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London Spirits Run


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If you're going to the Whiskey Exchange shop in Vinopolis it's worth double checking with them if you're after something specific from their website - they don't have everything from the website in the shop. If they haven't got it I've found they can get it ordered into the shop for no charge with a few days notice.

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On this topic, it would also be useful (for me) to know of any less humungous retailers worth visiting in London. In my hometown there's a tiny rundown newsagent and general store on St Clements that seems to stock about 50 kinds of absinthe as a sideline to selling tobacco and tins of baked beans. What are the London equivalents?

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Thanks, all, for the replies. That's got me off to a great start! I see that Whisky Exchange carries Jade Perique liqueur de tabac, so that might have part of my allotment taken care of right there.

 

Oh yes! I have that and it is seriously interesting stuff! I also got Miodula from them which I like, both because it is good and seriously unusual. Practically nobody here has ever heard of either one of them which makes it a must have for me.

 

Speaking of seriously odd stuff (nothing to do with London) but I finally got around to trying the new Lost Spirits overproof high ester navy style 136pf rum from K&L and it is seriously odd and interesting as well. Worth a try if you are into rum.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Will be in London for a couple nights next month (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings)...not so much interested in what spirits to drag back with me (headed to France & Spain after, and likely to end up with checked bags full of wine & rare Chartreuse), but hoping for some recommendations on places to imbibe.

 

My experience with London's high-end cocktail scene is either stodgy hotel bars (Savoy, etc.) or more odd, clubby spots (Callooh Callay, Nightjar) that can sometimes be a bit more style over substance. I guess you could say I'm looking for the Pouring Ribbons of London...someplace with top notch drinks in a more relaxed atmosphere. Any suggestions?

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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Wherever Adam's tending, surely?

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”In Demerara some of the rum producers have a unique custom of placing chunks of raw meat in the casks to assist in aging, to absorb certain impurities, and to add a certain distinctive character.” -Peter Valaer, "Foreign and Domestic Rum," 1937

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I appreciate the shout out, but actually I'm not tending in London at the moment. I'm actually on the eve (not quite, but close) of opening a bar with a friend in my home town of Horsham.

Describe Pouring ribbons to me. Do they have a style of drink they lean toward? Do you want unique drinks, or just solid classics?

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I appreciate the shout out, but actually I'm not tending in London at the moment. I'm actually on the eve (not quite, but close) of opening a bar with a friend in my home town of Horsham.

Describe Pouring ribbons to me. Do they have a style of drink they lean toward? Do you want unique drinks, or just solid classics?

Cool, best of luck with the new project!

 

PR has been called the anti-speakeasy. Open space, plenty of light...lively, but not crowded. Unique drinks are typically the order, but they certainly have classics down & you can typically find a classic backbone in even the stranger offerings.

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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I'd suggest the Worship Street Whistling Shop. Everything is classic inspired, but they do some pretty interesting things behind closed doors. The drinks are no frills unlike, say, nightjar.

http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/29407457/Whistling%20Shop%20Spring%202012%20Menu%20Small.pdf

This is actually their menu from mid to late last year. I think they're still running it, or near enough.

The Dead Parrot; Built from the ground up by bartenders, for everyone:

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I appreciate the shout out, but actually I'm not tending in London at the moment. I'm actually on the eve (not quite, but close) of opening a bar with a friend in my home town of Horsham.

Describe Pouring ribbons to me. Do they have a style of drink they lean toward? Do you want unique drinks, or just solid classics?

 

Shameless promotion for my own brief review of PR: http://weballharder.com/2012/09/26/pouring-ribbons-cocktail-alchemy/

 

If Little Branch is the best place I've been to for perfect versions of the classics, PR is the place for modern inventiveness without going to all the molecular bollocks.

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Sounds great. Quite accessible, but refreshing at the same time.

Worship Street drinks only have molecular techniques employed in their prep. There's no foams or spherification or other such bullshit.

The Dead Parrot; Built from the ground up by bartenders, for everyone:

Monkey Shoulder Ultimate Bartender Champions, 2015

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I'd suggest the Worship Street Whistling Shop. Everything is classic inspired, but they do some pretty interesting things behind closed doors. The drinks are no frills unlike, say, nightjar.

http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/29407457/Whistling%20Shop%20Spring%202012%20Menu%20Small.pdf

This is actually their menu from mid to late last year. I think they're still running it, or near enough.

 

Thanks, it had been on my radar on a previous trip, but I'd forgotten about it. Looks great.

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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Cool, best of luck with the new project!

 

PR has been called the anti-speakeasy. Open space, plenty of light...lively, but not crowded. Unique drinks are typically the order, but they certainly have classics down & you can typically find a classic backbone in even the stranger offerings.

 

Worship Street seems a strange suggestion in that case... it's in a cellar with no windows and rather twee Prohibition decor and costumes. It is popular but not what it sounds like you're after.

 

Grain Store comes to mind as offering a similar aesthetic and progressive menu, with the provisos that it's ludicrously uncomfortable to sit there unless you're a giant, and that it's more of a daytime bar to my mind. The Hide Bar also looks like it could be similar to Pouring Ribbons in terms of drinks list and layout, but I haven't been yet.

 

Generally big and/or airy means hotel or restaurant bar (Artesian in the Langham, Booking Office in the St Pancras Renaissance or Bassoon in the Corinthia - cost a limb, stuffy atmosphere, dressy; Mark's Bar at HIX Soho, Oscar's at Dabbous or Hawksmoor Spitalfields - somewhat more reasonable and excellent for meat lovers* but all in basements); livelier atmosphere means small dark hole in the ground (or big dark hole or small dark attic) (Purl, ECC, Milk & Honey, the Blind Pig, Happiness Forgets, Knowhere Special).

 

I will try and think of some more constructive tips that actually accord with what you wanted...

 

*Not a euphemism

Edited by Plantes Vertes (log)
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Will check out Grain Street...nothing wrong with day drinking on vacation, and I've been called a giant by at least one rude waiter (though, I'd be on the small side for an NFL lineman).

Thanks.

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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  • 7 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Gareth. Turns out the Shake Rattle and Stir tours were all booked for weeks, so that helped decide.

 

I wound up taking the Beefeater distillery tour, which was really enjoyable. A quite nice museum-like self-tour through the history of gin, followed by a guided tour of the distillery itself which was very educational too. And a nice gin and tonic at the end. 

 

Later we went to City of London distillery, not for the tour but just for drinks. Disappointingly was told they were closing earlier than scheduled, but I had time for one drink, a superb Martinez with their house London dry. 

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