Experimental Cocktail Club
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Tue Aug 7 2012
Don’t be misled by the name: this isn’t a members club – although to say it’s democratic is pushing it a bit. Booking is (almost) essential, and can only be made by email, noon-5pm. In theory, you can just turn up – that’s if you can find the place. It’s behind a nondescript door with a nondescript man standing outside it. He has about his person a list that could decide whether you’re in, or going elsewhere.
The result is worth all the aggravation. The cocktails here really are spectacular – they’re some of the finest concoctions not just in Chinatown, but in the entire city. Adept bar staff use ultra-premium spirits (some of them aged and rare), own-made infusions and unusual ingredients. And most of the drinks cost no more than £11.
Staff are charming until the place fills up, whereupon it can be hard to catch their attention. It’s also a very nice place to drink – a moodily lit three-floor townhouse with a mirrored ceiling and a few fin-de-siècle flourishes.
Other bars go a bit deeper with their cocktail science (69 Colebrooke Row, for instance, or Worship Street Whistling Shop), but although the drinks here are ambitious, they’re not Nobel Prize-winningly so. The experiment is perhaps a social one – ‘Can we make it as hard as humanly possible for customers to get in here, but still make money’? Oddly, it seems to be a success.
Experimental Cocktail Club 13A Gerrard Street