Worldwide icon-chevron-right Europe icon-chevron-right United Kingdom icon-chevron-right England icon-chevron-right London icon-chevron-right East London Liquor Company

East London Liquor Company

Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars Bow
Recommended
4 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(15user reviews)
1/9
2/9
3/9
4/9
5/9
6/9
7/9
8/9
9/9

A gin and whiskey distillery in East London with a bottle shop and bar.

It’s a beautiful bar with a great pedigree: an old glue factory transformed into a gin distillery. Tall ceilings, dusty brickwork and wooden stable doors remain making it all look a bit fabulous by night, especially with spotlights bouncing off the copper stills visible through glass behind the bar. The view sure beats a plain old back-bar.

But you’ll have to know where you’re going: it’s in a Bow Wharf car park, so you’ll hardly stumble across it on the late-night Tower Hamlets trail. As such, it stays quiet on week nights, somewhat dampening the drinking experience.

The stash of bottled booze is pretty impressive. They make gin and vodka as well as smaller batches of rum (distillery tours can be booked), but in the bar itself there’s also a variety of imported liquors on show. Many cocktails have silly names (‘I’ll have the sec’s-ual healing, please’) but this blend is both serious and refreshing: dry curacao, rhubarb, lemon and orange bitters topped with soda water.

Gin lovers can keenly test out mother’s ruin straight from the ELLC source with cocktails based on the distillery’s own London dry and premium batch. Should a marva Collins (London dry, yuzu, lime, bergamot bitters and soda, £8.50) not take your fancy, well-trained staff can whip up something to your taste. Barman Mikey Pendergast has headed up Hoxley and Porter in Islington and Powder Keg Diplomacy in Clapham in the past.

When it’s quiet you can eavesdrop on the bartenders concocting new recipes or playing around with old favourites. What ELLC lacks in atmosphere it more than makes up for in booze enthusiasm.

By: Laura Richards

Posted:

Venue name: East London Liquor Company
Contact:
Address: Unit GF1
221 Grove Rd
Bow Wharf
London
E3 5SN
Opening hours: Mon-Thur Noon-11.30pm; Fri,Sat noon-midnight; Sun noon-11.30pm.
Transport: Tube: Bethnal Green/Mile End
Do you own this business?
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

4.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:10
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|15
2 people listening
1 of 1 found helpful
tastemaker

I haven't had a chance to eat here yet but I have had a drink (or two) and it's such a gem of a place to have in the area. The cocktails are wonderful and interesting and are made with gin that's distilled right there! Staff are friendly and insightful and the whole venue is very sexy and industrial. If it's a nice night you can sit outside too. It gets quite crowded on the weekends but it has a cool buzz if that's what you're after. If you're looking for something more quiet and relaxed then just come on a week night instead! 

tastemaker

I've been here a few times for drinks, but went to try out the relatively new eating bit last week. As you would expect all the cocktails I have tried are delicious, they make a particularly good old fashioned. Average London cocktail prices, so not cheap but worth it. We had pizza, and both were excellent. Mine had a stuffed crust, with ricotta, much better than the old school pizza hut version! They only had one veggie pizza option but were very happy to make up a custom order for my buddy. The little dining annex was pretty dead on a Thursday night, but there were also serving pizza in the main bar if you wanted more atmosphere. They also have a bottle shop selling their own booze plus lots of other yummy options - and they let you try before you buy - winner!


tastemaker

Don't be alarmed by the fact that it's buried in a small industrial park beside the canal, this place is fantastic! The bar itself is really lovely and has a wonderful outdoor section that's great in summer. The gin is incredibly good, the staff are helpful and I can't recommend it enough

Tastemaker

The East London Liquor Company is housed in a beautiful converted brick warehouse south of Victoria Park and the canal. The bar is located in the main larger building and the Bottle Shop restaurant is located in the building right next door, with a  great outdoor seating area in between. Behind the bar, the impressive copper distillers are showcased. The whole feel is really relaxed and it’s a nice break from the Shoreditch and Old Street scene - for gown up hipsters, if that’s a thing. 

