Highland Park Midwinter Social

THURSDAY 24TH NOVEMBER – FINNEBASSEN WITH SUPPORT FROM KIPP$

FRIDAY 25TH NOVEMBER – EELKE KLEIJN WITH SUPPORT FROM KIPP$

Highland Park, the Orkney Single Malt with #VikingSoul, is taking over The Boiler House for their Midwinter Social to celebrate the longer nights in anticipation of Winter Solstice. You will be transported into an Orkney-themed urban oasis where opposites clash to create a breath-taking environment, to enjoy an evening of feasting, socialising and enjoying Highland Park.

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Highland Park will evoke this Viking Soul by featuring a variety of food vendors curated by Root + Bone, tales from the distillery around the fire pit, torchlight tasting sessions, and more. World renowned DJs Finnebassen, Eelke Kleijn and Kipps will be providing the soundtrack to the evenings. Plus you’ll get a free drink on arrival to make sure your evening gets off to a good start. Actually, that’s not enough. We’ll throw in a second drink each.

Two complimentary drinks are included in the ticket price.

Get your tickets at:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/highland-park-midwinter-social-tickets-28940680354?aff=es2

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Our Black Heart, Camden Town

Type of Bar: Live Music, Alternative
Damage: ££
Ideal for: Party, Live Music, Small Groups, Large Groups, Food

 

Time for something a little different.

With The Queer Alternative LGBTQ charity organisation hosting a gig featuring ace cock-rock-parody cover band The Dykeness in the venue upstairs, The Hoodooist thought it was time to return to his alternative teen years in Camden Town after a long while.

Really – the issue is more he can’t find a place to listen to Judas Priest with a decent Old Fashioned but THINGS ARE DIFFERENT AT THE BLACK HEART.

Our Black Heart Camden Town The Dykeness Cocktails

Because they’re awesome.

For all intents and purposes, Our Black Heart is a classic metal bar: nestled in a back alley, black walls, grime, neon signs over a pool table – but some core differences do stand out: for one, a larger selection of spirits than at most alt bars you’d imagine (QuiQuiRiQui mezcal, Glenrothes to Auchentoshan, Opihr and the Botanist gins), second, a short menu of classic cocktails and a pretty decent kitchen in the back to keep the booths and tables fed and watered.

In other words: The grown-up metal bar.

I will have to inform you though, there is a cocktail menu, but if you want something off-menu, do specify the drink and base spirit. An Old Fashioned will get you and Old Fashioned with house whiskey, or you can be charged one more pound to use a whiskey you know you enjoy.
Similarly, if you’re gonna ask for a drink that includes support-spirits like Campari, Aperol or vermouths – you want to make sure they’re in stock. The Black Heart does not tout itself as a cocktail bar after all.

Our Black Heart Camden Town Cocktails

Nikka From The Barrel Old Fashioned

Most of the cocktails today are off-menu, I should mention – except for one the Hoodooist once ordered an age ago that now made it to the menu, which is highly recommended: the Aztec Old Fashioned. Traditional sugar and bitters mixed in with QuiQuiRiQui Matatlan mezcal. Made the good old fashioned way with crushing sugar that takes longer, but ultimately more rewarding than using sugar syrup – you want to find bartender Nancy who is a total wiz and making these spectacular cocktails. Smoky, peppery – initially earthy to sugary with a long smoked agave finish.

Similarly, the Nikka From the Barrel Old Fashioned uses the Nikka From the Barrel cask strength Japanese whisky. A spicy and fruity nose opens to a palate that is powerful, warm and full bodied – laden with spices, fruits and oaky or toffee in the finish. The Auchentoshan Old Fashioned finds a much sweeter drink, with the sweet barley and vanilla really powering the cocktail.

