Cocktails in the City 2017 Spring Edition

Once again, Cocktails in the City is coming into serve thirsty Londoners some of the best cocktails in the city!

Oh wait, I just got the name.

Yes, CitC 2017’s Spring Edition is a bringing 25 bars representing several spirit brands together under the sunny skies at One Marylebone where the  festival-goers will get a chance to enjoy bars from around the city coming together in one gorgeous location on March 30th-April 1st.

Bars and a representing brand set up stalls where bartenders presented the brand in a cocktail of their devising to the public for judging, with scores gathered at the end of the weekend.

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“Mixing together interactive and diverse drinking experiences, Cocktails in the City takes guests on a whirlwind tour of cocktail exploration. Sip on signature serves and taste-test exceptional concoctions from a handpicked selection of bars from all over the world, including four time winner of world’s best bar The Artesian, new openings such as Soho member’s bar Disrepute, concealed drinking dens London Cocktail Club and Reverend JW Simpson, neighbourhood favourites Three Six Six and The Walrus Room and international bars flying in from Berlin and Scandinavia.

Discover new bars and spirits in the sweeping Grand Hall, blend your own bespoke gin with London microdistillery Sacred in the enchanted garden, shake up a storm with the city’s finest bartenders, or learn to create the ultimate Rum Punch with The Duppy Share at this immersive weekend-long cocktail party.

This year, Cocktails in the City is excited to play host to three Nordic bars from Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm. In collaboration with Woodford Reserve, these three bars will bring their sought after ‘Hygge’ drinking experience to London for one weekend only, creating a trio of beautiful Scandinavian inspired pop-up bars on the 2nd floor of One Marylebone.

Cocktails in the City takes guests on a sensory tour through London’s drinks scene in one night, without even having to leave the building.”

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Keep an eye out for natural, foraged flavours, healthy green cocktails, and the return of retro cocktails!

Some favourites from years past include:

The Looking Glass Cocktail Club, Shoreditch – harking back to Maker’s Mark’s history as breadmakers, this cocktail is inspired by Italy’s sweet panettone bread loaf and it’s potent almond flavour.

The Maker’s Baker cocktail mixes Maker’s Mark whiskey, cider reduction with winter spice, Americano vermouth, ‘Liquid Panettone’, and Sinner Bitters. A sweet wintery Manhattan with heavy mix of cinnamon, nutmeg and spices, with lingering almond certainly took centre stage with it’s innovative homemade creations of ‘liquid panettone’ and spiced cider reduction.

Other cocktails presented by LGCC included the Honey Loaf, and Fig Muffin – each an excellent rendition on the baker/distiller theme.

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Fifteen, Old Street, came in with another winner! Inspired by Wimbledon’s classic, the Strawberries and Cream.

Inspired by Behn’s Milk Punch, this summery cocktail gets a 300 year update and is a massive mix of Langley’s gin, strawberries, whole milk, Dolin dry vermouth, coconut water, green tea, lemon juice and peels, sugar, pink peppercorns, tarragon and coriander seeds.

And what a fabulous mix it is!

A wonderful well balanced, silky cocktail, sweet without being overbearing and mellowed by the fruit and spices. Absolutely fantastic.

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Another great cocktails from CITC’s past is the the Reverend JW Simpson with their Larder Batch: Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon, Pinot Noir and pink peppercorn reduction, cardamom bitters and angostura bitters; with a steak accompaniment. In terms of presentation, it stuck with the theme of the bar and the Four Roses bourbon, and the service was conversational, fun, and effervescent like the event itself. The accompaniment suited both the intense aspects of the drink, the bourbon, and Pinot Noir/pink peppercorn reduction – here the Reverend presents us with a steak dinner in a cocktail format and a nibble; the natural spiciness of the Four Roses Small Batch, and that of the peppercorn and cardamom suits the steak perfectly. The Reverend excelled on all fronts and more.

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So if you love your cocktails, get yourself a ticket asap, and see you at Cocktails ion the City 2017!

One Marylebone, 1 Marylebone Road, NW1 4AQ

Thursday 30th, Friday 31st March and Saturday 1st April, from 6 – 11.30pm

Tickets are priced at £15 and include a cocktail.

http://www.cocktailsinthecity.com

 

The Spirit of Sharing 2017, @ The Embassy of Ireland

Some of you might be gearing up for the craziness of this year’s St. Paddy’s Day (cough Sun Tavern), but whether or not you’re still wearing (feeling) green (or still pretending to be Irish), this year’s explosion of Irish whiskeys and poitins onto the London cocktail scene is making some of the Scots lowkey panic.

