Monday, July 7, 2014

Drinking in London

I just remembered that this blog exists, and I recently posted this elsewhere.  This is the right place for it though, so I'm dropping it here too.

A rundown of Cocktail bars in London that we visited.

(You know, in case you're gonna be there, and JD remembers that he had great drinks but DOESN'T remember where the heck he went.)

Purl - Solid cocktails with some interesting flair. Great space, excellent bartenders but the cocktail servers were much less good. Because of their booking system, a seat at the bar may be harder to arrange.

Nightjar - Really, hilariously over the top cocktail presentations with tasty darn drinks. A lot of crazy, great vibe in the room, heck of a lot of fun. Ordering off-menu seems like a waste (of a few laughs if nothing else).

The Mayor of Scaredycat Town - Cocktails were decent but not great, and they don't handle improvisation well. Best speakeasy style entrance (through a 'fridge!) by far.

Artisian - Apparently the current "Best bar in the world". Excellent over-the-top presentation and great cocktails. Very pretentious, very expensive, very cool experience.

The Punch Room - This place barely exists. An unmarked door behind another bar leads to a quiet, comfortable, leather-and-wood sitting room with a single bartender. Limited menu (8 drinks) of old-school punches available (for 1 to 8 people) and they are spectacularly well made. Apparently they are reservation-only but we just walked in and the staff was incredibly helpful and nice.

Blind Pig - Upstairs from a busy restaurant. Great staff, pun-filled menu of well made cocktails for a reasonable price. We closed the night out there and had an absolute blast gabbing with all three bartenders. Mostly modern variations on classics.

The American Bar at the Savoy - It's the American Bar. It's one of the most important places in the development of cocktails and it's still kicking around and keeping it classy. It's pricey; the cocktails we got were superb.


And some places that we didn't get to, but would make a point of getting to if I had another day or two:

Happiness Forgets - Literally every bartender we asked about where to go for good cocktails immediately said Happiness Forgets and then made a list of runners up. Sadly, closed for remodeling while we were there.

White Lyan - An experimental joint that uses NO ice or citrus in crafting drinks. Instead relying on pre-mixed and chilled bottles, apparently? Weirdly well respected (if slightly baffling to) the local barkeeps. Sadly, not the same as White Lion so we didn't get to visit it.

Experimental Cocktail Club - Sounds like my sort of place. Not so much experimental as the name might suggest, but really good inventive cocktails, well-made and served up in a hard to find spot. Didn't hear about it until too late to go by,unfortunately.

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