Tag: cocktails

Cocktail lovers rejoice! There is a whole new cocktail menu at Madison that needs to take it's rightful place on your hitlist! You'll find Madison at the top of One New Change just off Cheapside.  It's a really handy place to know about as it doesn't get overly busy with after work drinks, it has an amazing terrace and you can combine it with a bit of shopping so what's not to love?


Combining so many things I love - a great view of the city, alcoholic beverages and an ode to Manhattan,  Madison and it's new cocktail menu kept us company last week along with some particularly good mini burgers whilst we waited for spring to kick in.


If you are a little strange like me you will love the fact that you can be outdoors with heaters here even though the weather's not quite what you would call 'balmy' yet.  You get a great view of St Paul's and you can always duck inside for a bit if you are more sensitive to the cold!

An additional reason to pop along to Madison now though is their twelve new themed cocktails- you may have to plan a couple of trips to get through them all. Celebrating the dizzying heights of Manhattan, New York the new collection helps you sip your way through America’s colourful cocktail history from the Victorian ages right through the Prohibition era to the present day without the flight, Air B&B costs or needing to find a working time machine!


Half of the menu honours six world-famous classics from the cocktail Hall of Fame in their original form. Hailing from the golden ages of cocktail culture, these serves have travelled through generations to gain glory around the world.

The other half of the menu is formed of six contemporary twists guaranteed to delight any cocktail aficionado. Unexpected but delicious, these modern-day masterpieces champion ambitious experimentation on par with New York’s own world-class cocktail bar scene.

The menu has been devised by Madison Assistant General Manager Fred Tartas and his team. Having previously worked at German Gymnasium, Blue Bar at The Berkeley Hotel and The Ritz, Paris, Fred has years of experience under his belt when it comes to creating the very best in cocktails

Our favourites were the Maple & Almond Sour. A nutty twist on the much-loved whisky sour, featuring Armagnac Gaspard infused with roasted almond, dark chocolate and spices, lemon juice, maple syrup and egg white.

And The Mist. Which takes on the Southside cocktail with a mix of Death’s Door Gin, honey & spinach syrup and
lemon juice. This cocktail is as fresh and tasty as it gets.

Getting a bit bored of kidding yourself that a gin & tonic is an acceptable drink to be made with a cocktail shaker? Up your game...Go out to spice up your cocktail nights in.

Cocktail lovers can refine their bartending skills and master new techniques at a series of molecular masterclass sessions run by London venue Madison . Launching February 2018, the MadLab sessions offer a chance to don a lab coat and learn three cocktail techniques: carbonation, infusion, and foam.

Participants will create molecular twists on three Absolut Elyx vodka-based cocktails of their choice - selected from a menu of nine - with the finished serves yours to enjoy.

Foam - Learn how to make a foam with the help of a blender and vegan emulsifying/stabiliser agent using a nitrous oxide cartridge – and then how to integrate the foam into a cocktail.
Infusion - Make an instant infusion with a cream whipper and a nitrous oxide cartridge. You’ll then create a cocktail with the infused spirit and learn how to use a torch to caramelise the garnish.
Carbonation- Master a carbonated cocktail with a cream whipper and CO2 cartridge, before using the torch to scorch the garnish.

MadLab masterclasses can accommodate groups of eight to 12 people, priced at £30 a head.

Book your tickets here.

Out there in the big wide world of London it's Cocktail Week... an inside? Well it can be cocktail week too can it not?

Here's your chance to up your cocktail game with no less than three truly inspired new cocktails (and their recipes) from Alf de Portillio, Head Bartender at the Natural Philosopher [based in Hackney].

London Cocktail Week is the time to tantalise the taste buds with special edition cocktails from Vita Coco. Cocktail maestro extraordinaire, Alf de Portillo, Head Bartender at The Natural Philosopher in Hackney has curated three original cocktails using Vita Coco’s ‘Pure’ coconut water: Thrilla in Manilla, Naariyal Hi Ball and Torcida Sour mocktail.

Featuring a suave mix of classic flavours, with an added coconut twist, these three drinks provide the best of both worlds!  Using a combination of familiar and unusual ingredients, including peanut butter and Cherry Heering, these dynamic flavours pair perfectly with Vita Coco’s coconut water, for a delightful taste of the beach!

The first drink on the menu, Thrilla in Manila features dry gin as a base, with familiar additions of orange bitters and Patis de Marseille, along with uplifting notes of coconut from Vita Coco’s coconut water. The second drink, coined Naariyal Hi Ball, is a mix of Zacapa and Vita Coco coconut water, fragrant peanut butter and angostura bitters. The final mocktail, Torcida Sour, is an alternative for those preferring an alcohol-free option, using Vita Coco’s coconut water as a base. It also features a hint of peach, similar to Vita Coco’s own Peach and Mango flavoured coconut water!

The bartenders at The Natural Philosopher will be serving Alf’s original, Vita Coco cocktails and mocktail for the whole of London Cocktail Week (2nd– 8th October 2017), so why not head down to Hackney to get a taste of the beach next week?

