La Terraza Pop Up @ Number 90 Bar, Hackney Wick

Type of Bar: Pop Up, Local, Terrace
Damage££
Ideal for: Small Groups, Food, Tequila

 

This canal-side bar in Hackney takes you to Mexico for the summer!

Number 90 Bar’s Terraza serves up Mexican food from chicken tostadas, to veggie quesadillas, to tacos chilli con carne to go with your passionfruit or strawberry frozen Margaritas or Tequila Old Fashioneds along with a series of events to keep you entertained in the sun.

La Terraza Number 90 Bar cocktails summer pop up

Whether it’s yoga sessions, Hackney’s biggest DJs, or cinema screenings and bottemless Tommy’s Margaritas to prep you for cricket eating competitions, there’s something on every night for the locals of Hackney Wick this summer!

La Terraza Number 90 Bar cocktails summer pop up

From the flavoured frozen Margaritas to beat the heat, the Hoodooist went on to the Tequila Old Fashioned using Herradura Anejo –  a tequila with bright agave and more fruit than caramel, with a spicy cinnamon finish and light oaky length, it makes a great intro to Tequila Old Fashioneds.

The food is exactly what you’d expect and fits the theme, with mains at an affordable 5 quid to enjoy al fresco on a beautiful canal in the sun.

La Terraza Number 90 Bar cocktails summer pop up

Whereas the drinks menu works for an afternoon of lounging in the heat, I would’ve liked to see a greater variety of tequilas instead of the two brands provided, as good as El Jimador and Herradura are.

Until then, I’m gonna get myself another Margarita and get ready for the Summer Screens at La Terraza.

Drinks: ***
Atmosphere: ***
Service: ***


La Terraza Pop Up @ Number 90 Bar

90 Wallis Rd, Hackney Wick,
London E9 5LN

http://number90bar.co.uk/

Advertisements

Palm Club Pop Up, Dalston

Type of Bar: Pop Up, Local, Tiki
Damage£
Ideal for: Date, Small Groups 

Beachy cocktails, Kona Beer, and Tiki vibes is what’s promised at Dalton’s latest pop up bar!

Palm Club Dalston Pop Up Cocktail Bar London

A 10 second walk from Dalston Kingsland station, Palm Club Dalston will be serving up cocktails and a chilled out, funky atmosphere with your wonderful hosts Kelly and Bethan!

A design that is somehow Hawaii meets Berlin, the home-crafted venue is perfectly for lying back and chilling out with the selection of cocktails on menu.

Palm Club Dalston Pop Up Cocktail Bar London

The Kon-Tea-Ki!

The Kon-Tea-Ki mixes dark rum, cold brewed lapsang souchong tea with lemon, served on the rocks. A long citrusy cocktail with rum spice is balanced against the depth and warmth of the tea. A wonderful cocktail on its own, the Hoodooist would have preferred a little less lemon – but that is just a personal thought, since the cocktail does the job as is.

Palm Club Dalston Pop Up Cocktail Bar London

The rest of menu does lean more to the sweeter tooth.

Next we have a classic Mai Tai: Dark and white rum, orgeat, triple sec, lime and pineapple. We all know our Mai Tai’s marzipan sweetness with citrus zing and tropical pineapple for those moments we need to forget the bustle of the big smoke.

The rest of the menu serves up a Pina Colada, Frozen Watermelon Margarita, and a double G&T.

The Palm Club pop up is a fun stop to pop by next you’re in Dalston – whether for one of their workshops (like learning how to make rings!) or just to chill, or even enjoy their sparkler studded birthday cocktail. Stop by and say hi!

Palm Club is open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening from 6.30pm – late until the 2nd July 2016. That’s 4 more weekends to lap up some tropical vibes!

 

Drinks: ** – ***
Atmosphere: ****
Service: ****

Palm Club Dalston

14 Bradbury Street, Dalston
London N16 8JN

http://www.palmclub.co.uk/

Apples & Pears, Whitechapel

Type of Bar: Live Music, Local
Damage££
Ideal for: DateSmall Groups, CARTOONS

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!

 

apples and pears london bar shoreditch cocktails

The Buttered Pop-Fashioned

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.

 

apples and pears london bar shoreditch cocktails

The Tincup Rocky

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!

apples and pears london bar shoreditch cocktails

L-R: The New Spanish Sour, and the Cool Kyuriosity

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.

