 2012 in Past events | 0 comments

March: Kamm & Sons at Detroit

March saw us venture into the subterranean bar that is Detroit in Covent Garden. The spirit in the spotlight was Kamm & Son’s Ginseng Spirit (formerly known as Kammerlings). Upon arrival our members were treated to a Kamm & Sons on the rocks before settling into the ‘bat cave’ to hear owner and founder Alex Kammerling talk us through his most unusual spirit. Alex gave us a quick intro as to what his spirit is (it is neither gin nor aperitif, instead falling into its own band new category of ginseng spirit), his inspiration behind the brand, his experiences in setting up an entirely new brand, and the challenges he faced in the process. A fascinating story presented by a brilliant bartender who gained important insights into the industry through his time tending stick and working as an ambassador for world renowned spirit brands: Martin Millers Gin and Grey Goose Vodka. The Kamm & Sons cocktails on offer were fantastic! Most designed by Alex himself, at the credit-crunch busting price of just £5, the consensus was that they were too good for their own good…in every sense of the word it seems as ginseng’s meant to be good for you! Alex took the opportunity over a few cocktails to chat to our members in a more informal setting about his plans for the future…very exciting! All I can say is that there are interesting things a-foot! All in all a great evening with brilliant cocktails and great company. Recipes for a few of the drinks are below: The Grosvenor Glass Small cocktail glass Method Stir with cubed ice Garnish Lemon peel Ingredients: 75ml Kamm & Sons 20ml Punt e Mes 5ml Islay whisky The Tipping Point Glass Rocks Method Build over cubed ice Garnish Orange zest Ingredients 30ml Kamm & Sons 30ml Chase Marmalade 15ml Punt E...

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February: Beefeater Distillery Tour

Posted by on Feb 25, 2012 in Past events | 0 comments

February: Beefeater Distillery Tour

We pulled out all the stops for the end of February and managed to secure a private distillery tour of the Beefeater distillery near the Oval cricket ground. Arriving on a beautiful day in the sunshine, we assembled in the distillery with master distiller Desmond Payne and brand ambassador Tim Stones to begin our tour. We went through the journey of the gin as it passes through the distillery, from the vats that hold the grain neutral spirit (GNS), to the rooms full of botanicals (they smelt amazing), and the still where the gin is distilled. It was a fantastic tour, especially as we had Desmond on hand to show us around and impart some of his wealth of gin distilling knowledge. We were then very lucky to have some time in their amazing bar (if I won the lottery my living room would be modeled on it!), where Tim made us some Beefeater cocktails. It was a brilliant day, combining gin geekery with cocktail loveliness. If you didn’t make it along keep an eye out as we’re hoping to arrange further tours in the...

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February: Four Roses at Shaker & Co

Posted by on Feb 15, 2012 in Past events | 0 comments

February: Four Roses at Shaker & Co

Shaker & Co, a fairly new bar in Euston has a wonderful basement which is given over to different brands every month. In February it was the turn of Four Roses to make their space their own. Cue a speakeasy style bourbon den complete with crates and hay bales and prohibition style cocktails. Brand Ambassador Dan Priseman was on hand to talk us through the history of bourbon and what happened to production during, and after prohibition. Whilst the Four Roses story was evident throughout, what was brilliant was that Dan talked us through the Bourbon story in general imparting some of his vast knowledge of the spirit category. One of our members Sarah has written a brilliant blog about the evening which is well worth a read:...

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