An 18th Century warehouse is always going to be a great place to drink cocktails. Old Bengal Bar which is a stone’s throw from Liverpool Street station is currently offering up a whole host of delicious concoctions dreamt up by the new bar manager Radolslav who’s been given a creative licence to mix things right up.
Originally owned by the East India Company, the warehouse is the longest surviving of its era and used to be used to house tobacco, ports and spices. It’s this rich tapestry which Ravoslav has used for his inspiration, so you’ll find a seasonal menu at The Old Bengal Bar that offers unique takes on classic drinks, using completely different ingredients in each, along with herbs, spices and dried fruits.
The flickering candlelight and the cosy-ness of such a beautiful bar against the exposed brickwork (it’s Grade II listed so much of the structure remains true), makes the Old Bengal Bar a great date place too. The unfortunate thing is, that these cocktails taste so good, you’re going to want to try the whole list! (Let’s hope the date’s going well… you could be here a while…!)
From the vodka list, we’d definitely go for the Opium Wars with Ketel One, Britottet Poppy Liquer, Lemon, Gomme, Lavender Bitters, Egg White and decorative poppy seeds around the glass. So called because opium was also housed here, this pink drink is beautifully sweet and sour – a real wake up call for the senses. By contrast, the Dom Vasco, also with Ketel One, has an interesting mix of Chambord, Byass Noe 30-year-old PX, pineapple and pineapple ketchup in it! You can smell the thyme and cardamon straight away while the pineapple adds a richness and sweetness to the flavour. The Byass Noe – an aged sherry adds a hint of cinnamon, date, treacle and clove.
From the rum list and more of a guys drink, try the Coffee and Cigarettes which does exactly what it says on the tin. Strong and smokey, the 23 year old Zacapa rum gives it those vanilla and cocoa notes, which are perfectly complimented by the Perique Tobacco Liquer and Coffee Bitters. The Yellow Fever is only a go-er if you’re a big banana fan because the taste could be quite over-bearing if you don’t! This drink tickles the tastebuds with a Mount Gay Black Barrel and the Kummel Wolfschimidt Liquer evens things out with its aniseed hit.
We got as far as four before dinner called, but no doubt we’ll be visiting the Old Bengal Bar again soon to try out the whisky and juniper selections! Go on, treat yourself, it is London Cocktail Week after all…