Drinks: ***
Atmosphere: ***
Service: ***

Apples and Pears

26 Osborn St, Whitechapel
London E1 6TD

http://www.applesandpearsbar.com/

Brahms and Liszt, Homerton *XMAS EDITION*

Type of Bar: Local, Shop / Off License
Damage£ – ££
Ideal For: Date, Small Groups

 

No small secret that QuiQuiRiQui Mezcal ranks up in one of the Hoodooist’s favourites, and the good news is, the brains behind the QQRQ outfit, Melanie Symonds, is now running the Brahms & Liszt Off License and Tasting Room that revolutionises the off license and liquor store for the modern, discerning drinker.

What I love about this spot is first the incredible selection of normally difficult to find brands and spirits: your Poitins sit side by side with possibly the largest selection of tequila and mezcals in London. And there isn’t any need to beanxious trying something new: Brahms & Liszt‘s ‘try before you buy‘ policy means you always leave happy.

Brahms Liszt Cocktail London

But that’s not all! “If you’re up for a bit of educational boozing, you can also attend master classes with some of the drinks industries’ leading personalities in the shop.  Expect anything but the norm when you pop by to pick up a bottle: spirits that would otherwise be hard to come by are now easily accessible at Brahms & Liszt.

An interesting selection of handcrafted spirits have been carefully selected from small independent brands that represent something special and unique in their category.  This distinctive approach unlike nothing else in the whole of the UK gives customers the opportunity to uncover these outstanding spirits for themselves or for others. Should mixing cocktails at home be a little too much, you can enjoy delicious range of classic bottle aged cocktails that are made in house bought by 100ml, very much like a wine refill system made to be drunk over ice.”

Brahms Liszt Cocktail London

This Christmas, Brahms and Liszt unleashes a new batch of by the bottle cocktails that can be tasted at a masterclass – only this December!

Brahms Liszt Cocktail London

And outside the tasting session, the three cocktails can be bought by the brilliant bargain bottle: £28 for a 500ml or £15 for 250ml.

And what fabulous cocktails they are, the Christmas Old Fashioned, the Alaska, and Santa’s Little Helper have a little something for everyone.

Brahms Liszt Cocktail London

The Christmas Old Fashioned

East London Liquor Company Gold Rum, winter spiced Demerera spirit, and Bob’s Mandarin bitters make up the sweet and spicy Christmas Old Fashioned: the ELLC’s Gold Rum, imported from Guyana, imparts a beautiful toffee and warm vanilla, heated by the mulled spices in the drink, clove and nutmeg sizzle with the zesty mandarin bitters. Smooth, warming, making the perfect digestif on Christmas night.

Probably my favourite, though sweeter than my usual, it just felt too Christmassy to not love. Need a bottle of this.

Brahms Liszt Cocktail London

The Alaska

It’s always surprising to find a gin drink in the winter catalogue – a twist on a Savoy classic, the Alaska is the more aromatic of the three: Gin, Cocchi Americano, Yellow Chartreuse and orange bitters. Smooth and almost velvety, the cocktails is deceptively light. Citrus and juniper and tempered by the Yellow Chartreuse, concluding with an orange finish. Well rounded, with a dry edge. An excellent aperitif!

Brahms Liszt Cocktail London

Santa’s Little Helper

The Santa’s Little Helper brings in the big guns: Qui Qui Ri Qui Matalan Mezcal, Bold London Cherry Spirit, Kamm & Son’s Ginseng Spirit – powerfully smoky, the mezcal muscles in with tropical fruit and pepper, leashed by the sweeter cherry. The next explosion of smoke is a big one, finally ending on a long dry finish from the Kamm & Son’s ginseng.

Adore this cocktail, but it’s one you will have to take your time with. This is a bottle you buy if you wanna go all the way for a bit more raucous Christmas Eve!

Brahms Liszt Cocktail London

Brahms & Liszt is the kind of spot I’ve been waiting to see open in London for a while. It exhibits a powerful understanding of modern drinking culture in London, it’s educational edge, obscure collection, and money-saving try-before-you-buy opportunity makes it an ‘off license’ other liquor stores in the city could learn a thing or two from.

Not to mention their bottled cocktails are the bomb.

Blurring the line between bar and shop, Brahms & Liszt is probably marking a change in the winds of cocktail culture in the city. Major thumbs up from the Hoodooist!