As for the English whisky distilleries..Well. Um.

Anyway.

We now enter the ballroom of the Irish Embassy, South Ken, where the Bord Bia Irish food board and brought in some of the biggest, and growing, names in Irish spirits to taste, in the company of fab bartenders from Loves Company and LCC!

Ireland Irish London Spirit of Sharing Stout Cocktails Whiskey Poitin

Let’s have a stroll and look at some of the outstanding spirits we have on show today!

Before the whiskey classics, let’s get on to whiskey’s ancient ancestor and fairly recent and exciting on the London scene – the potent Poitin has been released after its four century long ban from 1997.

Ireland Irish London Spirit of Sharing Stout Cocktails Whiskey Poitin

The Glendalough Sherry Cask Poitin – Picture courtesy of: http://www.glendaloughdistillery.com

Stored in virgin Irish Oak, the Glendalough Poitin range provides variety.

The standard Glendalough Poitin comes with a similar bread palate, with pepper and oak, with a subtle creaminess. The (wonderful!) Sherry Cask Finished Poitin has a beautiful nose of orange and spicy sweetness, a toasty palate of fruit and spice, and long sherry finish. Finally, the Mountain Strength is bold with barley, fruit and oak. Spectacular stuff.

Ireland Irish London Spirit of Sharing Stout Cocktails Whiskey Poitin

On the note of strong drops, St. Patrick’s Distillery Moonshine will put a bit of pep in your step.
How about something a little different? We’re seeing a lot of gin from Ireland, and one of the more intriguing ones is Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin: A bright citrus of lime and lemon before giving way to deeper spices and the characteristic gunpowder tea. Great if you like your gins spicy without getting too Opihr-esque.

 

Ireland Irish London Spirit of Sharing Stout Cocktails Whiskey Poitin

The blurry Teeling Trio

Of course Teeling is here!

We know the Single Malt: Light, peppery, cinnamon – peppered with floral notes. The Single Grain is more adventurous: Be ready for cereal flavours with spice and treacle, custard plays around here too. A spry spirit, that. Finally, the gorgeous Small Batch: rich with floral notes, spiced with cinnamon and other herbs, a creamy creme brulee at the end. Wonderful and flamboyant.

Ireland Irish London Spirit of Sharing Stout Cocktails Whiskey Poitin

On whiskeys, got to give a second to Hyde’s 1922 Rum Finish Single Malt – the rum cask gives this whiskey a twist with tropical fruit, and stronger vanilla notes.

Ireland Irish London Spirit of Sharing Stout Cocktails Whiskey Poitin

The Dublin Liberties Oak Devil – Picture courtesy of: http://www.marblehead.uk.com/

They say an oak-carved devil stood over the gates of a place nicknamed Hell in the Liberties of Dublin. They also say that oak was soon used for whiskey barrels – explaining the name of The Dublin Liberties‘s whiskey: Oak Devil. Expect a lot of caramel, spice and pepper, followed by warm winter notes of Christmas. Love this little tipple.

Ireland Irish London Spirit of Sharing Stout Cocktails Whiskey Poitin

Let’s end the night with Harry Gerakis’ gorgeous customised cocktail! A mix of Dubliner whiskey, Angostura Orange bitters, ginger syrup and chilli tincture: a sweet, deep, spicy and rich concoction made the perfect nightcap.

Get yourselves ready for St. Patrick’s day!

Pitch Black

“The 90-minute blind tasting will see guests sip on a pre-set selection of 5 libations.  Consisting of bubbles on arrival, 2 mouth-watering cocktails, an amuse bouche to cleanse the palate, followed by 2 aromatic wines, to be imbibed in absolute darkness.”

‘Blind tasting’ taken to its literal and logical conclusion means drinking in a subterranean room on City Road in complete darkness – have to admit, I was curious, and found myself learning a lot in the process!

Pitch Black cocktails blind tasting

The cocktails and wines will change week to week throughout its run November and December 2016, and is an excellent learning experience for drinks novices and experts alike.

Led down a stairway into a cosy room, we rest on the banquettes as the 8 of us get to know each other – but as the lights dim and eventually go dark, we find inhibitions dissolving and conversations with the others in the room enlivening.

