By Rose Crosby
Wow. Where do I start?
Last Wednesday I went to check out a new venue opened by the (multi) award-winning Cocktail Trading Co. near Brick Lane; who are known for their creative and fun approach to cocktails.
Now if you’ve read any of my other posts you’ll probably be aware that I enjoy a good cocktail. However, no amount of cocktail-savviness could have prepared me for my experience at The Cocktail Trading Co.
Upon entering the bar you are greeted by a cosy glow and a decor that combines 20th century elegance with pub-type cosiness. I also noted that ‘It Wasn’t Me’ by Shaggy was playing. I have to commend whoever is in charge of the bar’s playlist, as every single song I heard was great, many I had forgotten had existed!
The cocktail menu was extensive, with cocktails to suit everyones taste based on different spirits. They also mixed and blended drinks and flavours that I had never imagined would work, but they really do. Each cocktail has its own double-page spread in the menu, including a beautiful illustration of what the cocktail will look like, or in many cases, a hint as to what the cocktail will look like.
The first drinks were a ‘Bees Knees’ (gin, lemon juice, honey) and a “Royal Mail Aged Air Mail’ (aged rum, lime juice, honey, sparkling wine). If the menu hadn’t given us enough clues that these cocktails were creative, it was certainly proven once they arrived. The Royal Mail Aged Air Mail arrived in an air mail envelope, with a bottle containing the cocktail inside. Both were incredible, I slightly preferred the Royal Mail Aged Air Mail, and I don’t often like rum based cocktails, so it must have been good!
Having delicately sipped** our first drinks we returned to the menu to sample some more. Now, this is where things get tricky and the Cocktail Trading Co. dilemma sets in. This is: do I choose a cocktail that I am 100% sure I will like, or do I pick one because I am so intrigued as to how it will arrive.
The quirky and creative nature of the cocktails is certainly a talking point. This is the first bar I have been in where I have had long conversations with the tables on either side of me, fuelled by a shared childlike curiosity as what drinks have just arrived next door. I think this only adds to the already fun and relaxed atmosphere.
For our second drinks we ordered a Bartenders Cocktail (mezcal, vermouth, maraschino, xocolatl, mixologist’s tears) and an Eight-Foot Fizz (vodka, kiwi sherbet, whole milk, egg white, club soda). The first was my least favourite cocktail, but my partner’s favourite, so it varies very much with taste. The Bartender’s Cocktail has a mature, smoky taste, a little like the flavour you get in whisky perhaps. The second is (apparently) the most popular cocktail, and is the ultimate dessert cocktail. It is like liquid, alcoholic candy, it also comes with pretzels as an added bonus.
Despite wanting a third round, we decided to be sensible and leave it at two each. However, we were both in agreement that these were (hands-down) the best cocktails we had ever tasted and for £9 per cocktail we also thought that they were great value for money and will be back very, very soon.
The Cocktail Trading Co. does not currently take bookings but if you go and it is busy, trust me it is worth the wait. On Wednesday’s they also have live music (a pianist that does requests on an old honkeytonk piano) which I will definitely have to go along to, as I love a bit of live music. Cocktail Trading Co. I will be seeing you again soon!
**may not have been so delicately sipped due to the utter deliciousness of the drinks!