Welcome one and all to the recap of the second day of London Cocktail Week 2015! Wield a red or white wristband and enjoy the discounts/events that LCW has to offer!
This year the Hoodooist will be bringing you #YourDailyDoseOfHoodoo, a daily review of each day of London Cocktail Week ’15.
Today we look at October 6th: Where the Hoodooist and friends tackled the Hoxton and the Shoreditch!
Ryan Chetiyawardana, aka Mr. Lyan, brought out innovative cocktail bar White Lyan a couple of years ago, using no fresh ingredients outside the bottled cocktails – the LCW offering is no different, with a flute half-filled with the mystery drink topped off with Franciacorta sparkling wine.
The Ember 75 is a twist on the classic French 75, with Monkey Shoulder whisky, lemon distillate, BBQ fruit distillate, mixed acid solution, and mineral water.
You’d be forgiven if that made little sense, unfortunately, our bartender was not at all helpful in attempting to explain it – what we gathered is that it’s smoke and fruit. Neither did our bartender seem clear on the process preparing the bottled drink, or at least didn’t want to explain it.
Anyway, the first half of the cocktail was a bit flat with the sweet wine (I say that because the sparkling wine was not sparkling, the fizz was not fizzing. Why? Do not ask us.), as time passed the Monkey Shoulder became increasingly prominent, and by the bottom half, flavours of dried fruit, apricot and light notes of peach opened up, with a layer of smoke.
Of course, we reviewed the fab Don’t Mug Yourself in the previous article, so the Hoodooist went in for the Fairground Sazerac: Sazerac Rye Whiskey, Peychaud’s Bitters, sugar in a Herbsaint rinse with a large dollop of candyfloss in the tankard, and a small bit on the straw to drink through.
Now this is fun – to be fair, the Hoodooist is a major fan of the Sazerac as is, but the additional little bit of sweetness from the candyfloss doesn’t hurt, and injects a little bit of fun into and otherwise serious classic. The whiskey’s orange and warm spices is clear, the glass rinsed just right with Herbsaint – the candyfloss takes the edge off the finish with a bit of sugar. A fun quirky twist on an old loved classic.
The Translate Bar in Shoreditch retains it’s party atmosphere even this early in the evening – with the Auchentoshan and Ale workshop going on next door, Translate is knocking out 5 options for 5 pounds each: the Auchentoshan American Oak or Three Wood neat/on the rocks, a Glasgow Mule (with Ginger Ale), a Classic Sour, and their main offering for London Cocktail Week, the Auchie Ale.
The Auchie Ale brings together Auchentoshan American Oak, quince, lemon, simple syrup, topped off with Camden Pils in a handy mug and twist of lemon. Initially, the ale drowns out the flavour of this great whisky and the quince, but as it warms up about halfway through, both the nose and palate become clearer.
The toffee and chocolate nose begins to come through, the palate bursts into warmer flavours of chocolate, citrus, grain and oak, ending with a quince bite and the Camden Pils. Certainly a cocktail if you enjoy your ale.
The Hoodooist had more fun going straight for the Auchentoshan Three Wood – rested in Oloroso sherry, bourbon, and Pedro Ximinez sherry casks, this whisky is deep and rich, taking an almost rum like quality with strong espresso. Forest fruits, dark berries, glazed cherries, dark chocolate and treacle flood the palate. A beautiful dram.
Back at an old favourite! NOLA did pretty well last LCW with Chris Dennis at the helm, and this year, the New Orleans legend Chris Hannah designed the Creole Muse for the NOLA’s own bartenders to prepare.
Havana Club 7 year rum, absinthe, agave, strawberry puree, lime creates a sweet and sour cocktail that begins with the lime, moving on to the strawberry’s sweetness for a long moment, before bringing out the toffee and coffee bean of the rum – ending with a strong absinthe knock.
Personally I’d add a lime peel to the rim to help neutralise the strongly anise nose – and the debate over this drink kicked off at the table – one loved it, one wanted to replace absinthe with Green Chartreuse, one though maybe a touch less absinthe would do it, maybe just a rinse. This twisted strawberry daiquiri will split the group into a debate. Trying it without the absinthe, it lacks dimension, so the bitter note is necessary.
Because a night always ends at Casita.
The LCW offering being a Paloma (Ocho Tequila, lime juice, agave, Ting, pink grapefruit – a citrus, light on the tequila cocktail strong on the grapefruit and Ting) is a classic at Casita that will always be around, the Hoodooist was tempted away to try the one-day menu by the bartenders of the Ibiza Hidden Bar instead.
The Tommy gets Spicy gives us Tequila Cabeza, raspberry, agave syrup, lime, tabasco – this beautiful red cocktail begins with a mineral hit of the Cabeza, followed instantly by the tobasco spice transitioning into the sweetness of the fresh raspberry.
There is a reason the Hoodooist loves this bar.
Thing’s are a bit blurry here on out.
“I could try to write this now, or I could binge-watch Rick and Morty.”
Alright! That’s our recap of Day Two of London Cocktail Week 2015! I do hope it may have helped you one way or the other, dear readers, on our quest through the most magical week of the year.
Remember to check out Highball Hoodoo every morning of London Cocktail Week for more reviews of the LCW cocktail offerings, parties and events!
Get #YourDailyDoseOfHoodoo each morning from 5th to 11th October!
*Tune in tomorrow for our coverage of Mayfair and Marylebone!*