After a long week at work, nothing cools us down as a delicious dinner and a relaxing drink in a nice place. Our ideal for a Friday night drink is a beautiful cocktail, crafted with passion by expert agile hands. We’re not talking about just mixing vodka with orange juice here, but the real deal: Sazerac, Manhattan, or a Martini. Sadly, the places where you can get “real” cocktails are quite rare. Happily, this has been changing for the last decade, and London now boasts an impressive array of bars dedicated to the highest circles of mixology geekness.
The “Bar with no name” is exactly one of those places. Casually called 69 Colebrooke Row (its address…), this place is a serious pit stop for anyone on their pilgrimage to ethylic nirvana. The menu is short and offers a dozen of house creations (all delicious, really)!
The small size (40 seats!) and atmosphere are truly unique! It’s cosy, intimate, gorgeous, just like a little trip back in time with countless careful touches all over the place (vintage posters and movie soundtracks playing in the bathrooms). The patina of its creator, Tony Conigliaro (a global mixology rockstar) can be seen everywhere, from the impeccable and perfectly synchronized work behind the counter, to the warm and friendly service, to the sublime drinks.
The skill level was really impressive. Most cocktails are made only with homemade tinctures, syrups, concoctions, bitters, or infusions. The crew clearly know their stuff and we had really enjoyable discussions with them about how they were making every little ingredient (such as vacuum-distilled horseradish vodka) in their laboratory (which we’d love to visit and talk about some day!!!).
We started with a Death In Venice (Campari with grapefruit bitters topped with prosecco and an orange twist), a very close cousin to Apérol spritz. Along, we had a Barbershop Fizz (Pine infused Beefeater gin, birch and vanilla syrup, patchouli infused mint, lime, topped with Soda). The fizz was very original and refreshing, it felt like drinking candy floss juice straight from the 60’s (with much less sugar).
We then tasted the Terroir, which is simply Distilled Clay, Flint and Lichen served straight from the bottle. In other words, a liqueur made of a patch of ground – the terroir. You just gotta love the idea! It tasted just like vodka with strong mineral & earthy flavours (oh really?!).
We then had an Avignon (Merlet Cognac, Chamomile syrup, Smoked Frankincense) and St James’ Gate (Myers Rum, Guinness Reduction, Lemon, Sugar). The Avignon was absolutely exquisite! The glass is smoked with frankincense and the drink was interestingly sweet. The St James’ Gate was also ridiculously delicious, nice foamy and lemony froth that reminded me of a good pisco sour with extra body and roundness.
We then concluded our voyage with a Royal Oak (Acorn Liqueur, Oak bitters topped with Champagne) and a Bloody Mary (Horseradish vodka, Pepper distillates, Worcestershire Sauce, Pepper Sauce, Tomato Mix, Celery Salt, Lemon Juice). The Royal Oak was a very nice light fuzzy drink with nice smoky syrupy tones, and the Bloody Mary was bloody delicious. The spicy notes of horseradish and intense flavours of lemon and celery salt really set this drink apart.
This place is every epicurean’s dream come true and we recommend anyone in town to give it a try! Just make sure you book ahead, otherwise you might have to wait quite a bit before you can sip on your drink.
69 Colebrooke Row, London N1 8AA