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Cocktails in the City returns

Published:  10 July, 2023

Cocktails in the City put some of London’s best bars front and centre last week, with the return of an alfresco celebration of urban mixology.

Billed as London’s ‘largest cocktail garden party’, Harpers attended Cocktails in the City in Bedford Square Gardens on Friday, to soak up this snapshot of what London’s cocktail scene has to offer.

Oriole, Nightbar, TT Liquor and Shoreditch Arts Club were all in attendance, returning as part of the festival’s Summer Series, where over 50 bars will appear across three weekend-long festivals running from July to September.

A series of masterclasses were available, too. Harpers attended a dive into Fortunella, a high strength (36%) yet subtle orange golden liqueur, made from imported kumquat citrus fruits and made in London. There was also 1888 Doblemente Añejado from Brugal Rum, the largest producer in the Dominican Republic. Both Fortunella and Brugal are sold via Master of Malt.

Finally, there was Renais, the gin made from left over Chablis grapes, made by Alex Watson and promoted by his sister, actress Emma Watson, of Harry Potter fame.

Harpers caught up with Jack Sotti, director of advocacy at Renais and Sunday Brunch regular, who was approached by Alex Watson with the idea of making a gin with grapes from his father’s vineyard.

“It was completely out of the blue, but I jumped at the chance to be part of it. Alex and Emma’s father has been making wine in Chablis for years and has worked hard to become part of the community, there.

“The gin is made from press cru grapes grown on Kimmeridgian soil and distilled in England. The Chablis grapes added an extra layer of complexity to what is otherwise a classic gin,” Sotti said.

Cocktails in the City will continue throughout the summer with The Travel Edition running from 17 to 19 August and A Festival of Drinks from 7 to 9 September.