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An American cocktail bar in the basement of the Lockhart restaurant.
Please note, Showdown is now closed. Time Out Drinks Editors, 2016.
If you’re searching for the answer to the eternal ‘Where can I get the baddest drinks in the whole damn town’ question (Southern drawl optional), the answer is surely at Showdown. That is, of course, if ‘bad’ means ‘good’ which, when it comes to the cocktail list at the Lockhart restaurant’s new basement bar, it certainly does.
Put together by acclaimed chef Brad McDonald and cocktail ninja Matt Whiley, aka ‘The Talented Mr Fox’, Showdown’s menu features a heady mix of classics with an American twist and brand new entirely batshit crazy creations that will boggle your mind as well as your tastebuds.
Take, for example, the ‘Smoking Bandito’ (£11), served short with Patrón silver tequila, pickled corn, smoked chicory butter and lime. It’s in the ‘sour’ section of the list, which is divided into Long, Fancy Drinks, Sour, Shooters and Strong, with a ‘tap and bottle section’ providing excellent pre-mixed options. Another must-try is the ‘Yellow Door,’ a mouth-coating mix of vanilla doughnut, Finlandia vodka, absinthe and egg yolk.
Those with an even sweeter tooth can’t go wrong with the ‘Campside Colada’ (£9). Gone is the cloying milkiness of the usual Piña variety, and in its place is a transparent, lightly sparkling version with Bacardi, barbecue pineapple, toasted coconut and house marshmallow soda. It’s served with a just-charred marshmallow on a cocktail stick that, as you sip, imparts the sweet waft of bonfire to your nose.
As you’d expect, there’s a strong emphasis on rye and bourbon, and the ‘Pick It Lick It’ (£9), made with Rittenhouse rye, pickled watermelon and house pecan soda, is at once smoky, sweet and clean. Don’t leave without trying the deviled eggs and fried chicken from the short bar snack menu.
At 7pm on a Thursday night it was quiet – more peaceful than subdued – but we came back at 9pm and it was buzzing. It’s not cheap and the drinks take a while to make, but it’s a fine ol’watering hole nonetheless.
22-24 Seymour Place
|Transport:||Tube: Marble Arch|
|Opening hours:||5.30pm-11pm Tues-Sat; 11am-4pm Sund.|
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