A birthday is a great excuse for a cocktail, and a pretty special one at that, so last week I took Lucinda down to Purl to celebrate reaching the official late twenties mark. It’s a cocktail bar I’ve seen mentioned across a good few magazines and cocktail expert reviews, but I think it was the mention of liquid nitrogen which really got my attention – a perfect replacement to the birthday candle or cocktail sparkler!
You’ll find it just off Baker Street, a walkable distance between the Baker Street and Bond Street tube stations. Although it’s labelled as a speakeasy bar, unlike other bars under this label it’s pretty easy to find. Look for the obvious sign and take yourself down a few steps to a cosy basement bar full of dark wood, bare bricks and relics of a time gone by.
I’m not sure if it was the Baker Street location or the old fashioned arm chairs, but I definitely imagined that had it been open all those years ago it’d be the kind of place frequented by Mr Holmes himself. Whilst there are places to stand I’d recommend making a reservation in advance so that you can sit back, relax and enjoy your cocktails at ease with jazz/blues/swing playing in the background.
But now for the important (and exciting bit) – the cocktails! First orders were the ‘Femme Fatale’ for the birthday girl (an @GinMonkeyUK recommendation) and ‘Mr Hyde’s No. 2’ for myself. I was pretty excited to see a stream of dry ice float my way, despite it being one of the more expensive cocktails on the menu at £12 it was worth it for the experience of trying something pretty different. What you also get for your money is a bar tender who is enthusiastic and knows his stuff.
Mr Hyde’s No. 2
As we were intrigued by so many on the menu we went for one more cocktail, the ‘Ketel One Nitrizzle’ (birthday girl’s) and the ‘Jewish Champagne’ (mine). I really liked the celery twist to mine, it had a smooth if not unusual taste which really worked. Lucinda’s was also nice and fruity.
Ketel One Nitrizzle
If you’re not into cocktails but you want to take someone who is, you’ll have the option of a couple of beers and wines, and the choice of plenty of spirits. For those who enjoy them like me, be prepared to experiment and even run the risk of not liking it. The bar itself definitely suits dates, the dim lighting hides the days hard work, it’s cosy and the cocktails are definitely something to talk about. It’s also great to take a friend or a group of friends and have a good catch up.
So are you up for a cocktail experiment? Take a trip down there and let me know which one took your fancy!
Here’s Luc checking out a few more to try on another visit…