Our Black Heart Camden Town Cocktails

After a quick bite of vegan buffalo wings (yes) and a dance in the gig space upstairs, it’s back to the bar for a Tequila Sour. While sipping on a neat Tequila Chamucos Anejo –  enjoying the smooth almond and cocoa flavours, the Chamucos Reposado Tequila Sour is served. One critique would be to tone down the citrus just a bit to let the chamomile and fruitier flavours of the tequila through. There was enough lemon to take away from the Chamucos’ more pungent flavours that would have beautifully balanced out the cocktail.

An Opihr Gimlet was an unwise choice on the Hoodooist’s part, it’s cardamom being overpowering. However the Auchentoshan Sour‘s vanilla was a sweet end to the evening before departing after the finale cover of ‘All I Want For Christmas‘ by The Dykeness and the Hoodooist made it back to the bar.

Our Black Heart Camden Town Cocktails

Service is swift and only at bar, and as I said, though there is a short cocktail menu, Our Black Heart does not tout itself as a ‘cocktail bar’, so you might have to explain the ingredients of a cocktail, though there is no shame in that. If, however, your goal is to drink an amazing Old Fashioned with Glenn Danzig in the background under the neon gaze of the Virgin Mary – you’ve found your spot in one of the last vestiges of Camden’s heyday.

 

Drinks: ** (For absence of support-spirits) – *** 
Atmosphere: **** (if a metal bar is what you’re looking for)
Service: ****

 

Our Black Heart

2-3 Greenland Pl, Camden Town
London NW1 0AP

http://www.ourblackheart.com/

Think Ink Pines by Kraken Rum, Hoxton

Type of Bar: Christmas, Winter, Pop Up
Damage: £
Ideal for: Rum, Party, Live Music, Small Groups

 

The Holiday Season getting a bit colourful for you?

Because, let’s face it, #BlackIsTheNewBlack – you might wanna check out the new pop up Think Ink Pines by Kraken Rum at 186 Hackney Road.

Make the Yuletide Brvtal with *real* all black pine trees, mistletoe and holly, wreaths, and poinsettias will also be available along with a range of dangerously dark Kraken Christmas Cards and Kraken Rum Cocktails.

Yes, from 9th to 13th December, get ready for Krampus with dark Christmas foliage and cocktails courtesy of Kraken Rum!
Visitors will walk into a world of black firs, nestled amongst which will be the festive Kraken Black Spiced Rum Bar serving five specially created Christmas Rum cocktails including the Squid Bite, Black Espresso, The Old Kraken, Perfect Storm and Kraken ‘S’pore’.

Think Ink Pines Black Kraken Rum Hackney Christmas Cocktails

Keep in mind that all cocktails are at £5. All come with the simplicity of £5 cocktails as well:

The Black Espresso – Kraken Rum with sugar and espresso, garnished with white chocolate shavings is a simple rum twist on your run of the mill Espresso Martini that does the job as one – smoothly sweet espresso with the spice is topped with a bar of white chocolate to nibble throughout the drink.

The Kraken ‘S’pore’ – a shooter of rum and sugar syrup with a crushed cracker rim and fire-roasted marshmallow. It’s exactly what it sounds like – it doesn’t make the rum any less harsh on the throat, but marshmallows are always fun.

Think Ink Pines Black Kraken Rum Hackney Christmas Cocktails

However, even at 5 pounds, some cocktails don’t work out well enough: The Old Kraken I was initially excited for with it’s drier twist – Kraken, white sugar syrup, Yellow Chartreus and aromatic bitters make a drink that’s rather imbalanced and bitter beyond comfort. As for the Perfect Storm, Kraken and Ginger Beer make a university house party favourite, but it’s just that – a house party favourite.

Finally, something to fit the season: the Squid Bite gives us Kraken Rum in hot mulled cider. Spicy, warm – the drink is rather sweet, with powerful apple and cinnamon and clove. It does demand a long time to drink though, so if you manage to grab a table, I’d relax with this one.

Think Ink Pines Black Kraken Rum Hackney Christmas Cocktails

So hang up those black stockings with Kraken Black Pines at:
Small (£15), Medium (£20), Large (£35) and Kraken X-large (£50) sizes. Pick up from the shop or reserve via Twitter #thinkinkpines.

