Greenwich finally gets its own cocktail bar! In the basement under Davy’s Wine Vaults, The Cooperage offers a whole host of twisted classics, with an enthusiasm for infusions. Dim-lit, sprinklings of armchairs and larger group booths makes the venue reminiscent of the Worship Street Whistling Shop in many ways, and unsuspectingly took up a speakeasy meets pub vibe.
Down to business, let’s start with the star of the night: the Pepper and Paprika Margarita. Pepper and paprika infused tequila, Cointreau, lime and a dash of bitters with a spiced rim brings for a spectacularly bright and exciting cocktail that raises the bar for the rest of menu – if in Greenwich, it is certainly worth stopping by the Cooperage purely for this beauty.
The Fig Sidecar, fig infused Martell VSOP, Cointreau and lime, as one can imagine, tastes pretty much exactly like your everyday Sidecar considering a fig’s subtle flavour, which only makes an appearance as an aftertaste – if you’re looking for it. On a similar note, the Cucumber and Elderflower Collins provides a simple long gin/sugar/lemon/soda combo with a cucumber and elderflower kick.
A drink that surprised though, would be the vodka/lime/ginger beer Chilli and Lemongrass Moscow Mule infused with, well, guess. The first few sips were bit disappointing, but further in, the lemongrass comes in full force. A drink that could do with better presentation.
There was a hiccup though, with a friend’s Rittenhouse Rye Sazerac, where I have to thank our eagle eyed bartender for spotting the reaction to, and switching it out for the Cucumber Collins above. This did not come as a massive surprise though, since I’ve found Sazeracs tend to be a risky order in most venues. The Hoodooist avoided the Old Fashioned for a similar reason, call it a louche’s intuition.
Service was very positive, bartenders were attentive and chatty, and happy to help if your drink doesn’t work for you. With great value for money, The Cooperage might have a small case of hit and miss, but can be avoided if you rely on your intuition. In short, simple, affordable, effective, a great spot to chill on a weekday.
The Cooperage @ Davy’s Wine Vaults
161 Greenwich High Road,
London SE10 8JA