Angelenos will get a taste of the city’s thriving bar scene this fall when Cocktails in the City brings together leading cocktail bars from across Los Angeles to The Majestic Downtown for one night only on September 23. This is the first time the premiere cocktail event, which has seen tremendous success in the UK, is landing stateside, and will highlight 30 bars showcasing specialty drinks created exclusively for the event, along with interactive pop-ups, a craft spirits discovery room, food vendors and much more.
Under the leadership of CEO Steve Kelly, who launched the award-winning West Hollywood spot Now Boarding in 2013, Cocktails in the City celebrates the unique bar culture of Los Angeles, where consumers and industry professionals alike can experience all of the city’s leading cocktail bars, bartenders and craft liquors under one roof. Guests can get shoulder-to-shoulder with the city’s finest bartenders, enjoy live demonstrations and appreciate the finest drinks the West Coast has to offer – a bona fide cocktail lover’s paradise.
Cocktails in the City will feature 30 bars, each paired up with a liquor brand to create a specialty drink available exclusively at the one-night-only event, giving attendees the chance to not only experience the best bars in the city, but to get a unique experience they may not find elsewhere. Bars featured during the event include Sassafras, Birds & Bees, Harvard & Stone, Hotel Figueroa, Otium, Lono, The Wallace, The Peppermint Club, Good Times at Davey Waynes, Redbird LA, Normandie Club, Walker Inn, Melrose Umbrella Company, No Vacancy, Big Bar, Wolf and Crane and many more.
“Los Angeles has such a dynamic cocktail and bar scene, with so many incredible bartenders making some of the most creative concoctions all across town,” says Kelly. “This city often gets overlooked on a global level when we think about the best bar cities across the world, but that is far from the reality, which is why we selected LA to launch Cocktails in the City when we decided to bring the event to the US. We wanted to give the City of Angels a chance to experience it all in one place and discover the incredible talent living right under our noses.”
Each bar is paired up with a liquor brand to design not only a specialty cocktail, exclusive to Cocktails in the City, but to also create an interactive, themed pop-up that ties back beyond the cocktail and into a larger-than-life immersive experience. Otium has partnered up with Grey Goose Vodka to a host a hidden bar transporting guests back to the bygone age of glamor and celebrity; if you’ve ever wanted to spend midnight in Paris, Big Bar and Hennessy might just take you there; Normandie Club and Copper and Kings Brandy are creating an experience inspired by the Beatles’ White Album; The Peppermint Club and Old Forester will be co-hosting an exclusive Prohibition era cabaret lounge; and Wolf and Crane is mixing tradition with Toki Whisky to create an authentically Japanese drinking experience.
To give the night a competitive spirit, a panel of judges, which includes Dushan Zaric from Employees Only, long-time LA bartender and beverage director Jason Bran, and food and beverage writer Katherine Spiers from LA Weekly, will be tasting cocktails across the venue before awarding one bar and brand the Best Signature Cocktail award. Guests can also get in on the fun and make their voices heard by voting for the Best Activation award at voting polls prior to leaving the event.
The evening will also feature themed group photo booths, taking a cue from the iconic cocktail bar scenes from Hollywood movies. Guests can capture the night with their friends against the backdrop of Flanagan’s bar from Cocktail, or Jack Rabbit Slim’s from Pulp Fiction. Additionally, the event will also be showcasing some of the US’s best artisan distillers, with two Craft Spirits Discovery rooms, and a Bar School for the would-be home bartender.
There will also be plenty of options for those looking for bites to nosh on to soak up the booze. On the mezzanine level, Kye’s will be serving up their unique hybrid style kye-ritos – handheld bowls and bread-free sandwiches that are portable, high quality and healthy while still being nourishing – offering a little something for the saints. For the sinners, Trejo’s Tacos will offer meat and meat-free options and quick-serve Australian bakery Bronzed Aussie Pie Company will provide savory handheld pies & desserts. Complimentary sodas and water will also be available throughout the venue thanks to Seasons Soda and Topo Chico.
Though the event is one night only, tickets can be purchased for the Pre-Dinner Cocktail Party, which takes place from 4:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., or the After Dinner Cocktail Party from 9:30 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. All cocktails, activations and celebrations will be the same for each of the evening’s two portions.
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased on Eventbrite. Each ticket includes one cocktail from any of the participating bars, a beautifully designed event guide, and a “swag bag” to collect complimentary merchandise at the event. Guests can purchase additional cocktail tokens for $10 from token stations throughout the venue to sample additional cocktails thereafter. The proceeds will benefit Cocktails in the City’s charity partner, My Friend’s Place, which assists and inspires homeless youth to build self- sufficient lives. Upon checkout, guests may also make a donation of $1.50 towards the purchase of socks and underwear for homeless youth.