Think Ink Pines is open from:

Wednesday 9th December: 12:30pm – 10pm
Thursday 10th December: 12:30pm – 11pm
Friday 11th December: 12:30pm – midnight
Saturday 12th December: 10am – midnight
Sunday 13th December: 9am – 4pm

 

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

 

Think Ink Pines

186 Hackney Road,
E2 7QL, London.

Barrio Central, Soho

Type of Bar: Bar/Restaurant, Mexican
Damage: ££
Ideal for: Food, Small Groups, Large Groups, Party

Soho classic Barrio Central is back! After being shut for renovation, the Poland Street hangout has reopened its door with a few new menu surprises!

Redecorated, the blue-green venue speckled with bright contrasting tiles is still serving Mexican Gulf inspired cocktails and bites, with a few twists here and there. Of course, downstairs is still a drinks-focused late night party hang out versus the dinner tables upstairs.

Barrio Central Soho Cocktail Bar London

Let’s get right to it! Over the Al Pastor tacos: Achiote marinated pork, cooked on the spit with slow roasted pineapple, white onions & coriander, with a spicy drizzling El Yucateco habanero sauce – a succulent, deeply flavourful bite with the sweet citrus of pineapple cutting right through – the Hoodooist and co. order a Wonky Donkey and Ol’ Dirty Bastard.

Barrio Central Soho Cocktail Bar London

L-R: Wonky Donkey, Ol’ Dirty Bastard

The Ol’ Dirty Bastard is a firm favourite here: Santa Teresa rum, Four Roses bourbon and orange – a host of fruit from the rum quickly gives way to the orange and honeyed notes of the bourbon, ending with a zesty length of orange peel. A fun, lively twist on an Old Fashioned.

The Wonky Donkey leaves quite a bit to be desired, though. Casco Viejo tequila, elderflower, ginger and lime lengthened with soda leaves a rather flat drink at the end. The tequila goes missing (I even forgot what spirit was in the drink), and all you have left is something vaguely sweet and citrusy.

Barrio Central Soho Cocktail Bar London

Soon after, the Ceviche Mixto provides a fresh mix of seafood in tiger’s milk, with avocado, crispy sweet potato & serrano chili – a fantastic, lighter seafood dish after the heavier Al Pastor and smoky Lamb Chilli tacos.

Alongside, the new cocktails, (COMING SOON!) arrive – new designs by bartender Sophie Mackay, her newly designed cocktails have a more modern swing to them.

Barrio Central Soho Cocktail Bar London

The Bossa Beleza brings in the fizz! Abelha Cachaca, jasmine, ginger, mint, topped up with prosecco – the sweet cachaca and the prosecco dominate this drink, with the jasmine trailing as a faint, lingering finish. Better than that though, while on the South American track, is the Cuba Lima: Pisco ABA, peach, lemon, egg white. A classic tart Pisco Sour with a peachy twist. A fun, reliable drink, with fresh egg white. Always a reliable classic.

Barrio Central Soho Cocktail Bar London
The Cactus and Three Cheese Melt Quesadilla come in, cool and fabulously textured. With it, a classic from the Barrio Central menu, the Rumshackle: Santa Teresa rum, orange curacao, pineapple is an incredibly sweet and fruity cocktail, bright with the tropical rum and the powerful pineapple. A beautiful presentation, however.

Barrio Central Soho Cocktail Bar London

The Rumshackle

Service is absolutely on point, swift and polite. What I am looking forward to is more from Sophie Mackay‘s coming menu which frankly outshines the older Barrio cocktail collection. True, the Ol’ Dirty Bastard is a good classic, but Bossa Beleza and Cuba Lima knock the Wonky Donky, Rumshackle and Hand Grenade HiBall out of the water. The drinks coming up seem to be more balanced, with more focus on the spirits’ innate flavour profile to shine through without being overwhelmed with juices.

