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Lagos Cocktail Week begins as mixologists battle for glory

By Eniola Daniel and Tobi Awodipe
15 October 2022   |   3:02 am
The 8th edition of the Lagos Cocktail Week (LCW) has commenced across restaurants in Lagos and Abuja. With focus on African taste, touches, and originality, for the first time, four females will be joining the Bar Battle challenge. 

Director, Creative Arts Department, Lagos State Ministry of Tourism Arts, Culture Bisi Omojare, convener, Lagos Cocktail Week, Lara Rawa and Director, Area Marketing Mastercard, Yosola Atere during a media parley to unveil plan for the LCW in Lagos.. PHOTO: ENIOLA DANIEL

The 8th edition of the Lagos Cocktail Week (LCW) has commenced across restaurants in Lagos and Abuja. With focus on African taste, touches, and originality, for the first time, four females will be joining the Bar Battle challenge.

Scheduled to take place at the Balmoral Event Centre, Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, the event sponsored by Mastercard is aimed at celebrating the unique cocktail culture in Nigeria through events, seminars, competitions and training sessions.

Convener, LCW, Lara Rawa, said restaurants in Lagos would from October 14 to 22, have the Lagos Cocktail Mastercard menu and there will be two days pop up on October 20 and 21, 2022 at the cocktail village in Balmoral Convention Centre, Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos. There will be a conference and cocktail on the first day while a Bar Battle competition will hold on the second day with prizes to be won.

According to her, being a lover of cocktails informed the idea of the event. “Even as a trained lawyer with a Master’s in Business Law from St. Mary’s University, London, I love to mix; I went back to school where I was trained as a mixologist.”

Rawa who doubles as founder of Eventi Cocktails, said she wants to open people’s minds to possibilities. “We want to see the contestants, for example, making premium cocktails with Ogogoro (local gin), I expect contestants will learn from the speakers and for them to use the teachings to inspire and create. I am looking forward to seeing the contestants in the future telling me that they are now working with top bars in the world, winning international contests. We are expecting African-inspired cocktails, not only in Nigeria but Africa in general.”

On what has changed from the previous editions, she said: “We have more brands supporting us, we are inspiring more. This is the first time we are having four female bartenders as finalists. It’s not easy to see female entrepreneurs in male-dominated sectors. Seeing women who are tenacious, who have decided to take the bull by the horn and create things for themselves is delightful, and I think the least I should do is to support them, give them a voice and promote them.”

Assistant Director, Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Art and Culture, Bisi Omojare, said: “We created an enabling environment for stakeholders in Art and Culture, entertainment industry to thrive. We are committed to supporting the industry. We are giving institutional support to the LCW, providing them with all they need in terms of security and others. This programme will impact the economy of Lagos.”

Meanwhile, Director, Area Marketing, Mastercard, Yosola Atere, is looking forward to lend a hand to upcoming mixologists and encourage them to achieve their goals.