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/

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/

The Aperol Spritz Terrazza @Bird of Smithfield, Clerkenwell

Aperol Spritz Terrazza Summer Cocktails Bird of Smithfield Clerkenwell London

Isn’t it about time we got some summer?!

With the sudden blessed heat, Bird of Smithfield welcomes you to their summer pop up: The Aperol Spritz Terrazza!

Working with the Italian bitter aperitivo, the Terrazza serves up the perfect summer drink of the season: The Aperol Spritz.

So simple you could make it blindfolded, the three simple steps of 2 measures Aperol, three parts prosecco, and dash of soda over ice.

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A bright, refreshing cocktail with a hint of tartness and slight bitterness for intrigue, there really isn’t a better way to welcome the weather turning.

The gorgeous orange terrace boasts a bar hosted by the wonderful Stan of Bird of Smithfield, all round seating under jasmine and oranges, perfect for a summer evening as you celebrate aperitivo hour from 5-7PM with provided small plates.

The terrace will also be hosting a variety of events through the weeks, the Aperol Spritz Socials give you and opportunity to create your own wall art with Print Club London, your own radio show with Soho Radio, and help yourselves to a supperclub with Forza Win!

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Course, if you’d rather go back indoors, take advantage of the GIF photobooth to share (#ItStartsNow!) your summertime Aperol Spritz moments!

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Running 6 days a week till the 31st of August, the Aperol Spritz Terrazza of Bird of Smithfield provides excellent drinks, events and a wonderful space to celebrate the summer that’s finally here
#ItStartsNow!

Aperol Spritz Terrazza Summer Cocktails Bird of Smithfield Clerkenwell London

The Aperol Spritz Terrazza 

Bird of Smithfield, Clerkenwell
26 Smithfield St, London EC1A 9LB

http://www.aperolspritzsocials.com/

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/

 

Farang pop up @ The Lodge, Clapham

Type of Bar: Bar/Restaurant, Thai, Pop Up
Damage£ – ££
Ideal for: Date, Small Groups, Food

Working together at the Brook Green Farmer’s Market in West London, Seb Holmes of The Begging Bowl and Smoking Goat fame, and Tomas Lenko, mastermind behind the impossibly popular Bold London Spirit, have set up a three night pop up at The Lodge Clapham!

With Seb at the grill and Tomas behind the bar, Farang brings Thai street food with a greater focus on seasonal ingredients, at all their pop-ups, supperclubs, and street markets. The modestly sized venue at The Lodge also hosts a private dining space upstairs which seats groups of 10-12, with its own personal balcony looking over Clapham North.

Let’s have a look at the cocktails!

Farang London Thai pop up cocktails food restaurant

A favourite of bars like the Sun Tavern, and Discount Suit Co., Bold London Spirit is not to be confused with a cherry liqueur! At a solid 36% ABV, this all-natural cherry aperitif mixes 15 botanicals including sour cherries, juniper berries and cassia bark for a spicy bitter spirit that is lightly sweet and floral, adding a fun twist to cocktails that demand Maraschino or more warming flavours.

Tomas explains that the cocktail menu for Farang veers toward the sweeter side to contrast with the punchy, spicier flavours of the dishes.

Beginning with an amuse bouche of sorts: a short citrusy shot of Bold with gojiberry, and plum bitters, we order our aperitifs.

Unlikely for an aperitif, the Smoked Thai Ice Tea mixes lapsang souchong tea, Bold spirit, cherry reduction, fresh lemon juice, layered with coconut milk. Served long, this cocktail is served beautifully – so do allow yourself a little cry when you realise that you have to stir the drink to mix the coconut milk with the drink.

A starter milkshake of sorts, the cocktail is sweet and velvety with the light milk. Like many of the cocktails on the menu, is granted a smoky profile thanks to the lapsang souchong, which lingers in the background as the cherry and cassia dominate the cocktail.

It’s been a while since the Hoodooist enjoyed a sweeter drink, and this was it!

Farang London Thai pop up cocktails food restaurant

The Smoked Thai Ice Tea!

