Yes, it’s that time of year again – where your festival-style wristband gets you special price cocktails all over Brighton and beyond.
For the uninitiated, Brighton Cocktail Week is – as the name might suggest – a week all about cocktails. The rules are simple – you get a wristband, and any of the venues on the cocktail trail will offer you a cocktail from their special menu for the princely sum of five pounds.
But it’s not like Groupon, where you get some kind of half-arsed thing for a special rate, served to you by an indifferent purveyor. Oh no! The cocktails are delish, and at this price, you can try a ton of them! All over town!
This year, the BCW organisers have stepped up the offering even more, with additional special events taking place – including tastings and masterclasses.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT?
There’s way too much to cram into this article, but here’s a few picks… Headline sponsors Fentimans have teamed up with Sussex based Blackdown Artisan Distillery and are offering special botanical garden experiences at the Flourpot on Brighton’s seafront.
You can celebrate 100 years of Negroni with Campari by dipping into a Negroni Trail. If rum if you’re thing, get your tiki style on at the Plotting Parlour, where Cargo Cult Rum are taking over and creating a WWII South Pacific bar, and if Scandi rocks your sauna-style world, head over to GungHo! where the theme is a Finnish sauna, courtesy of Koskenkorva vodka. The team promise to cool you down with carefully crafted cocktails.
Brighton is renowned for being forward thinking when it comes to sustainability and Havana Club will be fully embracing this throughout the week by creating menus on recycled paper, use local ingredients for their cocktails and host the closing party at Merkaba, where local artists will upcycle items that are no longer used and repurpose them with a new lease of life.
PAIRINGS AND TASTINGS
Masterclasses include a cheese and charcuterie pairing with Whitley Neill gins at the boutique Hotel Una Bar and an Introduction to Cocktails and Mixology at the Mixology Group Bartending School. And there’s a food pairing menu specially crafted with Black Cow vodka for diners at The Set.
Are you a professional in the business? You might be interested in the Havana Club Professional Series Tasting at Merkaba – an experience ‘made by bartenders for bartenders’.
NOT INTO ALCOHOL?
Going sober is definitely the new cool and #BCW19 also celebrates the emergence of lower ABV spirits and no alcohol drinks offerings. This is a trend that looks set to grow, with cocktail lovers sipping non-alcoholic cocktails alongside old favourites, so they’ve made sure there’s plenty for the non-drinkers. Check with venues before going and see what booze-free magic they’ve concocted for you.
THERE’S A LOT GOING ON!
AH YES, WHERE DO WE GET THOSE?
Buy a £10 wristband from Amathus, Daddy Longlegs, Flourpot Kitchen or Medusa Bar, which entitles you to buy cocktails at £5 each, plus significant discounts on tickets for the events and masterclasses.
Be safe, drink responsibly. And with aplomb.
Brighton Cocktail Week