Barrio Central knows what it does and does it well: providing a chilled out spot to relax with a group of friends, no fuss or stuffiness. A party spot in Soho we’re glad to have back.

 

Drinks: ** (Classic menu) – *** (menu Coming Soon)
Atmosphere: ***
Service: ****

 

Barrio Central

6 Poland Street, Soho,
London W1F 8PS

http://www.barriocentral.com/

 

Your London Cocktail Week 2015 Guide!

Now that Fashion Week’s out of the way, kids (let’s not worry about Chocolate Week yet) – here’s where the real fun lies.

A week of discount cocktails, the hottest bars, the coolest pop-ups, the biggest parties – and several one-time events for your liver to look forward to (think of it as a work out).

 

Besides all the participating bars (many of which Highball Hoodoo will be reviewing every day of the week!), here is a check list of must-hit spots throughout the week of 5th-11th October 2015!

Course, to participate in London Cocktail Week, you’d need to get your LCW Wristband first! Buy ’em here!

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COCKTAIL VILLAGE AT OLD SPITALFIELDS MARKET, SHOREDITCH – 5th-11th October

Old Spitalfields Market, 16 Horner Square, Spitalfields, London E1 6EW

From October 5 -11 Old Spitalfields Market, usually home to antique dealers and speciality stalls, will become a huge week-long cocktail village across the entire market space. Visitors can explore a maze of bespoke pop-up bars, trucks, vans and even bicycles – all serving up their specially created cocktails at just £5 for wristband wearers.

Pick up your wristband here, grab a bite, a drink, your LCW Tour Guide, and plan your cocktail rampage!

 

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WORLD CLASS LONDON COCKTAIL WEEK HUB, SOHO – 5th-11th October

51 Poland Street, 51 Poland St, London, W1F 7LZ

If you’d rather pick your wristband up closer to central London – pop by the LCW hub set up with World Class – the ultimate in luxury drinks experiences using the finest spirits selected by the World’s Best Bartenders. Featuring masterclasses for a Negroni at the Haig Club Dining Room, Vodka Soda at the Ketel One Vodka Kitchen, and a stunning new way to shake up a French 75 at the 1920’s styled speakeasy Tanqueray Art Deco Bar.

 

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24 HOUR BAR BUILD, SHOREDITCH – 10th October

N&C Showrooms, 3-10 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6PG

4 teams, 4 cities, 24 bartenders, 24 hours. Award winning bartending teams from around the world – London, New York, Paris, Singapore – come together to build 4 bars in 24 hours, competing to be crowned the World’s Best.

Team London (WOO!) will be led by Richard Woods of Duck & Waffle, working with Patron Tequila – against New York (Leo Robitschek of NoMad, with Grey Goose Vodka), Paris (Carina Soto Velasquez of Candelaria, with Bombay Sapphire Gin), and Singapore (Joel Fraser of the Cufflink Club, with Bacardi Rum).

From concept to cocktails in 24hrs, which city will you crown the World’s Best?

Tickets are £35 and entry includes access to the entire venue along with five cocktail tokens for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic serves created at 24Hr Bar Build. Additional tokens can be purchased at the event and food will also be available to purchase.

With a limited number of tickets available, visit www.billetto.co.uk/24hr-bar-build to secure your place and choose your city.

 

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BUFFALO BOURBON EMPIRE, SHOREDITCH – 5th-11th October

Buffalo Bourbon Empire, 1 Kingsland Road , London, E2 8AA

LCW regulars Buffalo Trace Bourbon are back with their Empire pop-up!

Whether you’re learning how to make your favourite cocktails, watching the hilarious comedy duo ‘The Thinking Drinkers’ or just sitting back and relaxing with some sublime drinks, there is a little bit of something for everyone. And as if that’s not enough, you could be among the first to sample this year’s highly anticipated Antique Collection – a Collection that has been bestowed with some of the highest accolades the spirits world has to offer.