The Toasted Coconut Negroni is for the crowd with less of a sweet tooth: brings together Bold spirit, campari, toasted coconut infused gin. This deep, dark cocktail has some serious swagger, a quick bright wash of Campari is immediately followed by the cherry, and finally – a powerful hit of sweet and smoky coconut, with a trail of juniper to follow.

You want to let this one smoke in its bottle for a bit before pouring it, and don’t take your time with it either. Letting it sit sends the flavours haywire. Enjoy promptly while making your order.

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The Toasted Coconut Negroni

Finally, the Ong-Bak: Barrel-aged Bold spirit stirred with SangSom rum, wolfberries and aromatic bitters. I have to admit, I struggled with this one – not to say it was a bad drink, no – it was kind of a rollercoaster of flavours here. If you’re looking for something more bitter, aromatic, and dry, you found your drink!

Farang London Thai pop up cocktails food restaurant

Farang’s brief food menu aims at sharing plates where you dig in and get messy, and comes in small and large portions. Not knowing what to expect, the pair of us went for two large and two small plates and found ourselves with entirely too much to eat – yet still ended up demolishing most of the food, wracked with guilt with not being about to devour all of it.

Beginning with the small (but still sizable) plates of Crispy Vegetable Wontons with Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce, and Tempura Vegetables and Burnt Chilli Dipping Sauce – both dishes are simple and elegant.

The wontons being among the better I’ve experienced. No unnecessary parcelling here – there is only as much wrapper that is absolutely needed, leaving more to the spiced herbs and vegetables inside. The tempura vegetables come with betel leaves, lightly curried, and served with an exquisite smoked grilled  chilli sauce I wish I always had on me!

 

Farang London Thai pop up cocktails food restaurant

Gola Chicken Satay in banana leaves

For our large plates we began with the Nham Prik Ong with Asian Vegetables and Grilled Sardines – out of sardines, a large grilled mackerel accompanied the Nham Prik Ong: a rich minced pork and tomato relish with dried soy bean, raw vegetables, and East Asian herbs. Deciding to just go in for the kill by using the vegetables or salted turmeric butter roti to scoop up the mince – much less stressful than picking through the mackerel’s bones in the then-dim light of the restaurant.

 

Finally, the Half a Free-Range Baby Gola Chicken cooked in Banana Leaves – as much as I dislike the word, ‘succulent’ is really the best description here. This is pretty damn sizable for half a baby chicken.

Tender and so juicy, the banana leaves are unwrapped to reveal the chicken steaming and sauced with peanuts, with powerful flavours of traditional ginger and garlic, coconut, sweet basil, and cumin. For someone who normally steers clear of chicken, ordering the Gola Chicken was a decision I’m glad we made.

Farang London Thai pop up cocktails food restaurant

“Farang is open at the lodge this Monday 18th and the following 25th from 5:30-10:00, and though it’s looking busy so far for these weeks, there might still availability for both, bookings via info@faranglondon.co.uk.
After this, Farang is doing its next San Daniele del Friuli supper club in Highbury at 15:00 on May 2nd, with the menu launching this week, it will be including dishes such as curried sharing crab and green tea, pandan and condensed milk ice cream with banana fritters. Farang will also celebrating A late Thai new year at this event with a selection of wines from Thai wine producers Monsoon Valley. Bookings for this are also open now via info@faranglondon.co.uk !”

Basically: Grab a seat if you can get one.

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

 

Farang @ The Lodge
18th and 25th April

409 Clapham Rd, Clapham North
London SW9 9BT

http://www.faranglondon.co.uk/
http://www.boldspiritslondon.com/

SCOTCH Pop up 2016 @ Brown’s Hotel, Mayfair

Burns Night is almost here! To celebrate, we thought of the perfect place to celebrate this Monday, and hey, if you’d rather have a cosy night in, we’ve thrown in a couple of whisky cocktails to make at home at the end of the article!

