Cocktail Trading Company

Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars Bethnal Green
Recommended
5 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(7user reviews)
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The third Cocktail Trading Company bar serves up Wonka-level cocktails in a comfy Shoreditch den.

It’d be churlish for an otherwise stellar cocktail bar to lose points just for playing truly awful music, but on a quiet Tuesday evening the new branch of the Cocktail Trading Company came very close. Beleaguered by a Maximum Dad Rock playlist, it was hard to focus on the excellent drinks they kept sending our way. Okay, it wasn’t that hard.

This new bar off Brick Lane is the Company’s second follow-up to the closed Soho original. More spacious than their year-old Smithfield branch, the new wood-panelled drinking room is two parts classy cocktail bar to one part comfortable pub, stirred with a dash of wink-wink, owl-heavy retro kitsch.

Then there are the drinks: a cocktail list two-dozen-strong at £9 apiece. A rich and gulpable espresso martini proved that they’ve got the classics in hand, but once we got to the weirder stuff, things really started to fly. The Guido Forks came whisky-rich, smoky and sour and served with a small explosion. The One In A Million was sharp and refreshing with a chilli kick and a lottery ticket. The Handy Nightcap used a frozen golf ball instead of ice. I could (and did) go on. Even the menu was a tiny treasure, pocket-sized – according to our friendly bartender – so we could take it home. Which, believe me, you’ll want to do.

With its superb booze and constant stream of icebreaking surprises, CTC could well be the best place for a first date in the whole East End. And to be fair, the music offers an inbuilt vetting system: if your partner starts tapping their foot to the Stereophonics, you know it’s time for an early night.

By: James Manning

Posted:

Venue name: Cocktail Trading Company
Address: 68 Bethnal Green Rd
London
E1 6GQ
Transport: Tube: Shoreditch High St
Do you own this business?
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Average User Rating

4.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|7
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1 of 1 found helpful
tastemaker

Long catch ups over cocktails are the best type of catch ups, and this place not only do the classics really well, but they also have a quirky selection of cocktails that are seriously worth trying and inevitably become part of the conversation. The staff here are very friendly and unpretentious, and can always recommend something that tickles your palate as some of the descriptions for their cocktails perhaps don’t do them justice and may surprise you - so be sure to ask them any questions you may have. The interior is cosy, dimly lit and captivatingly eclectic - sort of a cross between a saloon bar, an apothecary and somewhere that Don Draper would be seen sipping and brooding. The space is also well divided so if you have a larger group, you can have a little space to yourselves. It’s also a really nice place for a quiet afternoon cocktail (or two) with a good book.


What we had:

  • Bee’s Knees
  • Pharmaceutical Stimulant
  • Apairoteef
  • Handy Nightcap
  • Whiskey Sour
  • White Lady

Tip: the classics such as the Whiskey Sour and White Lady here are great too! If the chat is failing, do check out the last few pages of the menu for some assistance.


Good For: small groups, intimate/ casual drinks, date night, something different.

tastemaker

My expectations for this bar were pretty high... I'd seen so many amazing pics via Instagram and frankly I expected a very creative experience wrapped up in a bubble of booze and giggles... When we got there the menu looked nothing like the Instagram pictures.

When I asked one of the staff members what happened to their creative cocktails he said "well now we wish to concentrate more on the quality of the drink" to which I answered... "so are you saying your drinks lacked quality before?"... He got a little flustered and then went on about how I shouldn't worry about the appearance blah blah blah.... But frankly I travelled that distance for the creativity of the cocktails! If I wanted a basic drink I could've stayed close to Central London but I wanted weird and wild... I won't return because the drinks we did order weren't amazing enough and frankly it's not worth the hype any longer. The effort they clearly used to make with their cocktails is no longer present today which is a crying shame.


Fantastic evening had here! Enjoyed a diverse range of cocktails all beautifully presented. Staff were really friendly and the menu is just divine !! Look forward to going for round 2 !


Absolutely brilliant. Fantastic drinks and perfect service. Reminded me why I love cocktail bars so much. Sitting at the bar, the bartender managed to make drinks quickly, beautifully, keep it all neat and tidy and have a lovely conversation with us at the same time. Not to be missed.

tastemaker

One among all the cocktails bar in London.

This is good, without being amazing but the presentation of the cocktails is really original and making it a cool place to go just to discover how the drink will be displayed. You can savour a panna cotta while eating cereal bar, whit your cocktail replacing the milk.


This is nice to do it once in a while, but it won’t be my every Friday night spot.

Tastemaker

A quirky, friendly bar with a lovely vibe situated just above Brick Lane. The bar is quite small however there are lots of cosy seats, a fabulous bar and a great cocktail menu. The cocktails are all priced around £9, each one created around a theme. I had the Bees Knees (gin, honey and lemon juice) and Gimlet (lime cordial and gin) which are definitely the more "boring" cocktails but both were delicious. The more adventurous creations consist of the cocktails like Tom & Jerry (bourbon, ice cream and spiced syrup served on a mouse trap), Instaspam (apple brandy, orange blossom served in a can) and Eggsperimental (served in an egg cup). Each drink is served in such a creative way, they really have the wow factor. A fabulous bar and a great place to go for drinks with friends.

Tastemaker

Cocktail Trading Company, Brick Lane continues to wow and amuse in equal measure. I had a great time!



CTC is a quirky, speak-easy style bar close to hip and happening Brick Lane. As soon as you enter through the unassuming doors, you'll find yourself in a small but lively room. The bar is a dim room lit up by candlelights which gives CTC an intimate atmosphere. Sit yourself down and you'll love the extensive list of cocktail creations in the menu.



Many cocktail on the menu are CTC's very own signature creations, all quirkily named and with its own unique presentation including one that comes in an airmail envelope! I tried "Pept-Abysmal" which came in a medicine bottle complete with a shot cap and sugar pills. With One in a Million, I had a lottery card clipped to my drink.



If you don't fancy anything from the menu, just ask the expert mixologist for a classic or anything to your heart's desire. They'll be more than happy to whip something up just for you.


As you sip away on your cocktail, sit back for a moment and admire the equally wacky decor with it's caricature drawing of famous faces, the vintage memorabilia and posters which adorns the wood panelled walls. It's unusual but entertaining and amusing. 



As it's small, it can get really busy and can feel cramp. However, if you're one of the lucky peeps with a seat and table like I was, there are bartenders  who roam around from whom you can order your drinks and wait for them to be delivered to your table.



As if I haven't mentioned this enough already, quirky is the same of the game here. So if you like all things quirky or looking for a place to embrace your curious side, then CTC is a great place to let your inhibitions go. CTC won't judge. In fact, it's encouraged ;)



It's hard for me to pin-point what i love most about CTC, Brick Lane. I mean, just look at the pictures! I dig anything quirky and I felt right at home. Loved the decor, loved the ambience, decor and, of course, drinks.



Overall, a really fun bar devoted to quirky drinks, unusual amusement and general fun. A great place to catch up with mates for a great laugh as a midweek treat or on a night on the town at the weekend.