Make Alf de Portillo’s Cocktail & Mocktail Recipes at Home

Thrilla in Manila



50 ml Vita Coco water

35 ml Tanqueray London Dry

10 ml Pastis de Marseille

2 dash Orange Bitters


Nick & Nora





STIR the ingredients on a mixing glass. STRAIN contents into a chilled glass. Garnish with Floating Star Anise. Straight up

Naariyal Hi Ball


50 ml Vita Coco water

40 ml Zacapa 23

10 ml Peanut butter fat washed Cherry Heering

2 dash Angostura Bitters


Hi Ball







BUILD the ingredients directly on the glass. ADD a block of ice. Garnish with Cherry and Ice block


Torcida Sour (non-alcoholic)


75 ml Vita Coco water

10 ml Sugar Syrup

20 ml Lemon Juice

2 dash Peach Bitters

20 ml Egg Whites


Sour Glass





DRY SHAKE and SHAKE and STRAIN into a glass Garnish with Grana Padano - sprinkled

Straight up


Vita Coco Natural Coconut Water is available from a selection of retailers, including Waitrose, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Amazon.



Boom Shack brings Jamaican flavours to Brixton 100 FREE dishes this weekend
We love a new opening and we love a bit of the free stuff so this newbie in Brixton ticks all the boxes. Boom Shack, the new venture from Boom Burger founder Joshua de Lisser, opens it's doors in Brixton on Saturday 26 November, offering South Londoners a dine-in and take-away experience bursting with Jamaican flavours.

To celebrate the new opening, this weekend (Sat 26 – Sun 27 November), Boom Shack will give away 100 menu items each day, on a first-come, first-served basis. From 10am on Saturday, the first 100 customers are invited to choose a free item from either the breakfast or evening menus for the full Boom experience. To be in with a chance of grabbing a free dish, all diners have to do is simply turn up to the restaurant and place their order!

Located on Brixton Station Road, Boom Shack will predominantly be a lively cocktail bar serving up fun Jamaican vibes (open Wednesday – Sunday) and a drinks list straight out of the Caribbean. Try the “Jamaican Punch”, a sweet concoction of fresh fruit and lemon juice, blended with your choice of rum, vodka or gin, or go for the “Montego Breeze”, a sun-splashed combo of vodka, pineapple juice, orange juice, lime and ginger ale.

Loud Caribbean flavours will also be at the heart of the food offering, with the evening menu including a pair of hot ciabatta sandwiches, perfect for soaking up those cocktails. Choose from the Boom Cubano (£8) – ham, slow-cooked pork shoulder and a layer of Swiss cheese, topped with fiery hot peppers – or the Boom Sarnie (£8) - Scotch bonnet chilli beef, with cheese, house-made bacon jam and jerk mayo.

The breakfast menu includes a selection of sandwiches all served in a warm brioche bun – expect to see a bacon, egg and cheese sarnie, plus avocado and scrambled eggs as a veggie option, both priced at £7. Wash this down with one of their freshly served juices – “Papaya Don’t Preach”, papaya, lime juice, apple and ginger, or “Welcome to Jamrock”, a blend of mango, orange, pineapple and coconut water.

Boom Burger, the uniquely Jamaican-influenced burger company founded by Joshua de Lisser, opened its doors on Portobello Road in 2014.  De Lisser is excited to be bouncing the Caribbean beat to Brixton and comments, “We’ve come along way since starting as a pop-up in 2013.  I’ve always had my eyes set on a site in Brixton and now that it’s finally happened I can’t wait to spread the boom!”

Seating up to 21 people, Boom Shack boasts an inviting wood-walled interior, windowed doors and bright Jamaican colours, fitting in perfectly with the vibrant atmosphere of Brixton Station Road.

Boom Shack, Brixton Station Road, London, SW9 8PA

Opening hours: Wednesday – 4pm -11pm, Thursday & Friday – 4pm-1am, Saturday – 10am – 1am, Sunday –10am-6pm

Boom Burger, 272 Portobello Road, London, W10 5TY

T: @BOOMburgerLDN  - F: www.facebook.com/boomburgers

Alfred Leroy, a classic British Canal Boat has been lovingly renovated and converted into a floating bar by Hackney Wick’s CRATE Brewery. We had the chance to on a cruise down the lock just as the sun began to come out a couple of weeks ago. The boat is light and so sunny, on our trip (which you can also take on Saturdays throughout the summer) we had ample Prosecco, cheese boards and cocktails from friendly and knowledgable hosts.

The cruise on offer each weekend takes you two hours up and back on the River Lea, travelling past the Olympic Stadium to the Limehouse Basin, viewing East London landmarks such the Three Mills.  

Whilst aboard you can sample CRATE’s brews, Jarr’s ginger and passion fruit kombucha and kombucha cocktails, as well as British cheeses from Neal’s Yard and artisan bread from E5 Bakehouse within the price of your ticket.
The boat is so relaxed in atmosphere that you feel like you are aboard with friends and on the way you can stand out the front of the boat and do some slightly lower key Titanic 'King of the world' impressions.... or maybe just have a cigarette.20160423_173210

Tickets start from £20 and can be found on the Alfred Leroy website. The boat leaves from Hackney Wick, at Queens Yard. After your trip, if the suns still out there are a few cool bars around when you disembark - why not make a day and night of it? We certainly did.

Canalside Queen's Yard, London, E9 5EN