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A central London follow-up from Cocktail Trading Company, dubiously based on New York gangsters.
Donald Trump’s mug greets you at Murder Inc. The central London spin-off from Shoreditch’s Cocktail Trading Company has his grimacing face at the door. A team who’ve made their name in fun times seem to have forgotten what people want from drinking these days: escapism. And if not that, then probably not a bar that makes light of criminals. But what do I know: the place was, er, mobbed.
In the basement (follow the ‘Highway to Hell’ sign), the bar is named after New York’s 1930s gangsters – it’s small, divey and dark, lit by red neon and with lamps on tables adding to the ‘gangster noir’ decor. There are mugshots on the menu, plus portraits of LA’s Playboys 13 gang on the walls and of Charlie Sheen in the bathroom. Poor taste aside, the welcome is as wild as you’d expect from this crew.
They have stiff whisky cocktails by the barrel-load, an absinthe drink on tap and a banging happy hour list (selected drinks are £6 until 7pm). I asked for help with the main menu (it’s quite a long one) and was recommended a Sweet Nothing (£11.50), a clear yet deliciously heady mix of vodka, cola vermouth, champagne and a botanical spirit between whisky and gin – so, basically, all of the drinks! The Hay Zeus (£9.50) was a totally blue and mezcal-tasting tipple that included ‘celery-hay shrub’, and ‘blue wine’. I asked about the latter and was told it was top secret – that’s some gangster shit right there.
While some elements miss the mark, the drinks are fun and flawless. And you’ll struggle to top that happy hour in central London, where the prices can often be criminal.
36 Hanway St
|Transport:||Tube: Tottenham Court Rd|
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