Also known as the Punk Gin Palace, The London Cocktail Club was always one of those places I’d heard of and seen but had never actually been inside – and seeing as I’m such an avid cocktail lover it remains a mystery as to why. But once the opportunity arose I couldn’t say no or wait to get my mitts on some of the colourful concoctions I had heard so much about.
Two words: kitsch punk. We made our way down a flight of mysterious black stairs off Goodge Street to be greeted by a graffiti Jack The Ripper (always a friendly face to see) and his lady friend. As you walk into the bar the first thing you notice is how much of an intimate drinking hole the LCC is. With swallow-themed wallpaper, long hanging dim lights and a brightly lit bar showcasing the several rows of multicolored spirits, this venue certainly makes a bold impact.
The basement bar is split into two sections; the front half has numerous bar stools scattered around, accompanied with petite candlelit tables all facing towards the bar so you can watch your weird and wonderful cocktails as they're conjured up. The back half is a chilling lounge area alongside a classic telephone booth that has been converted into a cosy drinking space.
Even though the venue rocks a punk sorta look, the added trinkets (teapots your Nan would have, classic books, cushions and video cassettes) that the bar hoards gives it that comfortable homely feel that makes all feel welcome.
With fun and friendly staff members, tasty drinks and the best damn Spotify playlist that could grace your ears the atmosphere couldn’t have been any better. With couples canoodling, friendship groups catching up and late night workers treating themselves to a well-earned drink, the whole vibe was lively and unpretentious.
A key component to what makes this venue’s atmosphere stand out the most was the music – and I’m sure the girl who started shakin’ it like a polaroid picture next to me would agree. With every track personally selected by the manager, he definitely knew what the crowd wanted to hear. From Stevie Wonder’s Signed Sealed Delivered and Bell Biv Devoe’s Poison to Bone Thugs n Harmony’s Crossroads, it was the stuff you could sing-a-long too without feeling that you were at a cheesy karaoke party.
Ah the drinks, where do I start? Well, let me begin by saying these cocktails will be like NOTHING you’ve ever had before. Don’t get me wrong, I am a sucker for the traditional Pina Colada and Sex on the Beach cocktail but the LCC drinks were something else.
As I am a huge Breaking Bad fan it only seemed right that I tried the Heisenberg (£9) which was a mix of Ocho Blanco Tequila, ‘blue’ Falernum, lime and Agave, served in a beaker with tiny bag of blue salt on the side…all BrBa fans should know what that’s meant to be! Next up was the Fortune Cookie (£9) a fusion of sweet oriental flavours that came with a set of chopsticks and of course a fortune cookie.
Moving on the to the aphrodisiac cocktail of the lot, Love Potion No9 (£9) was the perfect combination of gin, dessert wine, pineapple and lemon which set our tongues tingling, but don’t worry, if this potion gets you too lustful and the magic starts to kick in – it comes equipped with a condom, yep you read that right, I said condom. Who says you can’t drink and be safe ay?
We were recommended the Penicillin (£9.50) cocktail by one of the bar staff and if you like your drinks strong and love your scotch this one is right up your street. With a mix of scotch, ginger, honey syrup and citrus it’ll certainly put a few hairs on your chest.
If you’re a devoted Instagrammer and love posting pictures of anything that looks delicious then the Brixton Riot (£9) and Smoking Barrel (£10) are two photogenic cocktails that will send your likes through the roof. Fire and special effect smoke with my drink? Don’t mind if I do!
A hidden gem that serves some of the most unique cocktails in all of London town, this place is definitely one to visit if you’ve never been. Perhaps a little more pricey than your standard cocktail but it’s oh so worth it (remember they have a Happy Hour too!) Great vibes, great drinks what more can I say? London Cocktail Club I bid you adieu!