To be fair, the drinks probably helped too.

Novices will get a chance to pay closer attention to finer details like nose, flavour, and mouthfeel, whereas experts will find themselves approaching some well known classics with a renewed appreciation for the drink.

Cocktails and wines will be served, with no hint as to what they are, as participants explore the drinks and discuss flavour and ideas. At the end of each session the drinks are revealed and explained in further detail to surprise.

A Breakfast Martini can have some surprisingly herbal flavours in the dark, and a Pisco Sour a spicier nose than one first thought. An amuse bouche to be enjoyed before moving onto the wines: a naturally sweet Riesling and a devious blend of reds, before a final glass of bubbly to enjoy.

Pitch Black does exactly what it says on the tin, and is well worth the experience. Darkness heightens not only the senses, but the social aspect of the evening, and will be educational to all participants of any level of expertise. I highly suggest you sign up for a fun evening with friends, entertaining parents, or a date, for something just a little bit different.

Tickets cost £48 per head and can be purchased at: http://pitchblackbar.com/

London Cocktail Week ’16: Soho!

Welcome one and all to the recap of the first day of London Cocktail Week 2016! 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 ’16.

Today we look at October 4th: Where the Hoodooist tackled Soho!

We got to admit, everyone’s upped their game. This might be the first time the Hoodooist enjoyed every single drink he drank. Hell.

London Cocktail Week 2016

Jinjuu’s Kimchi Bloody Mary!

1PM:

Jinjuu’s Korean Sip n Snack was perfect to start the afternoon after the Whisky Show the night before!

14 pounds gets you a plate of fried chicken with a pair of delicious Jinjuu sauces, and cocktail:

The Kimchi Bloody Mary fancies up the classic hair of the dog with kimchi, sriracha sauce, celery and black pepper infused soju, topped up with fresh tomato juice. Tall and spicy, the cocktail is light, beginning with the salty-sour kimchi juice, immediately moving to the spicy sriracha, finally ending with notes of black pepper soju, all the while riding a wave of tomato juice. Needed that.

A short walk away, we’re down at MASH!

London Cocktail Week 2016

MASH’s Punch the Buffalo

2.30PM:

Everyone knows the Hoodooist loves MASH.

Steve and the boys in this subterranean hideaway do love their Buffalo Trace, and this year they’re going to Punch the Buffalo, by mixing up Buffalo Trace Bourbon, La Concha sherry, lemon juice, maple syrup and cardamom bitters.

Reasons to love this drink: You taste every single flavour in perfect harmony. No confusion, no ingredient trying to outperform the others. First the initial sweetness of wheat from the bourbon, followed by the maple’s own unique sweetness. After the sherry’s dryness and cardamom that lifts it up, ending with the bourbon’s vanilla length. Spectacular job.

London Cocktail Week 2016

Milroy’s of Soho’s Hebrides and Ivory

3.30PM:

And here we are at Milroy’s of Soho!

A whisky lover’s home away from home, MoS is not kidding around with this year’s offering. Short, heavy, uncompromising.

The Hebrides and Ivory (yes, ouch) does…harmonise fantastically (sorry). Truly, this drink immediately screams out to me with the unique mix of Kilchoman Machir Bay scotch, Dolin Coeur de Genepi, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, and hopped grapefruit bitters. This almost velvety cocktail is strong as all hell. Just the way I like it.

Take your time with a book and the shop’s puppy while sipping this, beginning with hints of grapefruit and the powerfully nutty and peaty whisky – sweet and medicinal – the flavours give way to the elderflower that manages to not be cloying. The wormwood (light and fragrant) comes in next, balancing the flavours, ending on a short length of more grapefruit.

If you are not familiar with Dolin’s Coeur de Genepi, it’s because this bar pretty much bought the UK’s entire stock. Highly recommend trying this cocktail to become acquainted with it!

Sweet tooths, beware.

London Cocktail Week 2016

Tredwell’s A Feather in the Cap!

 

5PM:

Walking down closer to Covent Garden, the Hoodooist finds himself at Tredwell’s Saint Martin’s Lane for the Feather in the Cap!

Frapin VSOP cognac meets apricot and fig liqueur, manzanilla sherry and Grand Marnier. This rather viscous cocktail unfortunately tends to drown out the fruity spiciness of the cognac a bit, but nothing a little bit of alteration with the liqueurs can’t solve!