Type of Bar: Whisky, Hotel, Pop up
Damage: ££££
Ideal for: Scotch, Date, Small Groups, Education

London Pop Up Scotch whisky Glenmorangie Milsean Browns Hotel Burns Night

Running till the 29th of January 2016, the Brown’s Hotel is hosting the SCOTCH pop up in their Library room, exhibiting 40 different Scottish whiskies and couple of scotch cocktails – A tribute to their sister hotel, the Balmoral’s, SCOTCH Bar.

Whisky Ambassador, Fraser Robson, has whiskies from all over the traditional regions at his disposal: Speyside, Islay, Campbeltown, the Islands, the Highlands and Lowlands in a variety of blends, malts and vintages dating back to 1940, and what a brilliant collection it is. Running from 15 pounds a dram, up to 400 (the Glenmorangie Pride 1978), the choice of whiskies is intimidating at first, but easier to traverse through with the brilliant Mr. Robson guiding you.

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Sponsored by Glenmorangie, best to start their event with the Glenmorangie Original: a demanding golden yellow, a classic whisky. Intensely citrus on the nose, the initial flavours are more flowery, with a dark citrus length.

However, more discussion revolved around the launch of this year’s Glenmorangie Private Edition: the Milsean.

Glenmorangie Director of Distilling & Whisky Creation, Dr. Bill Lumsden, gushed over the whisky, and upon tasting it, we got an idea why. The Milsean is painfully nostalgic – inspired by Dolly’s Mixtures, the whisky is even named ‘sweet things‘ in Gaelic. It’s matured in ex-bourbon casks and then extra-matured in former wine casks that once housed red wines for Portugal’s Doura Valley, re-toasted for the purpose.

What we get is a sweet whisky, rich with moreish candied fruits, with a bright nose of fruit, sugary – like sherbet, and sugar cane. The palate begins with a blast of candy, then the tartness of candied orange peel, cherries and plum – followed by a long spicy finish of borwn sugar, winter spice, and maybe a bit of fudge?

The Milsean, for the Hoodooist, is definitely a unique whisky, with a very specific purpose. Much like it’s packaging of cherry and white vertical stripes – it’s a dessert whisky – a dram or two after dinner is all you need if you aren’t sweet of tooth and don’t mind bit of a burn.
London Pop Up Scotch whisky Glenmorangie Milsean Browns Hotel Burns Night

For cocktails, the first simple Orange Zest brought out the complexity of the citrus of the Glenmorangie Original with ginger ale and Angostura bitters, a simple enough drink, but a refreshing and effective one.

The second, the Spey Trip, is a fascinating drink, inherited by the SCOTCH pop up from the hotel’s resident Donovan Bar. Inspired by the Balvenie scotch it uses, and the Speyside region it hails from, the Spey Trip is constructed entirely from the scotch and its containers. The tumbler is the laser-cut bottom half of the Balvenie bottle, the platform it is served on also made from the Balvenie casks. An Old Fashioned using figs instead of sugar syrup, a spectacular drink that brings out the spicy sweetness of the Balvenie with the fig, which also appear as dried garnish (which dipped in the Old Fashioned taste incredible).

I was left torn about this drink by the end of it, since the first half was wonderfully layered and complex, but the last half became overwhelmingly sweet with the figs. And a whisky like Balvenie is a shame to lose.

The Spey Trip

The SCOTCH bar’s atmosphere is perfect for the venue, relaxed, subdued, with the occasional tartan – the Brown’s Hotel itself is a stunning building (from 1837), the interior sprawling, and couches numerous. And service is impeccable. A fantastic addition to the London whisky scene, and one I wish was permanent.

Slainte!

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

Brown’s Hotel

33 Albemarle Street, Mayfair
London, W1S 4BP

https://twitter.com/browns_hotel

HEY. YES. THERE IS MORE.

I mean, it *is* Burns Night tonight, and if you’re gonna stay in, might as well do it with a couple of easy to concoct cocktail at home, devised by Alexander & James.

The Haig Clubman

Haig Clubman
A refreshing tasting whisky cocktail which combines gentle spice and fruitiness perfectly.