With a selection of events through the week, check out their to-do list!

 

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THE HOUSE OF ANGOSTURA, SHOREDITCH – 5th-11th October

Old Spitalfields Market, 16 Horner Square, Spitalfields, London, E1 6EW

Back at the Cocktail Village, Angostura have set up shop overlooking the Village – visit the exclusive pop-up house party with live DJ sets, delicious Angostura cocktails, and as with every good house party – people hanging out in the kitchen.

From their Angostura Aromatic Bitters – THE original bitters – to their delicious range of rums, Angostura is an essential part of any cocktail cabinet, and this year they are bringing the iconic brand to life with a house party to remember.

 

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TOAST OF PARIS, HACKNEY – 8th October

Looking Glass Cocktail Club, 49 Hackney Rd, London, E2 7NX

Join Courvoisier for an evening of celebration as we transport you back to the excitement and decadence of the Paris Golden Age. Immerse yourself in the Belle Époque era and enjoy the cocktails, theatre and ‘joie de vivre’ from a time when Parisian culture was at the centre of the world.

Enjoy a free cocktail on arrival at The Looking Glass Cocktail Club and relax in the 19th century Parisian surroundings. When the evening entertainment begins, discover the secrets of traditional cognac cocktails with two leading London bartenders as they wow the crowd with a ‘magical’ demonstration accompanied by live music. With the show over, guests can relax in the ‘Midnight in Paris’ lounge with live music played throughout the evening.

 

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ORIOLE POP-UP WITH 86 CO SPIRITS AND GIN MARE, SHOREDITCH – 6th-7th October

Bear Gallery, 8A Great Eastern St, London, EC2A 3NT

Award-winning Nightjar comes together with 86 Co Spirits and Gin Mare to preview their next venture – the Oriole, due to open its doors late November 2015!

Oriole Bar Manager Luca Cinalli will showcase four drinks inspired by 86 Co Spirits, Gin Mare and the journey the bar team has been on to create the exotic Oriole menu collection.  Oriole is pleased to invite you to have the first tasting of this highly anticipated cocktail menu.

 

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OCHO TEQUILA VINTAGE TASTING WITH TOMAS ESTES, SHOREDITCH – 8th October

Bear Gallery, 8A Great Eastern St, London, EC2A 3NT

With Agave spirits exploding in popularity this year, let Tomas Estes, Brand Owner of Ocho Tequila and Tequila Ambassador to Europe, take you through a tasting selection of vintage tequilas – who else would you trust with the job?

 

Guess it’s apt for 8 for your to-do list!

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!

 

 

For more info on London Cocktail Week, check out their Website.

Drink Shop & Do, King’s Cross St. Pancras

Type of Bar: Creative, Party, 90s, Quirky
Damage££
Ideal for: Afternoon Tea, Activities, Small Groups

 

Celebrating it’s 5th birthday, young entrepreneurs Kristie Bishop and Coralie Sleap have turned fun into a business venture – providing customers with everything from a quirky store to afternoon tea with cocktails and Lego and nipple-tassel craft classes, to a 90s themed basement club accompanied by classes to learn Beyonce dance moves (which let’s not pretend you haven’t practised at home already).

The site of the ex-Turkish-bathhouse, with its massive skylight and overhead discoball, houses two large bars (one above, one below) – serving up primarily spritzes and punches, has a primarily sweet menu. There is the occasional Negroni, though, so don’t panic yet!

Drink Shop Do Cocktails Tea London

The 5th Birthday party begins with a series of easy-serve drinks and bites – whilst building Lego robots, the Sun-blushed tomato, tapenade and sweet herb sandwich is competed with only by the Smoked salmon, cream cheese and chrain – and the dessert even better. Hazelnut chocolate brownie dense and flavourful.

