Tuesday, 6 December 2011


A second departure from my culinary comfort zone this week, this time to give a shout out to Nightjar.

A classy subterranean speakeasy-style bar, the entrance sits between two caf├ęs just a few yards north of Old St tube, on City Road (look for the nondescript black door).

The cocktails, inspired by Prohibition era blends and their own homespun brews and infusions, are heady, complex, and brilliantly executed by a team of talented mixologists and bartenders (who I fear may be poached by the Royal Ballet given the performance we were treated to).

Be prepared to wait, as it's sitting room only and first come first served, though you can reserve tables for large parties. The queue outside can be considerable. Our 1 hour wait on a frosty Saturday night at 1am was made a little more tolerable by the sweet doorman (yes, there is such a thing, it seems).

I highly recommend the Fog Cutter. Enveloped in dry ice, it is a giddy and seriously damaging combination of rum, cognac, gin and sherry. Inebriated as I was, I can remember it vividly. The Bobby Burns, Benedictine, whisky and vermouth, laced with Absinthe, is a clever concoction, too.

Expect top-notch live music - jazz, honky-tonk, blues - most nights, with a modest cover charge/entrance fee of around £7 on a Friday or Saturday night, less on a week night. Cocktails are priced at around £9.

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