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12 Reasons to Love July

Jane Ryan | 07/07/2016

Pop-ups, markets and festivals. Why you should love July...

1. 31 Days of Riesling

Germany’s most famous grape variety is taking over the UK this summer. Back by popular demand for the fourth year, the 31 Days of German Riesling summer celebration brings restaurants and shops across London together throughout July. With inspiring wine tastings, special offers, delicious food pairing menus and even Riesling tattoos, there’s no better time to discover a refreshing Riesling.

2. International Tequila Day

Mark July 24th in your calendars and stock up on tequila, because we're celebrating the unqiue spirit of the blue agave plant. There are so many national and international days for things now its hard to keep on top of it all but we feel Tequila Day in the height of summer is a brilliant excuse to order in the Margaritas and Palomas and argue over your favourite brand. But no matter if you swear by Patron, Olmeca, Tapatio, Fortaleza or Ocho this is a day which unites us all. And considering it falls on a Sunday we might just be partial to a Bloody Maria which our friends at Patron say to make with blanco, tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco. The perfect start to Tequila Day. 

3. The New G&T

Because the old G&T needs a facelift. Bombay Sapphire put out a challenge to six London bartenders to reimagine the gin and tonic. Not twist or tweak but completely reinvent. With each focussing on their different elements, from switching up the effervescence to making the drink edible, the six serves created are equally outstanding, delicious and thought-provoking. We know because we snuck in a cheeky preview at the distillery in Laverstoke. And from mid-July the six serves will be avaliable in London bars. We'll let you know exactly what they are and where to try them soon. 

4. Mojito Day 

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Another day, another drink. On July 11th we muddle sugar and mint, add in the rum and soda and rant about bartenders who won't let us order this ultimately refreshing and popular drink. Based on the old Cuban Draque, or Drake (named after Sir Francis of Elizabethan fame who made his way around Caribbean) the original drink composed of aguardient (which is a form of raw, unaged rum), sugar, lime, and mint. It could claim to be, in fact, Cuba’s oldest cocktail. In the mid 1800s the Draque turns up in "El Colera en la Habana," a story by Cuban novelist Ramón de Palma. Then, at some point after Don Facundo Bacardi set up shop in Cuba in 1862, the aguardiente became white rum. Eventually it was made over ice and topped off with carbonated water, possibly in an attempt to make it more refreshing on hot Havana nights. From Havana to world domination, by the turn of the 21st century the Mojito was ubiquitous across the cocktail world. And we're happy to celebrate such an iconic cocktail...whatever anyone might think of our order. 

5. Portobello Road Gin Summer Covent Garden Pop-Up

Covent Garden is going late night. And to celebrate this Portobello Road Gin are popping-up to refresh all the late night shoppers, right in the heart of Covent Garden. You'll be able to shop and personalise your own perfect copa (that Spanish-style huge serve) G&T from the traditional market stalls and choose from an array of interesting garnishes, tonics, tinctures and mixers. They'll also be serving a range of complementing bar snacks and are open every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 3pm-10pm until 30th July.

6. London Festival Season

Noble Rot at Wilderness, Jose Cuervo at Lovebox, Soulshakers at Secret Garden Party and Stephen Harris at Citadel – this festival season is packed with delicious things to eat and drink. See our round up here. 

7. Homemade Holiday Drinks

Whether you're in a remote chateau airbnb in the south of France, a stone cottage on the Outer Hebrides or a minamlist bungalow on the coast of Norway - everyone is jetting off this July. As we can't all take a London bartender with us (did we just invent a great business idea?) you're going to have to get your hands dirty. Source some citrus, bulk buy the prosecco and hope the wifi works. If you're in need of recipes check out our favourite websites; Punch, the bar.com, Difford's Guide or Imbibe. Just don't expect them to look like the drinks on Pinterest. 

8. Seasonal Fruits

July is all about the cherries, peaches and apricots. We're thinking fresh, tart Bellinis, fruity twists on classics and some delicious gin smashes. All the very best bars in London use fresh produce so you can expect some vibrant tasting cocktails this month.

9. Night Markets

There are night markets all year round in London. We're a stoic bunch afterall. But July is the month you can actually enjoy them without your cold beer freezing your digits off. Hit up Old Spitalfields Late Market, Night Tales, Hawker House, Last Days of Shoreditch, Dalston Yard, Dinerama and Model Market for street food, booze and tunes. 

10. Piña Colada Day

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We know... another day! But it's the Piña Colada, and if you don't want to celebrate the best drink tiki culture ever gave us then we seriously suspect something might be wrong with you. It's pineapple, rum and coconut for goodness sake. It even has a song named after it (ok technically it's called Escape, but can you honestly tell us you don't call it The Piña Colada Song!?) Blend yourself one of these tasty refreshers on July 10th, or save yourself the hassel and order one at a bar, before bellowing out "yes, I like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain. I'm not much into health food, I am into champagne."

11. Space At The Bar

Everyone is on holdiay, you're stuck in London. It's trying to be sunny but failing and there are more pictures of hot dog legs on your feed than you can handle. Good news: July is one of the quietest times in the bar world so chances are your favourite spot is free and waiting for you. Nab the best table, dominate the waiters attention and revel in venues that finally don't resemble a sardine can. 

12. Cocktails In The City

Following the roaring success of the last sell out event, Cocktails in the City returns with the hugely popular Summer Edition. On Friday 29th and Saturday 30th July 2016, Cocktails in the City will once again gather twenty-five of London’s most exciting bars beneath the green canopies of London’s Bedford Square Gardens for a sunny two-day celebration of the city’s unique and diverse drinking scene. 

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