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London Cocktail Club

Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars Islington
4 out of 5 stars
(13user reviews)
London Cocktail Club

Cocktail Pharmacy is the latest edition to London Cocktail Club’s successful string of bars, which include Gangster Tequila Paradise, Rum Tattoo Parlour and Punk Gin Palace. This medically inspired speakeasy, situated on Essex Road in Islington, fits the heavily themed bill. The bar is hidden behind an ‘Apothecary Off-Licence’ shop front, and a ‘Staff Only’ door. Once you have found your way in, you will be able to choose from an array of different concoctions. These vary from a classic margarita or old fashioned to a Spicy Pot Noodle or a Bacon and Egg Martini. Enjoy them in the main room, or head out back to the A&E (Alcohol & Entertainment) room where you can find a smaller second bar. For happy hour (2 for £12) head here at any time on a Monday, or between 5pm and 8pm Tuesday to Saturday. 

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London Cocktail Club says
This 'cocktail pharmacy’ is a speakeasy bar on Essex Road. Don’t be fooled by the 'Apothecary Off-Licence' shopfront, behind the door is the new LCC Pharmacy. Split-level nooks and crannies make up this speakeasy feel. The star of the show is the 'Apothecary Off-Licence & Tasting Room'.
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Posted:

Venue name: London Cocktail Club
Address: 108 Essex Road
Islington
London
N1 8LX
Do you own this business?
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

4.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:7
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|13
1 person listening
tastemaker

London Cocktail Club (Islington) is undoubtedly cool!


It's location, closer to Essex Rd than Angel, means that even on a Friday night it was full but not rammed, giving it a chilled but buzzing atmosphere. I think they also operate a reservations policy, which is great – preserving the feel of a classic cocktail bar. The music helps and is knocked back so you can also talk.

Their cocktail list is amazing, ranging from the classics to their own concoctions. For the Harry Potter obsessed, they also do Butterbeer ;) though I recommend dropping the Werther's Original into the cocktail for a more butterscotch-y taste. The bartenders were really friendly, slick and happy to put on the theatre. They also do table service – ideal when you're with a big group, or just too cosy to move! 

Yeah the prices are in line with Central London, but I was happy to pay for one or five, based on the quality and atmosphere! 

tastemaker

I booked a table in advance for a Friday night with three friends - always book a table, otherwise you'll be standing. They do a great 24£12 happy hour until 8pm on a Friday night, which is great. I tried a Bellini and mojito, two classics that were delicious! The porn star martini was also delicious and my friend's boogie night came with free comedy glasses! The service is quick and attentive. It's table service and you get a yummy bowl of popcorn to keep you going! We only stayed for an hour before getting food elsewhere, but the vibe was fun and I'd definitely recommend for a good value Friday night happy hour.


Brilliant service, great drinks and a really fun atmosphere. Love taking friends here for a few start of the night cocktails when they visit London!

Tastemaker

Such good cocktails here! Went here on a voucher (like 4 cocktails for £16) and stayed until the end of happy hour with 2 friends. Was a bit disappointed when we were sat at the bar, but that definitely changed when we got a super charismatic and friendly bartender. It was a bit mesmerizing watching our drinks being made as well! Some of my favorites were the Butterbeer, the breakfast one with a little candied strip of bacon & egg and of course, and the Brixton riot.


They were all amazingly delicious! I only wish I could afford to visit LCC more often and spend a few hours trying all the concoctions they've got. Happy hour is worth a visit, if you can get there for that time! 

Tastemaker

The good:

- Unique, fun cocktails: a monkey-themed one that includes peanut butter and a plastic monkey decoration, for instance. The breakfast cocktail, which involves a raw egg, sounds less palatable. These are drinks for both the taste buds and the eyes, with liberal use of fire, candy, and showy mixology.

- Dark and atmospheric, with décor that - like the cocktails - is unique and fun.

- A soundtrack of '90s hip hop and rock, which is like nostalgia catnip for the mostly 20- and 30-something crowd.


The bad:

- It's a chain. It's only a matter of time before there's a London Cocktail Club in the place of that great 19th-century corner pub you love.

- Of course creative cocktails come with a cost, and for the price of one of these drinks you could get a decent meal. 

- It's loud and crowded, so it's better for a night out with friends than, say, a date night or after-work drinks with colleagues. Also, you'll probably have to wait a while to be served, so it's best to order several drinks at once.


The random:

- Did you know that LCC also stands for London Cycling Campaign, London County Council, and many other Londony things?


We went for the open, with a quick stop off for Black tie, being a black tie event! Had great fun working our way through the menu, the bar staff were on excellent form! The music and atmosphere make it a cocktail bar to remember!

Tastemaker

The London Cocktail Club dubs itself ‘a serious drinker’s party bar’ and embraces this reputation with gusto. Their cocktail menu offers a vast selection that ranges from quirky twists on the classics to wildly innovative concoctions. Just one warning: you will be tempted to work through the list.


At LCC, bartenders play a dual role of mixologist and entertainer: each drink occasions a performance that might comprise a theatrical use of fire, or funnelling smoke into a bottle through a plastic tube. When not putting on a show, they’re clapping, dancing and provoking the crowd to shout and engage with the bar. The bar is the focal point of the night because of this type of nonstop activity.


We visited the Islington LCC branch on a Saturday night and it was teeming with a riotous crowd- the atmosphere was raucous and the bartenders were in full swing. The staff were initially on edge when we arrived because we were running late and our table had to be given away. It was the end of the happy hour- which, by the way, is a fantastic 2 for £12 deal on all cocktails until 20:00 most nights- and it had plainly been a busy session. 


We were able to grab a small table as it was freeing up, but most were reserved from 21:30 onwards. The seating area in the bar area is confined in the Islington branch, leaving little room to shuffle around the activity at the bar. There was a single server juggling table orders, but she was polite and maintained a sense of humour despite the frenzy. She was quick to resolve a mix-up with our drinks at the bar and kept our cup of complimentary popcorn full. 


We opted for a few classic drinks to ease into the menu: a Mint Julep served in a tin cup, nicely balanced, chilled and garnished with fresh mint. A Tom Collins went down easily and a Long Island Iced Tea carried a saccharine punch. We became more adventurous and sampled the Bacon and Egg Martini, which arrived replete with a gummy egg and candied bacon balanced on top (despite the gimmick, it was a pleasant and rich drink made with bacon-infused Jack Daniel’s). 


I gave the monthly special a punt after seeing it prepared at the bar: a Smoking Barrel, made with Jack Daniel’s single barrel, Martini Rosso, Luxardo Maraschino, mingled with hickory smoke and a maraschino cherry. It was delivered sealed in a glass bottle and tumbled out in a pillow of smoke. The result was a complex drink that mixed sweet and smouldering.


The LCC is a fun and unpretentious place to enjoy a cocktail- the lively atmosphere definitely makes a change from the stuffy city alternatives. Be sure to make a reservation and get a table by the bar. You’re paying for the atmosphere because, frankly, the full price cocktails aren’t cheap- so be sure to make use of their legendary happy hour deals, which varies slightly by location- in Islington, the 2 for £12 happy hour is available all night on Monday and every other day from 17:00-20:00.


There’s no food, but we were given some gummies and popcorn upon arrival. You’ll also occasionally find some edible treats in your cocktails!


Finally, don’t be alarmed if you witness people dancing on the bar- it’s that kind of zeitgeist that you should expect at the LCC.

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