Drink Shop Do Cocktails Tea London

The drinks were a hit or miss: the Duppy Rum Punch serves up Duppy Share Rum, fresh lime juice and gomme (which may have not been entirely necessary with the sweetness of the rum). It really relies on the inherent richness of the blended rum, and it’s powerful pineapple, mango and papaya flavours are tempered by the lemon.

The Happy was a bit of a stumble though, Evan Williams Bourbon meets elderflower and apple to make a confused intense hit of sour to the back of the jaw, followed by sticky, painful sweetness.

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The Birthday was a major improvement: Belvedere Vodka, lychee, lemongrass, ginger, chilli and soda. A mix of savoury chilli kick followed by a length of sweet lychee.

Downstairs, the Wild Spritz: Elderflower, Perry and gin was thick, and tasted more like a glassful of sugar syrup.

Drink Shop Do Cocktails Tea London

Though the myriad of events and the food do outweigh the skill regarding cocktails, I can see myself returning for an afternoon tea with a friend, but not quite for the drinks. The lengthy list of sweet drinks is almost patronising, and could do with either increased variety, or with catching up with 2015, the apple, elderflower and lychee combos are rather old hat and very SW postcode Chelsea (which, let’s face it, is the last to join the party at anything).

There are some fantastic spirits behind the bar I’d love to see used more often – like a great collection of mezcals that are not on the cocktail menu. Take the Birthday, for example: Replace the lychee with hibiscus, and the vodka with mezcal, for a more modern and mature cocktail.

Drink Shop Do Cocktails Tea London

The staff are wonderful – upbeat, polite and conversational, and most of all – fun. And the obvious passion they display for their work is palpable, and is contagious. From the events upstairs to the parties below, they keep the crowd alive and excited for their work. 

Drink Shop & Do is a beautiful space, run by brilliant creatives, and a wonderful place to learn new skills, or just let loose. To another 5 years of DSD!

 

Drinks: * (I recommend coming for the tea and food, though!)
Atmosphere: ****
Service: ****

 

Drink, Shop & Do

9 Caledonian Rd, King’s Cross,
London N1 9DX.

http://www.drinkshopdo.com/

FREE GIVEAWAY: Yelp’s Big Night In!

Yelp London Treat Yoself Free Giveaway
It’s a party at your place, and you’re the only one invited!
After the immensely successful VIP Ticket Giveaway on Highball Hoodoo to the excellent Yelp’s Mad Scientist Soirée (Review HERE) and the previous year’s Elite Summer Garden Party (Review HERE)Yelp is back with something a little different!
READY FOR ANOTHER CONTEST?!
It’s time to treat yo’self (and you can do it with your trousers off.) Yes, on Friday, July 31st, we will be running the first ever YELP’S BIG NIGHT IN! Who wouldn’t want to be fed, pampered and taken care of, for free, all from your own home, in the comfort of your PJs!
THE NIGHT WILL INCLUDE: 
  • Free laundry picked up and delivered right to your door from Laundrapp!
  • Your home beautifully cleaned by Hassle, for free!
  • Anything you want, picked up and delivered by Quiqup!
  • A service of your choice from Bizzby! We’d suggest free therapeutic massages, but if you need an errand run or want a personal trainer session before cracking into all that food, they can make that happen too!

SWEET! SO SWEET!

Want in?

– Make sure you have an active Yelp profile (meaning photos or reviews added) in case we have an overabundance of RSVPs!

– Check to make sure you’re free on Friday, 31st July, since the credit must be used on that date.

– RSVP on THIS EVENT PAGE now! (Winners will be notified on Friday 24 July.)

–  Only those with a real photo and name on their Yelp Profile will get a spot.

– Again, if the event goes over capacity, those who are recently active on Yelp (meaning adding great REVIEWS, PICTURES or LISTS) will be given priority, so make sure you keep your Yelp Profile up to date with all the places you’ve been to lately!

That’s it!

We’ll be choosing 30 winners next week to all participate on the same night. There’s never been a night in like this before and you know you would love to win a spot!

And remember… treat yo’self!