Alrighty, let’s get stuck right in.
Perhaps we came in a bit early; maybe the sunlight stole a bit from the atmosphere of a place that should be enjoyed in the dark, so I can’t really make vast claims about it. The taxidermy is certainly a fun touch – makes me wonder if the Last Tuesday Society up the street had anything to do with it.
Satan’s Whiskers is definitely a quirky little spot, and would make a fine local if you lived in the area. And definitely a late evening bar.
Grabbing our table, the menu doesn’t state the brand of spirits, so I decided to ask. ‘Bourbon, lemon, maple syrup and bitters’, the St. Lawrence tells me. When our drinks arrived, our not particularly polite server, when asked “Could you please tell us which brands of spirits you’ve used in these drinks” replied:
“And in this drink?”
“And in this one?”
There was an exasperated sigh and he wandered off without letting us finish “And what about the vermouth?”
Note, there were 5 servers and the only other people there was a group of six.
So we began on a fairly sour note. But we shall return to the sour service at the end of our experience.
The St. Lawrence above is still a decent drink. Strongly citrus on the nose, it has a soft bourbon opening, ending with the maple syrup’s aftertaste. It is a smooth, pleasant drink I’d recommend to anyone and would definitely order again.
The signature Satan’s Whiskers is a mix of Tanqueray gin, Grand Marnier, fresh orange and vermouth; was conflicting. Personally, I found it to be orange juice in a coupe, but one of the members of the group took to it fairly well. The Salty Dog of Finlandia vodka, pink grapefruit and pink salt came off as being flat, the salt rim being a bit redundant since it was impossible to put to your lips without cringing. Then the Stone Fence. Knob Creek Bourbon, ginger liqueur, lemon and hard cider met to create a purely citrus drink that had a slight ginger hint in there somewhere.
You’ll notice my normally lengthy description of drinks is very short here. Because that’s it: There isn’t anything to say about them.
Though, the St. Lawrence was still pretty decent.
We ended staring at the bar. Sitting nearest to the bar, we didn’t disturb the two bartenders busy shaking, another employee was busy working away on a laptop, and no other server was to be seen. Nonetheless, the server who did eventually show up was rather polite in wonderful contrast to the first disappointment – so service can be better on a good day.
I want to like Satan’s Whiskers. After all, service isn’t a 24/7 problem (unless you work at the Experimental Cocktail Club), but it certainly wasn’t anywhere close to optimal, noting that we were the only other people there other than a group of six – when the menu states there are 5 servers, they couldn’t be spread that thin.
Nonetheless, it is a very affordable bar, and it’s worth stopping by for a quick Manhattan, but wouldn’t make it the venue of the night.
Drinks: ** (I suspect there is potential here with different drinks)
343 Cambridge Heath Road,
London E2 9RA