A few weeks ago, I took a quick, three-day detour to London while I was in Europe to do what you all should be doing in the world’s reigning Capital of Great Bars: drink. Here, four killer beverages I can’t stop thinking about.
Happiness Forgets isn’t easy to forget, but it is damn simple to miss. Even with a smartphone, I took a few trips around the block before finding the bar, tucked away on the basement level of a block along Hoxton Square park. My favorite of the many cocktails had to be the crisp and refreshing Tokyo Collins—one of a few fixed items on the rotating menu—which is made with Beefeater Gin, yuzu-infused sake, lemon, grapefruit, and a top-off of soda.
Stay at the new Rosewood London, where the residential, manor-like suites are more similar to palaces than hotel rooms, and you’ll find all the necessary tools and ingredients to mix your own cocktails. Rooms come with complimentary sloe gin, a super popular spirit that is made with sloe berries—and one that I drank often while I was in town. A little bit goes a long way with some lemonade (seen above) or a lime and soda.
And, now, a break from your regularly scheduled programming for something non-alcoholic: the cardamom rose lassi from the Permit Room. Bartenders muddle whole cardamom pods for this yogurt-based, milkshake-like beverage, which makes it super fragrant. Order it as a way to cool-down after eating one of their spicy curries or to accompany okra fries with dipping sauce.
You can take the Chunnel but the quickest way to France is to wander to the narrow courtyard of London’s Neal Street, where you’ll find natural wine bar Les Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, opened by the Parisian superstars from Experimental Cocktail Club. The very French (and very knowledgeable) staff serves natural wines by the glass and bottle. Don’t miss one of their current pours, a chalky and complex anjou from Thibaud Boudignon, a young hotshot winemaker from the Loire.
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Photo by Andrew Richdale