The initial cognac hit moves into the lightness of the sherry, then to the apricot – ending on a length of figs and Grand Marnier. For the sweeter tooth, this is a wonderful cocktail timed with the fig season.

London Cocktail Week 2016

Talli Joe’s Nizam’s Punch!

6PM:

The last stop of the night was the most surprising – and might be for the rest of the week!

Recently opened Talli Joe just won their first Michelin Star only days ago, and by the looks of this cocktail, they well deserve it.

The sip and snack (8 quid) pairs charminar chana jor garam black gram crisps with Nizam’s Punch: Bacardi 8 Rum with lime, turmeric honey syrup, biryani oil and Fever Tree tonic water.

I had no idea what to expect here. And it was wonderful. Turmeric begins and releases the intense spice of the biryani oil, followed by honey. Rum and tonic make their entrace, ending with the biryani spice. It is far more approachable than it might sound, and is a must-try this London Cocktail Week!

 

This day in Soho has served up a lot of unique and successful cocktails: Jinjuu gave us salty and sour – it’s spice also showing up with Talli Joe‘s unique concoction. Whiskey shows us it’s versatility with the sweeter production by MASH and the smoky challenger from Milroy’s. Finally, sweetness is not ignored by Tredwell’s seasonal cocktail.

Alright! That’s our recap of Soho of London Cocktail Week 2016! 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 4th to 9th October!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome the Night Tube!

So the Night Tube starts tonight!

You’re preparing your clubbing plans across London as the 24 hour Central and Victoria lines come to life tonight, how about some words on late night food and cocktail bars around the city to indulge in before drunkenly stumbling into Vauxhall at 3AM?

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City of London:

A short walk from Chancery Lane station, it’s the last week to enjoy the successful Game of Thrones menu for the fans here at Bird of Smithfield, so enjoy some seasonal British fare and five floors of dining and boozing till midnight tonight before just crossing the street to Oriole. The critically acclaimed bar, open till 2AM, boasts a massive collection of sophisticated and unique cocktails with a tropical jungle theme. A relaxed venue, studded with international treasures comes to life with a live band and a Saligo Bay (Bruichladdich, baked oat syrup, peated barley, green walnut liqueur, peat dust) in hand.

Bird of Smithfield Game of Thrones

Bird of Smithfield’s Dragon Egg Salad

Or, hop further East at Liverpool Street to pop into the 24 hour Duck and Waffle before a short jaunt to Black Rock Whisky Bar across from sister cocktail bar, the Worship Street Whistling Shop for 2AM tipples.

The Nutella Negroni

Duck and Waffle’s Nutella Negroni

Central London

There is no shortage of late night venues in London’s never-sleeping beating heart.

Meaty late night bar snacks and sensational cocktails to be found in the red arena of MASH Steak (or both, in the Mexican Smuggler cocktail)

MASH Soho London Cocktail Bar

MASH’s Mexican Smuggler

Not far, there is the enormous subterranean Brasserie Zedel, which will be serving French fare till midnight, whose Bar Americain will be open till 1AM for cocktails in a snug Art Deco setting.

Soho is still up late, with celebrated cocktail bars like the spectacular El Camion dishing out the tequila till 3AM, and Balans still going strong at 6AM. A midnight meal of Korexican can be had at Bo Drake, before a little bit of everything and a dance at 100 Wardour St till 2AM!

Bo Drake's Bo Ssam and Brisket Bao

Bo Drake’s Bo Ssam and Brisket Bao

After some late night Chinese, there is always Opium Chinatown serving up dim sum and cocktail till 3AM. And something closer to the theme, Cahoots cocktail bar will be shelling (sorry) out the cocktails in a 1940s style tube carriage of a bar!

Opium's 'Born on the Baijiu'

Opium’s ‘Born on the Baijiu’

East London

If you’re willing to walk a little further to Shoreditch, the amazing NOLA is open late till 3AM for one of their award-winning Sazeracs.

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If not, hop on the Central for a 4 course midnight dinner at Sager+Wilde Paradise Row, before hopping over to Peg+Patriot for some seriously experimental cocktails.

The excellent Sun Tavern – tonight open till 2AM! Serving free oysters and 5 pound Poitin Boilermakers, you can’t miss this. And PS: keep the receipt and hop on the Central to Liverpool St after. Until 2AM, Discount Suit Co. will be giving 50% off your tab if you are carrying your receipt from the Sun Tavern!

