True to form, the 2018 edition of the Lagos Cocktail Week (LCW2018)showcased some of the best of Nigeria’s cocktail industry, with the gathering of leading voices in the sector at Federal Palace Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos. The 3-day event ran from Tuesday, 16th to Thursday, October 18th, 2018 and provided a platform for several homegrown and international drinks brands to showcase, while a cross-section of professionals in cocktails and events space received training and networking opportunities.
The Lagos Cocktail Week kicked off with a fun and spirited Bar Crawl on Thursday, October 4th, with influencers and celebrities on a ride through 5 bars in Lagos sampling various drinks and cocktails. On the ride was Ini Dima Okojie, Mimi Onalaja, Toni Tones, Idia Aisien, Nonso Bassey, Bollylomo, Ehiz, Chiamaka Ntia, Simi Drey, Demilade Roberts, Uriel Oputa, Onyinye Azode competing for the title of “Last Man Standing”. The bars visited were Signature Lounge, Brass and Copper, Backyard Bar and Grill, South Eatery and Buzz Bar.
The bar crawl was the roadmap to the main event which kicked off with a conference on the 16th for food, beverage, and cocktail industry enthusiasts. Several speakers and panelists spoke around the theme, “Changing the African Cocktail Narrative Through Collaboration and Creativity.” On the panel of speakers where international speakers such as Alexis Brown of Causing a Stir, US and Mihalis Minckovskis. Other speakers include Shina Peller, Ronke Bamisedun, Uzo Orimalade, Elizabeth Oputa and a host of others.
The 3-day event rounded off with a high octane and well-attended Bar Battle and Cocktail Industry Awards on October 18. Hosted by comedian TeeA, the event was attended by a host of celebrities and influencers, including Lanre Da-Silva Ajayi, Onobello, Elizabeth Isiorho, Taofeek Okoya, Chef Fregz, Scarlet Gomez, Steve Chuks, Nonso Bassey, Asa’ah Samuel, Sharon Ooja, Bollylomo, Denola Grey, Sharon Ojong, Kayla Oniwo, and Lydia Lawrence.
After a night of battles between mixologists from several of the leading bars and clubs in Lagos, Philip Essang of Nok by Alara came out the winner of the Lagos Cocktail Week 2018 “Bar Battle”, winning a cash prize of N200,000.
Winners of the Cocktail Industry Awards and their category Include:
- Best Cocktail Bar – R S V P
- Best Indigenous Spirit Brand with Global Focus – Grand Oak, Seaman’s Schnapps
- Best Hotel Bar – Sky Lounge, Eko Hotel
- Mobile Cocktail Bar of the Year – Cocktails In and Out
- Best Drink/ Spirit Marketing Campaign – Campari, Make It Red
Speaking on the outstanding success of LCW2018, founder Lara Rawa said, “The 5th edition of the Lagos Cocktail Week is a proof that the Nigerian Cocktail Industry has grown beyond Nigeria and Africa, and is raising industry experts that infuse both indigenous and international knowledge to grow their individual brand as well as the industry as a whole”. She also thanked sponsors, partners, and delegates who helped to make the event successful “The official soft drinks sponsor Fayrous, Veleta, Belvedere Vodka, Balmoral, Glenmorangie, WONTRA , Skyy Vodka, American Honey, FilmHouse Cinemas, Monin, Cinematics, Insigna Media and Zapphaire Events for coordinating the event.”