This year its home was the grade 1-listed building of One Mayfair. The space itself is striking. On entering the great hall a long banqueting table decked with glowing candelabras draw your eyes to the focal point – the original altar now transformed into a bar. Wooden beams signal another floor of drinks and a slightly out of style sign indicates a not-so-secret crypt. A former church, the venue is where decadence meets history. The former pulpit is now home to the DJ who plays upbeat sounds to add to the already buzzing atmosphere.
There were 24 bars to choose from, each teaming up with a drink brand. Unsure of where to indulge first, I decide to start in the crypt. Every nook and cranny holds a new tasting experience. My fail safe drink is gin but in a rash and bold move I try an Irish Rover from Whiskey Ginger; very drinkable. The key ingredient was The Pogues Irish Whiskey named after the band who have even given it their seal of approval. The barman explained how the subtle flavour of Benedictine complimented the fiery whiskey.
Moving upstairs, I went for a Bitter Sweet Symphony from The Alchemist. Taking their inspiration from scientists, the Campari-based cocktail was served fizzing over the top of a beaker. My soft spot for Campari aside, this was fantastic. Dangerously fantastic.
On the upper floor, I decided against both of the international bars and went for a Love Buzz from the Oxo Tower. Patron Silver Tequila, Yuzu, Strawberry infused Cocchi, Rose Syrup and cucumber combined so well I practically drank it in one – rose and all.
Cocktails in the City is an experience you need to give a go. With a free drink included in the price, reasonably-priced cocktails (bought via tokens, £7.50 each) and finger licking food, it has everything you need for a cracking evening under one roof. It returns in the summer on the last weekend of July, this time al fresco in a Georgian garden. I’ll see you there.
Tickets were priced at £15 which included entrance fee, booklet and your first drink.