Discount Suit Company London cocktails Aldgate

DSC’s Royal Rhubarb

West London

Notting Hill is the place to be for Central line late – pop by the legendary Trailer Happiness for 1AM shenanigans fueled by copious amounts of rum, or at the Little Yellow Door, serving up American fare till 1!

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Trailer Happiness

North London

Highbury and Islington‘s got some late night fun – the recently opened Little Bat Bar – sister to the famed Callooh Callay, will be serving up dinner and drinks till 1AM tonight, and after pop down to The Doll’s House for late night live music and carousing till 4AM!

Dolls House Islington Negroni

The Doll’s House Negroni

Or, grab a late night biryani at the King’s Cross St. Pancras Dishoom before 1AM cocktails at the Pancras Hotel, or Shaker & Co. at Euston/WarrenSt!

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Sonia’s Negroni at Dishoom

South London

Brixton has exploded in popularity, and isn’t lacking in late night venues from late nights. Three Eight Four, who serve up a mean Brooklyn and Smoked Manhattan go on past midnight, or run under the arches to cocktails at Ekcovision till 4AM!

If you’re looking for a quieter night out, find yourself sampling unique and experimental cocktails over dinner at the hidden away  Shrub and Shutter till 3AM!

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Three Eight Four Brixton

 

 

And that’s just the Central and Victoria lines! Travel safe, and for god’s sake don’t lose your Oyster card.

All info on the Night Tube can be found at the TFL website.

Cocktails in the City Summer 2016 Preview!

Once again, Cocktails in the City is coming into serve thirsty Londoners some of the best cocktails in the city!

Oh wait, I just got the name.

Yes, CitC’s Summer Edition is a bringing 23 bars representing several spirit brands together under the sunny skies at Bedford Square Gardens where the sun beaten festival-goers will get a chance to enjoy bars from around the city coming together in one gorgeous location on July 29th and 30th 2016.

Bars and a representing brand set up stalls where bartenders presented the brand in a cocktail of their devising to the public for judging, with scores gathered at the end of the weekend.

A press preview gave the Hoodooist a chance to try a few of the cocktails out: so we’re gonna look at the cocktails that stood out of the previewed 10!

Cocktails in the City London summer cocktail bar

The Microlight, by the Looking Glass Cocktail Club

 

The Looking Glass Cocktail Club, Hoxton – who stunned us at the winter Cocktails in the City this year with their Maker’s Mark stand with a menu inspired by the whiskey’s baking heritage – is back with the incredible Microlight.

Aviation Gin is mixed with a host of the bar’s own creations in their Reina Lab: Mastrostefano vermouth (no added sugar), Tonic Syrup, Campi Elisi Creme de Aquavit, Ada’s lavender bitters and grapefruit bitters.

What a fabulous cocktail! How does one describe this? It’s like several classic gin cocktails rolled into one neat Martini-esque package. Aromatic, floral and subtly spicy, here was the Hoodooist’s personal favourite of the night.

It might not be keeping with the general theme of bright, sweet and seasonal cocktails with the trendy use of gooseberry, vegetables, or strawberries, but this sophisticated tipple is perfect for lounging on a sunbed.

Cocktails in the City London summer cocktail bar

Strawberries and Cream, by Fifteen

 

Fifteen, Old Street, came in with another winner! Inspired by Wimbledon’s classic, the Strawberries and Cream.

Inspired by Behn’s Milk Punch, this summery cocktail gets a 300 year update and is a massive mix of Langley’s gin, strawberries, whole milk, Dolin dry vermouth, coconut water, green tea, lemon juice and peels, sugar, pink peppercorns, tarragon and coriander seeds.

And what a fabulous mix it is!

A wonderful well balanced, silky cocktail, sweet without being overbearing and mellowed by the fruit and spices. Absolutely fantastic.

Cocktails in the City London summer cocktail bar

The Soho Soda, by Graphic Bar

Graphic Bar, Soho, came in with something much more traditional and evocative of the early summer’s affair with Aperol.

The Soho Soda mixed Hayman’s Gin with Cocchi Torino, Fraise des Bois, Angostura and grapefruit bitters, topped up with Prosecco. A light, bittersweet cocktail as the perfect refresher in this intense heat.

Simple, elegant, gets the job done. Love it.