Ingredients:
50ml Haig Club
35ml Sparkling apple soda
6 dashes ginger bitters

Method:
Built over hand-cracked ice in either a highball or tumbler, garnished with a long slice of root ginger (ideally cut with a mandolin).

But hey, say you’re more of a bourbon person (what the hell are you doing here?) but say you are, we haven’t forgotten you!

The Apple Mint Julep

Apple Mint Julep
A light cocktail with a fruitful flavour and a hint of mint is perfect for a refreshing serve this
Burns Night.

Ingredients:
60ml Bulleit Bourbon
90ml apple juice
A dash or two of bitters
3-4 mint sprigs

Method:
Muddle the mint and apple juice together in a cocktail shaker. Add the Bulleit bourbon, a couple dashes of bitters and ice to the shaker. Shake well for 20 seconds and then strain into a tumbler glass filled with cubes of ice. Garnish with a mint leaf if desired

That’s all, folks! Make sure to enjoy your Burns Night with your favourite scotch – we know we will!

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.

The Bayou Banquet @ The Vaults, Waterloo

Type of Bar: Bar/Restaurant, American, Pop Up
Damage: £
Ideal for: Food, Brunch, Live Music, Hangover, Small Groups

Purveyors of all things Louisiana – from soul food to jumpin’ live music – Slap Ya Papa! (‘because he never cooked you food so good!’) is bringing their red-lit New Orleans inspired world to the Victorian railway arches at The Vaults this September with a two week festival of events to launch The Vaults Kitchen, a brand new restaurant space at London Waterloo’s subterranean hub of arts and culture.

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With the Mississippi melting pot as its muse, The Bayou Banquet will give guests a taste of the heady, vibrant and culturally unique world of New Orleans. Featuring a spectrum of experiences, from immersive supper clubs, live music and Crescent City cocktail fuelled parties, to interactive art exhibitions and auctions, all-day Sunday brunches and even a hint of celebrity, with a run of cabaret audiences with Nola native and Mad Men star Bryan Batt.

Throughout the residency, the first in a rolling series of pop-up restaurant concepts at The Vaults Kitchen, Slap Ya Papa will team up with kindred culture collectives artists Marbles and Ware, and live bands Riot Jazz and Kansas Smitty to offer a programme of festivities to run throughout the day and late into the night, showcasing the best of a bubbling new wave of the most soulful Deep South food, art and live blues, jazz, funk and soul music in London.

Bayou Banquet London Waterloo Brunch

The Hoodooist’s experience at the Egg, Bacon, Grits…SAUSAGE Brunch served up aforementioned dish with a wonderful smattering of green onions and spices with cornbread and sweet potato muffins with the most wonderful honey butter.

Better than that, though, was the magic Laura was concocting behind the bar – as blues played in the painting-adorned hall with its communal dining tables. After the first sitting, diners are led to the bar area to take on the rest of the cocktail menu.

Bayou Banquet Vaults Cocktails

L-R: The Deepsouth Widemouth, & the Bloody Derby

The Bloody Derby brings Four Roses Bourbon with “a secret mix” blending Tabasco sauce, cayenne pepper, Amontillado sherry, Picklehouse pickle juice and tomato juice. The Amontillado is what makes this for that bite of dryness that goes so well with the the Picklehouse and cayenne. A fantastic Bloody Mary twist.

The Deepsouth Widemouth has vanilla-infused Four Roses Bourbon, fresh chilli, ginger shrub, Amaro and Campari reduction for a smooth aperitif. It’s got a real kick, this one, long, dry, with a hint of sweetness from the vanilla and ginger shrub. If you’re afraid of Campari, don’t be, the reduction grants it only a hint of the flavour. Enjoyed this drink, though takes a while with its strength and dryness.

Finally, the Missy Sippy: Vodka, Kamm & Sons, lemon, mint, and sweet potato syrup. Now here’s one for the sweet tooth – the ginseng of Kamm & Sons lends to a musky sweetness, as does the syrup, luckily the lemon lifts the drink up a bit (considering its thickness). Personally, it does well as a liquid dessert.
Service is swift, and the smaller space makes it easier to grab attention of the staff – at the bar, expect conversation and quick service from Laura dishing out those Bloody Derbys!

