Spring has sprung… hasn’t it?? We’re still not entirely impressed by this weather, but at least the days are longer, which means even MORE time for cocktail drinking! With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of the best things to do and places to head to, now that April has arrived.
Drink This: Le Penguin
Here’s an interesting little fact for you – Le Poisson d’Avril is the French celebration of April Fool’s Day, where people try and stick fish on the backs of friends, running away shouting ‘Poisson d’Avril’ (the April Fish). Whether you knew about this bonkers tradition or not, one thing is for sure – Le Penguin cocktail is no joke.
New Opening: Vijay’s Bar & Lounge
There’s a new bar in (Fitzrovia) town – one that specialises in innovative cocktails and Indian-style bar snacks. Vijay’s Bar & Lounge is tucked away above the Indian restaurant Lokhandwala, and is inspired by the story of infamous Mumbai gangster Vijay, who broke the heart of aristocrat Lady Charlotte in the 1800s. She fled to London and centuries later became the inspiration behind the restaurant and bar – seen in the atmospheric dark walls, rich fabrics and opulent detail, such as the striking silver elephant and arresting bronze chandelier. The intimate venue and outdoor terrace will offer cocktail lovers an elusive drinking den that provides a haven for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the streets below.
Floral syrups and Indian spices play a prominent role throughout the menu, with the likes of rose and lavender syrup featuring in the drinks, along with spices like fennel seed, star anise and fresh coriander. We’re looking forward to trying the VJ’s Flask (pictured) – a combination of Glenfiddich 12 year, herbal notes from Becherovka, warming port wine, and angostura bitters.
93 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia,W1T 4PY | 5 pm – 12 am – Tuesday to Sunday
Indulge in the largest list of Espresso Martinis ever created!
Yes, that’s right – this April sees the opening of The Espresso Martini Society, bringing this iconic classic back to Soho, where it was first created by the legend Dick Bradsell. Popping up on Friday 20th April and staying at 12 Moor Street for a six-week residency, the bar will feature the largest list of Espresso Martini variations ever created, including the A-List Avocado and The Ginger Beer’d. And of course they’ll only be using the best quality ingredients, making their Espresso Martinis out of Oubu Coffee. This seductively smooth coffee comes from one of the most prestigious coffee farms in the world on Jamaica Blue Mountain, and has a complexity that aims to create the ultimate Espresso Martini. Book your spot now!
£10pp reservations are available for 1h 45 minutes and include a complimentary original recipe Espresso Martini. Book here.
Friday 20th April – Sunday 27th May | Thurs – Sat (incl. Bank Holiday Sundays)
Check out the new menu at Swift
You can’t really call yourself a London cocktail lover unless you’ve had at least a couple of cocktails at Swift, the multi-award winning Soho bar from Mia Johansson and Bobby Hiddleston. And even if you have already tried everything on the menu, there’s reason to visit again, because a new drinks list has landed!
Showcasing reinvented classics and simple serves for its downstairs bar, the new menu stays true to Swift’s signature style of pared-back presentation whilst providing a fresh range of intriguing new serves for customers. We can’t wait to try the Tinderbox (pictured) – a fun twist on the classic Old Fashioned, that combines a delicious peanut-butter Bacardi 8 rum with Armagnac for a rich finish.
Revamped: Evans & Peel Detective Agency
Don’t get us wrong, we love a night dedicated to cocktails. But we also love a cocktail bar with a sensational menu that attracts visitors in its own right; which is the aim behind the new Smokehouse menu at both Evans & Peel locations.
Whether heading to the Detective Agency in Chelsea, or Pharmacy in Chiswick, both will be launching a new Smokehouse menu featuring a selection of southern American dishes all made daily using their own in-house smoker. Think Carolina-style pulled-pork and Texas-style brisket, all served with pickles, buttermilk potatoes, BBQ beans and slaw. There will also be a small plate-led bar menu alongside their innovative cocktail list, with treats such as Buffalo wings, mac ‘n’ cheese with pulled pork, and root beer BBQ beans with pork brisket.
We’ll be enjoying these alongside the creative cocktails available at each site. For example the ‘Not Your Average Joe Martini’ from The Detective Agency (an adaption of the Espresso Martini using Buffalo Trace Bourbon, coffee liqueur, tonka bean, Benedictine and cold brew coffee), and the ‘prescribed’ cocktails from The Pharmacy, including ‘Marabout Healing’ using Brokers gin washed with toasted sesame oil, Cynar, homemade date syrup, fresh lemon juice and egg white.
The soft launch at the Detective Agency will be from10th April-17th April at the Pharmacy. Anyone who makes a reservation will receive 20% off their food bill.
Detective Agency: serving the Smokehouse menu from 7pm-10pm and a bar menu from 5pm-10pm.
Pharmacy: serving small plates of the smokehouse menu and a bar menu from 5pm-10pm.
OSLO Hackney Bar Takeovers
For ultimate spirit satisfaction this April, Oslo in Hackney is the place to head, due to a calendar filled with a series of exclusive bar takeovers. On Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays respectively, OSLO will be collaborating with a wide range of renowned spirit brands to create some incredible concoctions, ticketed masterclasses, intimate tastings and perfect serves.
Mondays will see Kentucky bourbon brand Bulleit Bourbon taking centre stage, providing the perfect ingredients to hone a Whiskey Sour, mixing up a deep and flavoursome Old Fashioned and a pouring a sweet Blood and Sand. Then for your Tuesday tipple look no further than Ocho Tequila, where you can get your lips around a zingy Margarita, the vanilla-infused Eighth Old Fashioned, and an indulgent and creamy Alejandro. Finally, Wednesdays are going Tiki Tropical with Rumbullion!, the full-bodied spiced rum that’s delicious in a sweet yet tart Mai Tai, the warming Bull Old Fashioned, and a tropical Daiquiri.
During these takeovers, cocktail specials will only be £6. And in addition to the cocktail menu takeovers, the OSLO bar takeovers will also see an array of events such as a Bulleit Bourbon Tasting on Monday 16th April, a Rumbullion Masterclass for £10 on Wednesday 25th April, and an Ocho Tequila Tasting on 1st May.
Looks like it could be a boozy month in Hackney!
Whiskey Mondays by Bulleit Bourbon launching 16th April.
Tequila Tuesdays by Ocho Tequila launching 17th April.
Tiki Tropical Wednesdays by Rumbullion! launching 18th April
Compiled by Rebecca Milford