Okay, Apples and Pears wins point for atmosphere: after admiring the artwork, the Hoodooist and co just became drunkenly absorbed into the classic Tom & Jerry and Merrie Melodies cartoons on the big screen. Because why the hell not.
And if that brilliant perk didn’t win you over, this dim lit local’s vibe is powered by its wide range of beats and live acoustic sessions through the week.
And as Rory serenaded us, we decided to tackle some of the newest menu!
The Buttered Pop-Fashioned finds Buttered Popcorn Infused Knob Creek mixed in with maple syrup, sea salt, and Amargo Chuncho bitters for a sweet twist on the classic.
This was….curious. Served with a side of popcorn, which I hoped would balance the flavours a bit, we found that the wonderful array of flavours were drowned out by the screaming maple syrup.
Only in the distance could a vague flavour of sea salt or the warm spices of Amargo Chuncho be heard. After a third of the glass, the drink was entirely too sweet and syrupy to finish. A nice kick from the whiskey was one perk.
Using the perfect-for-a-Pickleback Tincup whiskey, the Tincup Rocky mixes in fig liqueur, lemon and black pepper sherbet, cloudy lemonade, and bitters.
An interesting combo of flavours that all have a part to play, but one disappointment here: If you didn’t tell me what spirit was in here – I’d never know. I always imagine cocktails to ride on the flavour of the spirit, for the alcohol to do the heavy lifting. But here, it’s spicy lemonade with what could be anything, vodka, light rum, who knows.
Personally, with the enthusiasm Apples and Pears has for Boilermakers, I’d like to see a unique whiskey like Tincup used for something like a Pickleback or other American style whiskey classics.
But don’t worry, it gets better here on out!
Now we’re cooking with gas!
The New Spanish Sour and Cool Kyuriosity highlight the potential of Apples and Pears, and hopefully signals the line the bar’s cocktail style will follow in future.
The Cool Kyuriosity is something the Hoodooist wouldn’t have tried if a friend hadn’t ordered it – yes, there is hope for Midori yet.
Square One Cucumber vodka, Midori, cucumber, wasabi syrup, lime, and celery bitters – garnished with honeydew melon drizzled with sesame, creates a smooth, cool cocktail perfect for summer.
After a hit of the Midori, the cucumber sashays in, ending with citrus and a delicate, effervescent burn to the throat with the wasabi. A real step up from the last two cocktails.
The New Spanish Sour is modern, sexy, and puts a real fire in the belly. It’s Bizet in a glass. Bruxo No.1 Mezcal simmers with Ancho Reyes liqueur, Rubis Chocolate red wine, lime, and chilli bitters.
The cocoa port settles to the bottom of the glass, to be stirred up with your provided chilli, if you so wish. The powerfully smoky Bruxo No.1 with its pepper and cinnamon finish dominate the drink, anchored by the sweet port, and the Ancho Reyes with its tamarind and dark fruit flavours that provide such depth.
Here, we have a winner.
This laid back bar is confident, and has shown real promise for a developing cocktail list – if it is willing to itself have more confidence in the spirits used, and less on miscellany. A fun atmosphere, beautiful music, a unique style, and the wonderful Kim and bartenders running the show means this is a fab spot for a one-on-one with some live tunes.
Pick your drinks with your gut, keep an eye out to make sure the ingredients don’t swing too far from the spirit base, so you know you’ve got yourself a cocky cocktail – one that this spirited little venue deserves.
Apples and Pears
26 Osborn St, Whitechapel
London E1 6TD