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

Event info and ticket link below!

Bayou Banquet London Waterloo Brunch

Events at The Bayou Banquet to look forward to:

Wednesday 16th, Thursday 17th & Thursday 24th September – Slap Ya Papa Supper Clubs (£30)

Friday 18th September – Slap Ya Papa X Riot Jazz (£35)

Saturday 19th September & Saturday 26th September – Marbles & Ware Bizarre Bazaar (free entry)

Saturday 19th September & Saturday 26th September – Marbles & Ware Bidders’ 5 course Banquet (£40)

Sunday 20th September & Sunday 27th September – Slap Ya Papa presents: Egg, Bacon, Grits…SAUSAGE Brunch (£20)

Monday 21st – Wed 23rd September – The Bryan Batt Cabaret presents Tales from New Orleans (Mon/Tues – £25 [non-dining], Wed – £40 [includes four course dinner])

Friday 25th September – Slap Ya Papa X Kansas Smitty (£35)

Bayou Banquet London Waterloo Brunch

As they say in Nola – Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!

Tickets can be bought at: http://www.the-vaults.org/#!slap-ya-papa/cfpu

The Tea Den @ Opium, Chinatown

Type of Bar: Pop UpBar/Restaurant, Chinese, Speakeasy, Lounge
Damage££
Ideal for: TeaFood, DateSmall Groups

Okay. Seriously. Forget what else is happening on Afternoon Tea Week 2015 (10th-16th August) – your butts should be at Opium Chinatown.

 

We’ve reviewed Opium Chinatown before (Click HERE for Review!), but this week they will be working alongside The London Tea Club, and lifestyle brand, Oblique.

The London Tea Club, spread across Europe and North America, supply members with teas every month matching their flavour profile – perfect for the tea buff – have supplied Opium with a share of some of their most popular teas to construct a spectacular tea-infused cocktail list for Afternoon Tea Week (though the Hoodooist says that they should be permanent cocktails on the Opium menu).

 

Tucked away in the deep red corridors of Opium, beyond the Jade Door on Gerrard Street, find yourself present with 5 magical cocktails, named after the tea used in the concoction:

 

Opium Chinatown Afternoon Tea Week Den Dim Sum Cocktail

The Antique Rose

A major hit of the night (with one friend drinking three of them exclusively), the Antique Rose: Absolut Elyx vodka infused with Antique Rose tea, with Cocchi Americano Rosa and orange oil.

A beautiful, beautiful twist on the vodka Martini, the nose is alluring and primarily the Rosa’s berries and florals (lavender?), with hints of bitter chinchona. By palate, the sweeter tea with powerful rose notes adds life to the Elyx, the strong tea and rose eruption is followed by enveloping raspberry, strawberry and vanilla – ending on a castanet kick of quinine, cloves, a hint of ginger and orange zest.

Sophisticated, aromatic, seductive. A winner.

 

Opium Chinatown Afternoon Tea Week Den Dim Sum Cocktail

The Lapsang Souchong

If you want to go for something a little less Carmen, and a bit more Cosette, then the Lapsang Souchong might be for you: Buffalo Trace bourbon, apricot liqueur, tea-smoked cherries.

The normally deep, smokey tea is mellowed here, in a cocktail that appears to be more similar to a whiskey sour than you’d imagine. A very good one, nonetheless. Shy, fruit laden, the cocktail begins with the apricot, followed by the Buffalo Trace’s oaky, toffee, brown sugar flavours, leading toward the slightly more tart cherry and ending on a soft bed of lapsang souchong smoke.

A bit sweet, bit fruity, longer and easy to relish for the whiskey sour fan.

 

Opium Chinatown Afternoon Tea Week Den Dim Sum Cocktail

The White Peony

Now the White Peony, this one is always just out of reach, so well-composed, so independent, with footfalls of tiny bells: Double strength White Peony tea, Herradura Plata tequila, Belsazar White vermouth, house falernum.

