Shaker and Co
Refining the "craft of drinksmanship", the group behind the valued Shaker and Co bar schools has opened a New Orleans motivated drink barroom slinging some of the most skillfully and creatively concoctions around. Understood for providing training and speaking witho bars, dining establishments, hotels and brand names round the globe (London ties feature Selfridges, The Nightjar and The Savoy), this new enterprise is a first foray in to operating their very own bar.
The feel and look of Shaker & Co is classy things and does certainly exhibit a bit of sultry deep south Americana. The real wealthy wood grain bar with a smartly curated assemblage of bottles backing it up is handsome and welcoming. Nonetheless, the downstairs "tasting space" which is to include a regular roster of cocktail-related home entertainment and such from guest brands (it's Benedictine presently) and "artisan rarities" feels a bit claustrophobic and a little too much like an afterthought to require pulling punters below elbow bending sessions upstairs.
And an elbow flexing session today would not be a terribly bad idea by any type of stretch. Well priced between 6 and eight quid, the cocktails are an outright deal considering top quality and inventiveness, with house-made liqueurs, vermouths, infusions and glucoses adding originality to the mix. Londonist can guarantee the Potato Sack Sour (Benedictine, rock fruit, aperol, Pisco, lemon, egg white, Angostura and Peychaud harsh, £7.50) and the Morning meal with Obama (Jose Cuervo Tradicional Tequila, house-made ginger and grapefruit liquer, bitters, honey, lime and sea salt, £7.50). Delicious!
They offer food too, a fairly priced food selection "packed with deep southerly soul flavors". It's a novel idea to make sure, but one that these booze-ologists don't very solve. Hush young puppies, crab balls with Mardi Gras salsa, Shredded pork 'n' beans, Jambalaya, gumbo-- all of it seems much more appealing that it possibly tries. Stick to the cocktails and get some nibbles if you must.
Looking for some relaxed fun? No one does it better than the Creoles, and there's now a New Orleans influenced public house on Hampstead Road. Put your feet up and sink into beaten-in sofas, remainder your drinks on tables crafted from 40 gallon whisky barrels, and permit the soft light seduce you as it spills from lanterns and fittings made from glass decanters and demi-johns. The succinct drinks menu functions twelve modern cocktails informed by the mid 19th and early 20th century mixology while the meals menu components countrified deep south tastes in the form of hush new puppies (cheese, sweetcorn and ale fritters with chilli plunge), jambalaya and sweet potato rosti. Seems like it's worth a comprehensive shakedown.
119 Hampstead Street
Opening Times: Mon-Wed 17:00-00:00 Thu-Sat 17:00-01:00 Sun Closed
Best for: Cocktails, Date, Friends
Closest Tube: Euston, Warren Street
Cusine: Soul Food
Dress Code: Casual
Music: Eclectic Background