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Master of Malt Blog

Tag: Bar Review

Callooh Callay – Bar Review

The streets of Shoreditch are roamed by tight-chino’d packs of hip London youth, gyring and gimbling in the wabe like those slithy toves in Lewis Caroll’s brilliant work of nonsense,…

Callooh Callay

The streets of Shoreditch are roamed by tight-chino’d packs of hip London youth, gyring and gimbling in the wabe like those slithy toves in Lewis Caroll’s brilliant work of nonsense, Jabberwocky. Fitting, it will transpire, that cobbly little Rivington Street’s Callooh Callay should be named after the poem. I must confess I remember little of my first visit (an ill-fated absinthe tasting some years ago), and thinking up preconceptions at Callooh Callay is nigh-on impossible.

In the main bar there’s that kind of Victorian chic thing that a lot of cocktail bars go in for, only, not quite. And then you walk through the wardrobe at the far end (I promised myself I wouldn’t use the term “Narnia-esque”), and you’ll find a hidden secondary lounge area, replete with gaudy Vegas-style leafy centrepiece, barbershop sign, and bathroom bedecked with old tape cassettes. And then there’s the Oyster Card-themed menu, which is something else entirely.

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The Whip – Bar Review

The Whip at The Running Horse Pub 50 Davies Street, London, W1K 5JE Tel: 020 7493 1275 Nearest Tube: Bond Street Monday to Saturday, 12-11pm Hunter S Thompson’s famous Kentucky…

The Whip bar

The Whip at The Running Horse Pub
50 Davies Street, London, W1K 5JE
Tel: 020 7493 1275
Nearest Tube: Bond Street
Monday to Saturday, 12-11pm

Hunter S Thompson’s famous Kentucky Derby inkings were in my mind last Saturday as I climbed the stairs to The Whip in Mayfair – a newly opened bar which carries on the equestrian theme of partner operation, The Running Horse (located downstairs). Brandishing some serious bourbons, the menu is a mouthwatering selection of Derby classics – Mint Juleps were in order, and The Whip’s elegantly styled confines were a suitable location.

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Monkey Shoulder, Callooh Callay, and other abject nonsense

It really only struck me as I was trying to explain to a (non-whisky-loving) friend the weekend after this event that I was, to all intents and purposes talking in…

Monkey Shoulder Bar

It really only struck me as I was trying to explain to a (non-whisky-loving) friend the weekend after this event that I was, to all intents and purposes talking in tongues. “Oh yes – well earlier in the week, I went to a Monkey Shoulder event at Callooh Callay” could just as easily have been “Oh yes – well earlier in the week, I went to a Badger Scapula event at Lorks a Lawdy”. Nonsense. Just nonsense.

 

Anyway – muggle-confusing industry Jargon aside, I’ve been asked by a few people to jot down the recipes and photos from the evening, as it was by all accounts one of the best whisky cocktail events I’ve ever been to.

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London Cocktail Society Bitters

It all began last month, when I was invited by the founders of the London Cocktail Society to go up to London and present our range of bitters to their…

It all began last month, when I was invited by the founders of the London Cocktail Society to go up to London and present our range of bitters to their members. Throughout the course of our conversation it became clear that we could potentially do even more than this, and turn the event into a bitters blending competition.

Throughout the course of another couple of conversations (and over a few lovely cocktails with The Cocktail Geek at the superb Shaker and Company), it became clear that not only was it our moral duty to bottle and release the winning bitters, but that more research at the bar was required as to which cocktails exactly contained bitters, and what were cocktails again, and who are you and why am I here? Ah. Cocktails.

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Dry Martini, Barcelona – Bar Review

It’s hot today in Tunbridge Wells. Really hot. Whilst it’s never too hot for whisky (by Jingo I could go for a Great King Street Highball right about now), the…

It’s hot today in Tunbridge Wells. Really hot.

Whilst it’s never too hot for whisky (by Jingo I could go for a Great King Street Highball right about now), the palate does tend to crave something a bit more refreshing and crisp on occasion. If the last few days’ sales of our new Bathtub Gin are anything to go by, it’s Gin that the nation turns to when things start to hot up.

If I’m honest, I thought I’d stowed the trusty flip-flops away for good, but they’ve made a re-appearance. Here they are next to the Christmas bitters:

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Bar Review – Purl

Astonishing. It’s an easy term to bandy around (and god knows I’m possibly more guilty of doing so than most), but from time to time, one is simply so taken…

Astonishing.

It’s an easy term to bandy around (and god knows I’m possibly more guilty of doing so than most), but from time to time, one is simply so taken aback that the term “astonishing” is really all that fits the bill. I found myself using that particular word on approximately a dozen occasions, when my good lady wife and I visited Purl earlier this year.

Just as it is usually possible to accurately assess the competence of a curry house by ordering a simple Madras, the ‘control’ drink in any half-decent cocktail bar, for me, is a martini cocktail. Good glassware – points; correctly chilled glass – yet more points; really, really good Sicilian lemons for the twist, many points. If, however, as in the case of one restaurant recently visited who shall remain nameless – you serve it in a chipped glass, complete with crushed ice, and a slice of lemon, you’re scoring very low indeed.

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