The nose is strongly of the white peony, but underneath there is a lingering layer of agave. The first flavour belongs to the Herradura, soft, oaky, bright agave notes – but give away almost immediately to the tea, and below flowers the very restrained Belsazar and falernum with spicier, fruitier flavours. This cocktail, though loaded with various flavours, always feels so restrained and in control – it is delicate and patience is needed to fully appreciate it.

In short: It’s a bloody success.

 

Opium Chinatown Afternoon Tea Week Den Dim Sum Cocktail

The Goji Berry & Chrysanthemum

In contrast, the Goji Berry & Chrysanthemum is far louder: The teas infused in Absolut vodka and a splash of pink grapefruit juice makes a strongly juicy and brightly fruity cocktail. It might lack the White Peony’s complexity, but is a great middle-drink when wandering through the menu to lighten the spirits between the hardhitters. It might not be the Hoodooist’s style, but is an admirable cocktail, nonetheless, well crafted.

The pink grapefruit juice and vodka are the first to hit you, followed by the flowering flavours of Goji berry, and finishing on the floral chrysanthemum.

 

Opium Chinatown Afternoon Tea Week Den Dim Sum Cocktail

The Iron Goddess of Mercy

Finally, the Iron Goddess of Mercy. More commonly known as Tie Guan Yin (or even TGY), the dramatic name comes from various legends that have the same result: the Goddess of Mercy, Guan Yin, has provided a patient listener with a treasure in the form of an Oolong tea whose popularity spread across the country. Rich, and sweet, using it in a nectar-like syrup for a classic Rum Daiquiri was a fantastic choice.

Refreshing, bright, but not lacking in depth, this cocktail (in all its simplicity) is a breath of fresh air, and a fantastic finisher to the menu. Sweet, uplifting, with hints of herb and spice in the distance (as should be customary of a well-made Daiquiri). Wonderful.

Opium Cocktail Dimsum Parlour Chinatown

 

Honestly, recently the Hoodooist has been looking for cocktails that would ‘wow’ him again, and the Tea Den did just that. Having a sip of the teas before their respective cocktails is a great idea to appreciate the brews themselves, as well as identify their place in the cocktails. I also love that the menu is set out in an excellent order, I’d recommend working your way in the same order, as the cocktails flow and contrast wonderfully that way. Manager Bruce Govia has done a remarkable job with working with the London Tea Club here, and service is light, conversational, speedy and approachable.

 

I guess what I’m saying is: You cannot miss this.

 

Drinks: *****

 

The Tea Den @ Opium, Chinatown

15-16 Gerrard St,
London W1D 6JA

http://www.opiumchinatown.com/

The Summer of Twin Peaks!

Press play. You know you want to.

Cosy? Comfy? Got a cup of damn fine coffee on ya?
Fantastic. So.

DO YOU KNOW IT’S THE SUMMER OF TWIN PEAKS

25 years, and Twin Peaks has come rushing back into public consciousness with the announcement of Season 3, coming 2017. And if you’re looking for that Twin Peaks fix, here are some of London’s premier Peaks events to keep you going till then!

 

THE OWLS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM

Where Punchdrunk’s The Drowned Man was a Lynch-inspired fantasy of epic proportions, this summer’s The Owls Are Not What They Seem go all out as a Lynch and Twin Peaks immersive dining experience at an undisclosed location.

From 27th August to 17th October, pop up artists Lemonade and Laughing Gas team up with culinary masters Blanch & Shock to prepare an immersive theatre Lynch environment with a three course meal – all with a twist on a damn fine cup of coffee and cherry pie.

Twin Peaks David Lynch Double R Club

Immersive dining always calls for cherry pie.

Sets, installations, and even a late night drinking den complete with bespoke cocktails and secret missions mean that even if you can’t make it to dinner, you can enjoy the themed bar. And remember to come looking your Lynchian best! Best costumes win an award each evening!