Drinks: ****
Atmosphere: ****
Service: *****

Brahms and Liszt,

10 Chatsworth Rd, Homerton
London E5 0LP.

http://www.brahmsandlisztlondon.uk/

Machine No.3, Homerton

Type of Bar: Local
Damage: £
Ideal For: Date, Small Groups

 

The Hoodooist wishes he lived closer to Hackney.

Launching *this Friday*, Machine No.3 refurbishes an ex-laundrette to set up a quality new bar up in Homerton. The brains behind The Three Compasses – siblings Lauren and Antony Johns, with partner Brian Le Camus took the disused space and are now knocking out expertly crafted cocktails, organic wines, and craft beer all 50% off only on 6th November 2015!

You got that right, 50% off drinks after 6PM at the bar’s launch on 6th November! More info below the review!

Machine No.3 Cocktail Bar Hackney Homerton London

The minimalist space exposes brick wall and a small bar to make the most of what essentially a smaller venue – but makes up for the space with character and liveliness as the DJ spins live. Design is still inspired by the laundrette it once was, evident at the booths and the back space. The cocktail list is decently long, and an imaginative mix of classics and original set to satisfy every palate – and the Hoodooist is excited to take it on.

Machine No.3 Cocktail Bar Hackney Homerton London

The Right Hand

Let’s start with a winner, eh? The Right Hand (awesome name) brings us Havana Anejo Especial rum, Campari, vermouth, Xocolatl Mole bitters. Very well balanced on the Campari, smooth and dry, but rounded off well with the creaminess of the Havana and sweetness of the vermouth. The Hoodooist adores this cocktail. Beginning with the light spice and vanilla of the rum, there is an immediate flow into the Campari’s bitter flavours of gentian and the orange zest of the vermouth. Finally, the cacao and cinnamon from the Xocolatl Mole wash over the palate in an almost milk chocolate smoothness to finish.

Beautifully well balanced aperitif. Gorgeous.

Machine No.3 Cocktail Bar Hackney Homerton London

The Ford

On the theme of aperitifs, the Ford makes an appearance: Jenson’s Old Tom gin, Noilly Prat, Benedictine. From it’s home in Bermondsey, Jensen’s Old Tom is a traditional 19th C. style sweet gin, so goes unsugared but preserves the sweetness of the classic Old Tom gins. The nose is light with pine notes, and the floral Noilly Prat. The drink is as smooth and light as the nose – a fantastic classic twist on the Martini, the Hoodooist is impressed with the deft hand that stirred this cocktail. After the initial pine bark bite, the Ford opens up to the Benedictine herbal flavours, which immediately proceed to the Noilly Prat finish of orange and spices, a light but floral and aromatic sweetness.

A classic that is often difficult to get just right, here done well.

Machine No.3 Cocktail Bar Hackney Homerton London

The Vieille Carre

The Vieille Carré is not to be trifled with. Vieille Prune brandy, Rittenhouse Rye, Vermouth blend, Benedictine brings up one hell of a bitter cocktail. Heavy and full of depth, this cocktail is one to have earlier on in the night, since later it can be a lot of take in – it’s certainly an acquired taste, and for those who know it’s what they like.

The Rittenhouse Rye plays a smaller part in this event, hanging out with it’s sweet corn and pepper in the background while the brandy, heavy with plum, oaky as all hell, muscles in and takes centre stage. The vermouths hang around the sides, rounding off the edges with spice and orange citrus, ending with Benedictine herbalness. Take your time with this velvety, bitter cocktail so full of rich forest flavour.

Machine No.3 Cocktail Bar Hackney Homerton London

The Tommy’s Margarita

On our final round, we ended on a comfortable class Tommy’s Margarita, Olmeca Blanco tequila, lime, agave, salt. Normally the Hoodooist avoids salt on his Margaritas, but it really complements the sweeter, honeyed flavours of Olmeca Blanco – and it’s smokiness gives it dimension. A reliable classic. We end the night with a shot of the good old QuiQuiRiQui Matatlan mezcal. Because that’s how a good night either begins or ends.

Machine No.3 Cocktail Bar Hackney Homerton London

This little bar hidden away in Hackney knows what its doing, and after a few flashy openings this month, the Hoodooist is glad to find a spot that cares more for quality and service than making a noise. Minimalist it might be, but service is spot on with Emmanuel serving up those Right Hands and shots of mezcal. Machine No.3 knows what a good cocktail is, and with a long, well-balanced and varied menu, there’s always someone to satisfy.

