London Cocktail Week is the world’s biggest cocktail festival, and this year they’ve made one significant change to the week – to ensure that everyone can get the maximum enjoyment from their digital passes and savour every last drop of the cocktail-wizardry-flavours on offer.
This year will see, for the first time, a range of delicious lower-alcohol alternatives available from over 30 of the venues taking part in the event. They will make it easier to indulge in numerous cocktails without the night disappearing into a blur. Cocktails are about more than getting wasted. They are about the flavour, aesthetics, sparkle, class, art and even science – so they don’t always have to be 20% or 30% alcohol to dazzle your mind and taste buds. Long cocktails around the 5% to 8% ABV mark are what we would call a ‘session-able’ drink – they’re a great choice for a longer session such as a bar crawl.
Other than switching to longer, lower-alcohol cocktails occasionally or for the duration of the evening, here are Club Soda’s four simple tips to add a little moderation to your cocktail week, and help make the most of your festival nights:
1) Plan. Check out the venue listings and find the ones that offer lower-alcohol alternatives. Look up their locations, and plan your bar route accordingly.
2) Water! It’s the nectar of the gods when you wake up hungover at 5am, and it’s equally as magical on a night out. Use the walk between venues to hydrate yourself, or just have a glass before your cocktail at each bar. Staying hydrated will prevent you from downing your cocktails like a thirsty puppy, and it will also help your body dilute and process the alcohol better.
3) Food. Eating is not cheating! A full stomach doesn’t prevent the absorption of alcohol into your body but it does delay it, so if you’re drinking steadily, your blood alcohol level will remain lower. And if you’re drinking plenty of water as well, it will make sure you get steadily tipsy, instead of raging drunk and shouty within a couple of hours. There's a list of the bars offering food & cocktails HERE.
4) Ask. If you’re unsure of which cocktails are long, what makes them lower strength, or what they’ll taste like then just ask the bar person – they’re usually pretty helpful. Or try a friends’ drink before ordering your own. Don’t order something you don’t like the taste of – it’s just a waste of £6 and we tend to down drinks we don’t like much quicker.
For those visiting The Cocktail Village at Old Spitalfields Market - complimentary Perrier and Acqua Panna water is freely available from all the 33 pop-up bars - so no excuse not to stay hydrated!
Club Soda is the Mindful Drinking Movement, supporting you to achieve your goals, whether you want to cut down, stop for a bit, or go alcohol-free. They will be running their next Mindful Drinking Festival in Spitalfields on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th November.
And they even have a pub and bar listings site for the best places for mindful drinkers.