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Scout

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224 Graham Street, London E8 1BP

Scout’s Matt Whiley is one of the great creative minds of the bar industry. His flagship bar is akin to a showroom for a great craftsman – the hard work is done out of sight, while visitors are presented with his finished works. If simplicity is the face of this bar – its décor is as minimalist as its cocktails – there is great complexity behind. Ingredients are seasonal, foraged or sourced from as close to the bar’s new site in Hackney as is possible.

Here, waste is a dirty word – this is as close as you come to closed-loop, zero-waste cocktails. But it’s Scout’s lab of apparatus that enables its bartenders to conjure cocktails that are as delicious as they are ethical. As you might expect from an east London bar, the service style is easy and unpretentious. If you want to know just how they make kelp vermouth or witch hazel soda, they’ll take you down the garden path of enlightenment. If not, it matters not – these are just enjoyable drinks, regardless of your level of understanding.