You’d have to be a real Rolling Stones completist to have their 1975 compilation ‘Made in the Shade’ in your collection, given that it consisted of not much more than a few of their biggest singles to date. Still, it’s a better name for a bar than ‘Best Of’.
Anyway, name aside there’s nothing Stonesy about this new cocktail bar. It sits at the upper end of Hoxton Street, away from the Shoreditch strip – which is no bad thing. Inside it’s a low-key place with plenty of sofas and an inviting-looking bar loaded with premium spirits. Three seasoned bartenders are behind MITS, resulting in some real attention to detail – blocks of ice are carved by hand according to the requirements of each drink – which made the cocktails really quite super. The UFC (the ‘U’ stands for ‘ultimate’, the ‘C’ cocktail – guess what the ‘F’ stands for) was a no-holds-barred combo of whiskey, rum, Kamm & Sons ginseng spirit and Guinness syrup – good enough to be a modern London classic. The Old Possum’s Punch was a similarly heady mix of rums and cherry jam that would keep a pirate yo-ho-hoing all night.
If only the same praise could be heaped upon the food. It was largely of the beige buffet variety, and the fryer had a busy night, much of the results then served ‘on a bed of rocket’ and ‘drizzled’ with various decoctions. The food menu felt outdated and was a big let-down given how good the drinks were.
MITS is a pop-up – ‘open for six months’, we’re told – so let’s hope the culinary side has time to emerge from the dark ages into the sun.