Tom Aske and Tristan Stephenson (the cool kids behind London’s Worship Street Whistling Shop) decided Londoners need an education in whisky. Opening a bar with 250 different bottles is their answer. Of the short (whisky only) cocktail list we recommend the 40 Shades - made with Black Bush, Granny Smith and fennel pollen. Instead of a stuffy bar full of tweed-wearing Old Boys, Black Rock is slick and minimalistic with a hip hop, electro-funk soundtrack. An 18ft, 185-year-old tree trunk in the middle of the room replaces the bar and bartenders will roam freely serving drinks. 2 different types of whisky are being aged within this trunk right now and can be poured from one end through a tap. Wondrous.
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Redemption Bar - Shoreditch
The concept at Redemption Bar is simple: they want to challenge the idea that we need alcohol to enjoy every social occasion. So in this laid-back, arty spot there's not a drop of the hard stuff to be seen. Instead, a carefully constructed menu (designed by a nutritional therapist) with plenty of goodness. That includes vegan, gluten-free and raw-food dishes; and for drinks it's smoothies, teas and mocktails. Snaffle a ruby beet ravioli and one of their coco-tinis (coconut water and cranberry shaken over ice with a squeeze of lime) and you'll feel all the better for it. Perfect for health conscious-foodies or those in need of a little redeeming.
Bull In A China Shop
We know that you like it raucous and all that, but you also like it refined sometimes, don't you? Bull in a China shop is a unique bar and restaurant - and popular Tinder hotspot - that finds a quirky English charm combining with exotic Asian influence, reflecting the half-English/half-Chinese origins of the owners. Their whiskeys are the main talking point; they've got over 100 of them with plenty of rare, exotic and sometimes eye-wateringly expensive Japanese and Scottish tipples that people travel far and wide for. But don't let that intimidate you — the staff are very approachable if you're not an expert. As far as food goes the Rotisserie chicken, brined with ginger, marinated overnight in Asian yoghurt with a Nikka whisky glaze is a big seller
***Closed - Liam - 01/18*** It's always a ball-ache when you're clucking for a cocktail on a school night, but alas, nowhere's open. Open until 2am in the week and 3am at the weekends, those clever Frenchies from Experimental Cocktail Club are here to save your night from failure. Shake your whammy fanny in this late night cocktail joint to some real good afro, soul, disco and boogie.
You know a bar has got something going for it when you've got to book far in advance to get a table there. That's Nightjar: a low-lit speakeasy that's riffing heavily on that ever-popular 1920's thing. This intimate place has that combo of faded glamour, crooning jazz and a meticulously created, unique cocktail list that makes it an ideal place for swooning. Once you find the super discrete door and head down, it's a seriously stunning speakeasy-type setup, intimately lit, and with live music. We don't know what they were smoking when they came up with the cocktails, but pass it this way. How about Chicory Coffee, Truffled Potato Puree, Chocolate Stout and Smoked Mint Foam? Such mental tipples aren't cheap, but you're getting something a bit special here.