Can’t wait for London Cocktail Week? Of course you can’t that’s, like, seven months away (aka AGES). In the meantime, take a dip into Baijiu Cocktail Week — a Chinese New Year-inspired celebration of a traditional fermented grain spirit from China, which is sweet and aromatic with notes of citrus and plum.
So, what’s the deal?
Given the complex flavour profile, and recent introduction of this spirit on these shores, 12 of London’s best bars have clubbed together to give this ancient tipple a modern twist, with a unique cocktail specially created in-house on offer in each establishment.
There’s a whole range of high-profile venues taking part, ranging from super laid-back oriental speakeasy Opium, a hidden dim sum parlour in Chinatown, to the buzzing casino at The Empire in Leicester Square.
We’ve mentioned before that Ping Pong Dim Sum actually do some cracking cocktails (which comes as a pleasant surprise to many given that it’s a chain) and this occasion is no exception. This week they are bringing us the Longan Baijiu Firecracker — think an elegant vodka sour with floral tones.
If you fancy getting, well, fancy, you can pop down to Michelin-starred Hakkasan for a whiskey-heavy Yang Walker, and if you’re a fan of the Shard, you’ll be happy to hear that both Hutong and Gong at Shangri-La Hotel are taking part, with the latter offering up the Lucky Goat, a gin based drink mixed with fruity lychee and plum, to usher in the new year.
Speaking of hotels, Spice Market nestled below the W, has its own twist on the Yuzu Martini, while Bo Drake gives us a refreshing nectar-laced concoction and Federico Pavan behind the bar at Salvatore's Bar at The Playboy Club has designed a raspberry-laden Affair.
The festivities run until 22 February, so there's plenty of time to get in on the firewater fun.