Cocktails in the City London summer cocktail bar

Chocolate Brioche French Martini, by First Aid Box

First Aid Box from Herne Hill gives us the Chocolate Brioche French Martini!

Definitely a crowd-pleaser, we have a classic French Martini: Vodka with pineapple juice, lemon and cherry bitters – with the added fun of chocolate chip brioche!

Citrusy sweetness with a hint of tart excellent for the summer.

And a little snack in case you have few too many.

Cocktails in the City London summer cocktail bar

The Mayflower Collins, by Powder Keg Diplomacy

Finally, another interesting cocktail was the Mayflower Collins by Powder Keg Diplomacy.

A mix of Plymouth Gin, gooseberry and samphire cordial with an absinthe wash makes this a refreshingly different cocktail by going for a bit of salt and savoury instead of fruit and sweet.

The on trend gooseberry and beachside samphire are powerful flavours, hence the few ingredients, and as much as I enjoyed the first bit of the cocktail, being as different as it is, it became increasingly difficult to drink with time. Certainly better as a short drink than a long one.13501739_10154317466344559_3579539051248160301_n

 

Among a whole of host of fantastic cocktails, this year’s Cocktails in the City is set to astound once again!

Bourne and Hollingsworth (Here, here, and here) will be performing the Spirited Sermon masterclasses through the day by some of London’s best and brightest, as food by Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen is provided. Expect live musical performances and even an interactive escape game that needs you to jump down the rabbit hole, cocktail in hand.

And hopefully this time the Hoodooist won’t have as much trouble being carried back to the nearest Uber.

See you at Bedford Square Gardens!

 

Cocktails in the City Summer Edition 

July 29th-30th 2016

Tickets: 15 GBP

http://www.cocktailsinthecity.co.uk/londonsummer/

 

 

The Negroni Bar Pop Up @ Red Gallery, Shoreditch

It’s here!

We all heard it was the year of the aperitif, and drinks like the Negroni have gathered steam incredibly swiftly in the past few years. Many bars could testify that they fly off the shelves, and with that, Campari has brought London a pop up bar with the largest selection of Negronis in the world!

A celebration of Campari and the iconic cocktail, the #RediscoverRed Negroni Bar has taken over the Shoreditch Red Gallery from the 11th to 21st May 2016! 30 Negroni twists prepared by bars from across the globe have all come down to London for this week. And that’s not all, a selection of East London legends from Happiness Forgets to Casita will be serving their own twists at their own venues for Negroni Week.

Red Gallery RediscoverRed Campari Negroni Bar

Boozy history lesson (at least one that the Hoodooist picked up along the way, and with alcohol – who the hell actually fact checks these things): the Bitter Florio that would inspire Campari was invented not far from the Targa Florio race track by the Sicilian Florio family – the original recipe being basically spices and herbs, cochineal beetles for colour, a touch of water, and well. Race car fuel.

Because apparently drinking fuel in the middle of the race was kinda dangerous and the drivers were up for something that tasted less like certain death.

You can see why I love Sicily, yes?

Red Gallery RediscoverRed Campari Negroni Bar

The smoky venue is absolutely smothered with gorgeous artwork celebrating Campari’s rich heritage, ads and posters from across the 20th Century are filled with tales that the staff can fill you in on. Be smart and grab a seat at the bar because this place is gonna get rammed.

Having prepared ourselves for the massive list, we went for a couple of similar twists that both used one of the Hoodooist’s favourite ingredients: Cynar artichoke bitter.

 

Red Gallery RediscoverRed Campari Negroni Bar

Round 1!

It’s 6PM, our chats with Ben from Casita is taking us through the menu, and we already know what we want:

The Harbord Room, Toronto brought in The Bittersweet Melodies – Campari, Cinzano Bianco vermouth, Cynar, Bulldog gin and orange bitters for a classic dry Negroni with the rounded smoothness of the Cynar, along with its slightly smoky, savoury flavour – a fun and classic twist to the classic cocktail, and a good one to lead with. A fab choice, highly recommended.

Up against it, Knokke’s The Pharmacy brings in The Belgian – which doesn’t sound very, well, Belgian. Campari, Appleton Estate rum, Cinzano Rosso vermouth and beloved Cynar. Bit on the sweet side, flavour notes are slightly conflicted, spices and treacle. It is still a decent drink, but when set up against The Bittersweet Melodies in the same round, pales.

