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8-9 Hoxton Square, London, UK
ANYTHING BUT FORGETTABLE, THIS BAR continues to deliver muchos happiness and has become a regular haunt for London liquor lovers and an essential hit on the list for any travelling bartender.
There are no pretentions here, it’s an everyman bar where all are welcome - the modern-day equivalent of a Cheers in London if you like, except with a bit more thought put into the lighting levels. Mercifully all the complexity and thought-provocation is reserved for the mouth, with the drinks doing, and inspiring, a lot of the talking.
Now three years old, the bar was the brainchild of Alastair Burgess, who has flexed his mixing muscles at establishments as revered as Pegu in New York.
Years of faithful service in the bar trenches mean he knows his cocktail onions and he marches the know-how across a sexy menu. The changing list embraces the classics, twists them up, delivers newbies and gives the staff scope to stray from the path if the customer so desires.
In short, if you like a rum drink, they’ll make you a rum drink, and it’ll be an excellent rum drink.
The biggest accolade might be that it has become a bartenders’ bar - it takes one to know one after all - but, importantly, this achievement has not come at the cost of the general punter. Thanks to outstanding service from bartenders and from the floor it eases and quietly educates the novice.
And on top of all this, lest we forget, it uses the strapline Great Cocktails, No Wallies, which remains one of the all-time killer advertising slogans for a bar.