Breaking Bad at the London Cocktail Club

By Mike Newbon

The London Cocktail Club is a drinking den. I’ll go further: it’s the drinking den. Look at its hallmarks. Underground, in a refreshingly murky (how oxymoronic is that?) basement on the quieter end of Shaftesbury Avenue. It smells like a century of cocktails have been drunk, sipped, slurped and thrown around inside it. The floor may or may not feel a little tacky underfoot, and the walls are decorated with tattoo art. I thought I liked bare white walls and the twinkle of hand-poured candles. Instead I’ve realised I’m more Alice in Harley-land where you drink a Dirty Martini at 4.30pm, look at your watch and realise it’s 4.30am.

The proof – in every sense – is in the drinking. And the London Cocktail Club is weepingly good at mixing. And serving. The Heisenberg is mixed blue in homage to the Breaking Bad crystal meth show, poured into a chemistry beaker with a side sachet of rock salt crystals. When we asked what to do with the plastic sachet of salt crystals, the waitress leaned in and whispered, "Try and sell it after midnight..."

Crack Baby (vodka, passionfruit and vanilla) comes in an over-sized syringe – the ultimate easy drinker. Red Snapper (gin, tomato juice, tabasco, lemon juice) is mixed into a Heinz Baked Bean tin. Why? Don’t know. And don’t really care after a Happy Hour double. And no, the waitress wasn’t going to let us try the same thing twice.

With a flick of an arched brow she let us know that yes, the Bramble (gin, lemon juice, raspberry liqueur) was delicious, and yes, it would be very provincial to drink it twice.

"DON'T DRINK THE BLUE WATER..."

My mother once said to me, "Never drink anything that's blue." Well, until now her mantra was essential bar etiquette. But The Heisenberg from the guys at London Cocktail Club has changed all that.

Their take on the Tommy's Margarita, with a bit of help from Walter White. El Jimador Tequila, 'Blue' Falerum, Lime and Agave with a small bag of blue salt on the side.

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