The Owls Are Not What They Seem will be running from 27th August to 17th October 2015.
Tickets for The Owls Are Not What They Seem go on sale midday on 17th July.
Tickets are £65, and entry to the bar is £5.

http://www.notwhattheyseem.com/

 

THE DOUBLE R CLUB

But maybe the end of August is just too far away, and you need your hit ASAP.

In which case, if you haven’t heard of it already, either being shouted about by the drunk in the corner or whispered about only in hushed tones when in polite company – London’s own Lynchian institution – The Double R Club.

Twin Peaks David Lynch Double R Club

 

One of the Hoodooist’s favourite cabarets and nights out in London hands down. The multi-award-winning Double R Club is too peculiar a creature to describe. “Inspired either directly or indirectly by the dark and terrifying world of David Lynch,” announces ‘f*ckin’ suave’ host, Benjamin Louche, the monkey to the organ grinder that is co-producer and retired burlesque performer, Miss Rose Thorne.

A space where mundane and horrifying collide, The Double R Club is a liminal animal, and the Hoodooist uses terms like animal and creature quite intentionally. The space itself is a character in this twisted, lurid nightmare – Angelo Badalamenti’s ‘Pink Room’ echoes across the red drapes and through the thick cover of smoke that slinks between tables – so thick the lights on stage fade and flicker.

Twin Peaks David Lynch Double R Club

Louche’s shameless humour and passionate poetry intersperse cabaret acts too daring for many venues, earning the Club vivid one-word descriptions varying from ‘demented’ to ‘sick’. Yet the compere’s paso dobles and maddened grin draw you back to a foggy form of lucidity from the grotesque dreamworld that each act drags you into – willing, or un. If there was a dictionary of everyday nightmares we choose to repress, The Double R Club will whisper it directly into your cochlea. Not unlike a parasitic centipede, really. It just wants a bed for night. Your heart can’t be that cold.

Whether it’s your cup of tea or not, missing The Double R Club is a big mistake. Whether you end up being the crowd stunned to silence, or the regulars cackling maniacally through the fog, huddled around flickering red candles, is up to you. The regulars have mostly just learnt to give in to the madness in this red, red room.

When the lights come back on and Louche’s voice fades, asking you if you were really there, you will have your answer.

Twin Peaks David Lynch Double R Club

The Double R Club will be hosting a show at the London Wonderground on August 1st, and then returning to its home at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club for its 6th Birthday show on September 17th.

*you know where the Hoodooist will be on 17th September then*

 

Tickets for The Double R Club at the London Wonderground August 1st  2015 are at £17

Tickets for The Double R Club at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club September 17th 2015 are at £10 (includes a coffee & cherry shot, and donut!)

http://www.thedoublerclub.co.uk/

 

THE TWIN PEAKS FESTIVAL

Working closely with the Double R Club, in fact, is the legendary Twin Peaks Festival!

This October, with two riotous days that would leave any Twin Peaks fan chomping at the bit, the Twin Peaks Festival is back to Whitechapel’s Genesis Cinema – bringing with it stars from the show including Lee, Ashbrook, and Amick (YES. YES, INDEED.), among others.

Visitors can expect signing with the actors, and a wrap up party with them including a bespoke Agent Cooper Cocktail, and obviously cherry pie and donuts. Don’t forget David Lynch’s very own line of coffee beans!

Between screenings, performances and Mulholland Drive Jitterbug dance class, you also get to explore Glastonberry Grove, and witness performers at the Double R Club return to the train car with BOB and Laura Palmer – because what’s a good weekend without a spot of murder?

Twin Peaks David Lynch Double R Club

“She’s my cousin…but doesn’t she look…almost exactly like Laura Palmer?” ~ Miss Miranda at the TPFestival.

The Twin Peaks Festival will be running on the 3rd & 4th of October 2015.
A Day Ticket can be purchased at £100
A Weekend Ticket can be bought at £180

http://www.twinpeaksukfestival.com/

 

This summer is the certainly the summer of Twin Peaks, and there always seems to be sweet music in the air.