Sitting in the back of what at first looks like a car park, is one of east London’s finest gems — the East London Liquor Company. An industrial-yet-airy bar with copper touches and it’s biggest treat: an in-house distillery where the staff are crafting their own gins, vodkas and whiskies. If you’ve ever seen a backbar more beautiful than this … well, you probably haven’t.
The short cocktail menu features drinks that might sound complicated but look rather simple. Take for example, the Banana Daiquiri — you’d expect a frozen long drink, maybe even with an umbrella. Not here. Instead it’s clear and served straight-up in a coupe … but the taste certainly doesn’t take the less is more approach. Naturally as the bar is making its own spirits, you can expect much of the same for all the cocktail ingredients — from beetroot pickle juice to lime cordial. And though you won’t see any taps, there is beer on draught if you aren’t ready for the spirit world. For those feeling peckish, order one of the cheese or meat platters — or go for that savoury favourite, the grilled cheese.
On sunny days, park up in the courtyard where street food vendors may be swinging by from time to time.
Best Bars tip: Book yourself into one of the distillery tours — you can either learn about the history of gin or you can get an in-depth look at the inner workings of gin making. Do both if you fancy.
— Sasha Filimonov, @SashaSips