The drinks menu consists of about 10 cocktails and 10 beers. The cocktails are very inventive and contain some pretty unusual ingredients like clay (!?), avocado and sumac. A lot of them also contain gin, vodka or rum produced on site. Be forewarned that it’s best to seek advice from the bartender before ordering. We ended up going for cocktails that sounded pretty extreme and in the end had difficulty drinking much of them.The restaurant offers a short list of different cocktails along with wine. You can also browse their shelves of really interesting bottles to buy which includes their own brand of spirits and an array of other unusual choices. We ordered their halloumi and roast red pepper pizza to eat outside which was really nice. You can also order food to the bar area.This is a great place to come for a chilled night with a group of friends - you can reserve tables and on a Saturday night, it was busy enough, but not crowded. 

It's difficult to decide between the daiquiri and negroni, so I get both.


Great atmosphere,
Great scene,
Great if not the best drinks,
And Great food.

Tastemaker

If you’ve ever lived in Mile End and been for a walk along to Victoria Park, chances are you’ve strolled right past one of the loveliest and most stylish bars you never even knew was there.


Sat across what looks like a car park, in an old glue factory next to a gym and a cupcakerie, the East London Liquor Company prides itself on creating, distilling & producing its own spirits as well importing a quality selection from across the globe. Gin is arguably the favourite child with 3 home grown and gorgeously bottled varieties (40, 45 & 47% ABV) sitting alongside rum and vodka while rye whiskey from Sonoma County and Polynesian inspired rum top up the imports list which includes bitters flavoured with chocolate and sour cherry among others.


Just across from the bar is the bottle shop where you can pick up a little something for the weekend – or a Monday night, you’ll get no judgement here – and there’s plenty of space outside for al fresco summery drinking which is, as we all know, the very best kind there is.


Staff are experts in the right way to put a drink together and seem genuinely delighted that you’ve called in to see them. You can absolutely grab a beer or a glass of something grapey and delicious but let’s face it, come to a place like this that prides itself on its own spirit making and you’d be crazy not to either pick something off the menu – ‘Swizzle dat Shizzle’ has my name all over it with its blend of rum, pineapple sugar & crème de banana – or keep it timeless with a classic G&T, the elegant clear liquid spilling over opaque cubes of ice, clinking in a tall tumbler.


Pull up a pew in the heart-stoppingly beautiful bare brick and wood bar, take a tour of the distillery or get on board with a rum or spirits tasting, the perfect birthday gift for someone who loves their artisan alcohol. It gets packed & buzzing with atmosphere in the lighter evenings of the summer – I use the word loosely given that this is England – months but I also love going on a random mid-week night when the bar is quiet; you’ll feel as though there’s nothing in the world you’d rather be doing than sipping a glass of something crafted with skill & love and nowhere in the world you’d rather be doing it.

Tastemaker

A really nice venue away from the hustle and bustle of London. Excellent gin cocktails, really nice staff and brilliant venue hire.

Tastemaker

This place is a little gin lover's paradise. Just a short walk from the South side of Victoria Park there is no better place to relax with a cocktail or too, and potentially even witness the gin making processes in action on a tour. After finding your perfect gin, you can get yourself a bottle by just asking any of the staff who will happily open up the bottle store outside and talk gin making, as they know their stuff. While not cheap, for small batch production gins you can bag yourself a bargain. Despite being slightly off the beaten track it can get quite busy as the floor space inside isn't vast, though in the summer months the outside seating easily doubles the capacity and on the weekend you could well be greeted with a BBQ out front too.

Tastemaker

This is a great space, though a little out of the way.  I have done a tour (courtesy of TimeOut) and it was fun - you can clearly see the passion the owners have for this place and gin and whiskey more generally.  The sage gin is a revelation and is so smooth and delicious, you can easily drink more than you should!  Although a little pricey, the cocktails are also great - though be warned that some are very alcoholic!


I used to live just a five-minute walk from this place - I can't vouch for the weekends but it's the perfect spot for a quiet midweek drink. There's a hefty list of cocktails to choose from (made with the spirits they make onsite, naturally), and you can book to go on tours of the distillery area.

Snap up exclusive discounts in London

Time Out's handpicked deals — hurry, they won't be around for long...