Red Gallery RediscoverRed Campari Negroni Bar

The Sao Paulo!

Round 2!

Harry and Jay of Loves Company are here! Which basically means we’re already throwing back whiskey. Already seeing tomorrow’s forecast

The Sao Paulo versus the Mezcal and Hum!

The Sao Paulo is actually the booziest one of the night, but you wouldn’t tell it!

I myself still need to be sold on coffee cocktails, but if they’re your style, then the smooth and long Sao Paulo will provide you with a sweet mix of Campari, Aperol, Vermouth, Gin and coffee. The sweet flavours really stand out, quite surprisingly – fruit from the Aperol and vermouth simmer as the coffee dominates the orange citrus cocktail.

And then there’s the Mezcal and Hum Negroni. Muscling in with powerful flavours inspired by the home of their bar, the Manhattan in Singapore, Campari meets Mancino Rosso vermouth, Alipus Baltazar mezcal, and the Hum liqueur made from hibiscus, ginger, kaffir lime and cardamom. A complex, dry and seductive cocktail, powerfully smoky, with spicy sweet notes from the mezcal pepperiness, hibiscus and vermouth – matched by the citrus herbal notes of the kaffir, ending on a finish of ginger and cardamom.

Love. Love. Love. This. Cocktail.

Red Gallery RediscoverRed Campari Negroni Bar

The Mezcalito, and The Morocco!

Round 3!

Chats with the ambassador of Aperol after spraying him with soda at the Aperol Terrazza in Smithfield is always a pleasure – should be because you got to respect anyone who makes Aperol Spritzes blindfolded (yes, really).

The Mezcalito by Mauro’s Negroni Club Munich brings some ingredients I love together: Campari, Cinzano 1757 vermouth, mezcal and Cynar, and yet…. Somehow it doesn’t quite stand up to the Mezcal and Hum.

Maybe it is clashing flavours. Maybe the black salt and cinnamon rim is just a bit too much (which it definitely is). I really wanted to enjoy this, but sadly, sometimes mixing things you love to together doesn’t work out. Like turducken?

The Morocco came all the way from the Mai Thai bar in Marrakech! Campari, Bulldog gin, Cinzano Rosso vermouth, peach liqueur with a garnish of date and rose petals.

All I could taste was peach.

Draw? Draw.

Red Gallery RediscoverRed Campari Negroni Bar portside parlour

PortSide Parlour’s Vintage Negroni, and Vin Tonique!

Round 4!

 

Alright, we have wandered from the wonderful Negroni Bar to PortSide Parlour on Rivington for their Negroni Week specials – it’s the Vin Tonique against the (insider’s tip, ssh): Vintage Negroni!

Alright, the Vin Tonique, we have Campari, Plantation 3* rum, Byrrh, absinthe, and Angostura bitters. Hm. I will be honest here, it’s sweet and powerfully herbal and though my friend enjoyed this, I couldn’t help but think of mouthwash. Perhaps either the Byrrh or absinthe tipped it over here, and wonder what it would be like without one of them.

The Vintage Negroni is…is honeyed hedonism. Bottles of Campari, Martini Rosso vermouth, and Plymouth gin from the 1980s are mixed to prepare a classic Negroni – with all the flavours you love with an added aged roundedness and sweetness. Powerful honey finishes made this a drink I absolutely adore. An absolute must try.

Red Gallery RediscoverRed Campari Negroni Bar Casita

Casita’s Red Rosita!

And where else does a night end?!

Casita has us again, with their obscenely well-priced Red Rosita: Campari, El Jimador Reposado tequila, Antica Formula vermouth, and a Grenache/Syrah blend for a smooth, long cocktail with bite. Complexity from the wine, the winter fruit warmth of the Antica, the peppery naughtiness of the El Jimador, and of course – the bitter Campari – all make for a wonderful combo.

A great way to end the evening.

 

Negroni Week is an amazing opportunity to witness how London and the world interpret the classic legendary cocktail that is the Negroni, and the Campari’s Negroni Bar is the way to do it! A casual, fun atmosphere and banging drinks makes this a pop up this spring that you do not want to miss.

So go ahead, and #RediscoverRed.

Salute!

The Negroni Bar @ The Red Gallery
11th – 21st May

1-3 Rivington St, Shoreditch
London EC2A 3DT

http://rediscover.red/