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Unique Islington cocktail bar crowned top-10 in Europe

A cocktail bar in Islington has been selected as one of the top 10 in Europe in the industry’s biggest awards.

Laki Kane has been shortlisted as an honouree in the Best International Cocktail Bar in Europe category of Tales of the Cocktail Foundation’s Spirited Awards.

Now they face an anxious wait until the overall winner is announced in the summer.

Georgi Radev, who founded Laki Kane in 2018 with Steve Kyprianou and Sam Robson, said being shortlisted for such a prestigious award: “feels amazing.”

He added: “I had some friends over when we found out we’d been selected as among the top 10 cocktail bars in Europe and we were all screaming and laughing and high-fiving!

“This is a big platform – Tales of the Cocktails in New Orleans are one of the best organisations – thousands of people go to their festival and their judges are the most influential people in the industry.

“The judges travel to bars, seeing what the vibes are like, sampling the drinks and service, looking at the menus and checking them out on social media. They look at everything before they decide their shortlist and the bars are unaware they’re even coming.”

Laki Kane’s décor features palm prints, bamboo, old bongo drums and a swinging chair. Each table is named after a different Polynesian, Indonesian, Thai or Caribbean island. There’s a laboratory on site where Georgi (a master bartender) infuses rums with fabulous flavours and the bar service is superb – guests can call staff at the press of a button. There’s a simple menu offering delicious Pan-Asian food.

Asked what sets Laki Kane apart from other cocktail bars, Georgi added: “Our cocktails are about the whole experience – we created our own vessels to serve them in to really get the wow-factor and we use unique ingredients – tropical fruits that few people know exist. People often say they love our cocktails but they don’t know what it is – the flavours are new to them!”

The team at Laki Kane are currently working on the branding for their new rum, which they plan to distribute in UK stores soon. They also hope to launch a second bar and are searching for a suitable venue.

The business aims to be as zero-waste as possible, they use apple or pasta straws and re-use as many bi-products as possible. The husks from the sugarcane they press go to Bimber to use in their flavouring process, completing the beautiful cycle of rum making!

Local Buyers Club members save 20% on drinks at Laki Kane (Sunday-Thursday) and 20% on their rum-making experiences.


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