Wednesday, 1 September 2010


50/54 Blandford Street

Purl, a newish bar in west London, is a subterranean speakeasy that makes fancy drinks like you wouldn't believe. Plunging into its cavernous innards reveals a warren of cosy roomlets and alcoves that surely represent the best bits of the dark side. The cocktails here are truly works of art. Pictured above is a 
Mr Hyde's Fixer Upper, a "devilish elixir of Ron Zacapa 23 [rum], Cola reduction and orange bitters, served in a smoke injected, wax sealed potion bottle". Once the dry ice has subsided a little and you pull out the bottle, it looks like this:

The taste was as luxurious as you would expect: a ridiculous menage of liquid-silk rum, caramel-sweetness and a hint of citrus, all lightly smoked, like an antique leather armchair.

M opted for Champagne & Caviar, which was "Tiny balls of homemade mango and pine caviar, bouncing around a glass of Veuve Clicquot Brut with orange and mandarin bubbles".

This was a playful drink, with the caviar (made of I-don't-know-what - presumably some kind of gum and fruit) providing bursts of mango in the mouth, and a smudge of gel smeared on the base of the glass 
giving the champagne a citrus twist.

These drinks were as expensive as they were phenomenal (£10 each - the most I've ever paid for a cocktail), but I'd sooner have one drink at Purl than two at plenty of other bars I've had the misfortune to enter. One small quibble: handed a tiny printed paper menu on arrival, I was told its illegibility (due to booze-based smudging and running of ink) was intentional, part of the character of the place. I refuse to believe this. Management should invest in some proper drinks lists.

Next time - and I dearly hope there will be one - I plan to try The Street Urchin: "Four Roses Yellow Label, pear puree, citrus, cardamom bitters, bottled and bagged with a Doom Bar spritz."

No comments:

Post a comment