It also knows that if you want to create a fanbase, don’t charge 12 quid for a good drink. Affordable and fun, with a homey vibe, it follows a similar winning formula as Casita Bar – setting itself on a track for a cult following. Fun + Quality + Not murder on the wallet = a place you want to spend all night.

DO NOT MISS THE HALF PRICE COCKTAILS AT THE LAUNCH 6TH NOVEMBER 2015!

Machine No. 3 will be officially opening its doors from 6pm on Friday 6th November with 50% off drinks all night long as well as delicious pints of pale ale served up by brand new Dalston brewery ’40FT’ as we well as local London distiller Alex Kammering supplying some of the much-lauded Kamm & Sons to feature in a cocktail specially created for the launch.

You do not want to miss this night out! (3.50 for a cocktail? I mean, you must be crazy to miss out.)


Drinks
: ****

Atmosphere: ***
Service: ****


Machine No.3

271 Well Street, Homerton,
London, E9 6RG.

https://www.facebook.com/MachineNo3

Shaker & Company, Warren Street

Type of Bar: Local
Damage££
Ideal for: Food, Date, Small Groups, Large Groups

Warren Street doesn’t usually come to mind where cocktailing is concerned (unless you count Goodge Street just South), but right next to one of our favourite Mexican restaurant/bars Mestizo; Shaker and Co. suddenly sprung up.

It’s not easy running a cocktail bar round here, so I’m glad to see introduction of the Monday Cocktail Cinema Club, with movies of various eras and genres coming with 20 pounds for 2 pizzas and 2 cocktails. Pretty good deal if you ask me.

Décor upstairs is simple, wood tables and chairs, leather couch lining the walls. The beautiful and immense bar framed by a stag head is easy on the eyes though. The basement changes form now and again, once being a monastery, currently in a Belle Époque phase, comfortable for the cinema club. The basement can also be hired for a private venue for larger groups.

Image
As for the drinks, this is a mixed bag. The cocktail list at first glance didn’t quite grab me. Quite of a few of the cocktails try to do more than they should – this isn’t saying there are no good drinks. Our first drink was nameless, limited and running for a short time only: rum, maraschino and gunpowder earl grey liqueur concoction – which was wonderful in its simplicity. Smoky, layered and slightly tart with lemon juice. It knew what it was there to do, and accomplished it. Very satisfying.

The Irish Blood, English Heart came with Irish whiskey, spiced port reduction, Benedictine, blood cherry liqueur, and mandarin bitters. Though sweet, it formed a neat dry drink. Not as fascinating as it sounds, but a good drink, over all.

I ended with the Gentleman’s Recline. Cigar infused Glenfiddich 12, stirred with Byrrh, Calvados, spiced port reduction, and liquorice bitters on ice. This drink, sadly, was a complete disappointment. Sometimes the calvados might sneak through, but otherwise was just a very orange-citrusy Old Fashioned. At 9.50, I felt a bit cheated.

Image

What you can turn to, instead, is the wonderfully affordable and delightful food. I wish the drinks were more like the food and didn’t try so hard. I highly suggest the sweet potato wedges for snacks. The main focus: the pizzas, are excellent, as well as the smaller pizzettes. Cheese and charcuterie boards also available.

Shaker and Co. earns a decent score in great service and good food, but house cocktails can be hit and miss, primarily for usually having one more ingredient than necessary, or attempting to be too complex. Still, the right choice can make a difference. For their event nights, it’s certainly a fun stop and a great local if you live in the area.

Drinks: ***
Atmosphere: ***
Service: ****


Shaker and Company

119 Hampstead Rd,
London NW1 3EE

www.shakerandcompany.co.uk/

Satan’s Whiskers, Bethnal Green

Type of Bar: Local
Damage£
Ideal for: Small Group, Date

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:

“Knob Creek.”
“And in this drink?”
“Tanqueray.”
*pause*
“And in this one?”
“Finlandia.”
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.

 

Image

Should check out the unicorn skeleton

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.

Image

Left to Right: Satan’s Whiskers, St. Lawrence, and Stone Fence.

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)
Atmosphere: ***
Service: **


Satan’s Whiskers

343 Cambridge Heath Road,
London E2 9RA

https://www.facebook.com/satanswhiskers