When your neighbourhood café serves cocktails worthy of Zone 1, you know the only way you’ll ever leave London will be in a box. But this Herne Hill newcomer – the second from the team behind Brixton’s Shrub and Shutter – will even go so far as to help you keep the Grim Reaper at bay. Because, as the name suggests, it specialises in ‘cure-all’ drinks.
A great fit for the area’s relaxed, thirtysomething inhabitants, First Aid Box’s white tiled walls, shelves of pseudo-pharmacological gear and menu with a medicinal theme suggest the snap of a latex glove, but it’s a concept lubricated by charming staff, upbeat music and flattering, flickering candlelight.
Drinks make ample use of ‘shrubs’: spirits suspended in vinegar-based syrups that make for thrilling flavour bases. Updates of tried-and-tested classics include an aviation-style mix called Conscious Pilot (£8.50). Here, the rhubarb-infused gin lends the drink a subtle tartness that prevents the triple whammy of violette liqueur, violette shrub and violette droplets from delving too deep into granny’s knicker drawer. Elsewhere, the creamy exuberance of a Ramos gin fizz is given added depth with a shot of rich, earthy matcha-and-pistachio shrub. Both are served without gimmicks – though if it’s theatre you’re after, there’s a smoking cocktail served in a bell jar (£8), a cucumber sherbet in a bottle with a miniature cone of sorbet as a stopper (£9) or a vitamin C-laced bramble with a syringe of blood-hued Chambord (£8).
But the most inspired thing about this place is that when the morning after the night before arrives, you can head straight back for a shot in the arm in the form of coffees, pastries, sangas and well-executed, modish small plates. This time it’ll be in the company of local mums-with-babes, groups preparing to take a spin around Brockwell Park and hungover friends self-administering hair of the dog. So open wide and say Aah! This is exactly what the doctor ordered.
|Venue name:||First Aid Box|
119 Dulwich Rd
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Average User Rating
5 / 5
- 5 star:8
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Best place in Herne Hill. Great for delicious cocktails, imaginative, reasonably priced menu and friendly and knowledgeable staff. Go.
I love this place...from coffee and croissant in the mornings to espresso martinis later in the day the First Aid Box takes care of everyone's needs. The team are so friendly and accommodating - the best bar in Herne Hill!
Great cocktail bar - really interesting cocktails, reasonably priced and nicely presented. Would really recommend!
A fantastic bar with brilliant, innovative cocktails and delicious food. A great companion to the excellent shrub and shutter.