Don’t you just love walking into a new place and immediately loving it? That happened to us last week, when we went to the launch of TT Liquor on Kingsland Road in Shoreditch.
Once a police station, TT Liquor is a spectacular new cocktail experience that has it all: over three floors you will find a specialist liquor store, an intimate subterranean cocktail bar and several rooms upstairs for teaching cocktail classes and hosting events. It is the latest project from Alastair Tatton and Stephen Thompson (hence the TT), founders of Mixology events and, along with Andrew Kerr, the much loved bar Discount Suit Company in Spitalfields and The Sun Tavern in Bethnal Green. But TT Liquor is very much Alastair’s and Stephen’s baby.
Entry is through the liquor store, which is a beauty to behold. To me it looked like a beautiful library and, in its own way it is. Over 1,000 different liquors line the shelves and the sheer choice of vodkas, rums, brandies, tequilas, whiskies, liqueurs, etc. is stupendous and includes many difficult-to-get-hold-of bottles and brands, as well as curated gift sets, glassware, equipment and ingredients, including syrups. There is also a wide selection of wines and beers (including their own fiery alcoholic Ginger Beer from Umbrella Brewing) available and everything stocked in the liquor store will also be available to enjoy in the subterranean cocktail bar at a special ‘drink-in’ price. For regulars there are special padlocked ‘Deposit Boxes’ where they can keep their own private liquor collection for each time they visit.
I first saw the downstairs bar about 4 months ago, when it was a building site. Now it is hardly recognisable. Exposed brick walls with clever lighting and leather seating for 120 guests give it a warm and cosy feel. Four historic jail cells that have been transformed into atmospheric alcoves for 10-15 guests that will host tasting experiences including classes on whisky, gin, rum and beer.
The bar’s cocktail menu has been divided into four distinct eras of cocktail drinking: Belle Époche, Boom to Bust, The Noble Experiment and Our Time. You can book a time travel through the different eras with a mixologist who will explain the history of each cocktail, its relationship to other classic cocktails, and give an analysis of its ingredients and flavours. Cocktails are accompanied by small plates of food, selected to complement the specific characteristics of each drink. Cocktail journeys with four cocktails plus food can be pre-booked or ordered on the bar for £45 per person.
We tried quite a few of the cocktails on offer and already have a few favourites. And at £8.50 per cocktail, you don’t even need Happy Hour to save you from financial ruin. I think George’s favourite was the Satay-Day Night Fever, a tiki inspired concoction with home-made peanut punch, as he had two of those and I loved the Midnight Run, a heady mix of rum, port and Sambuca with Crème de Mure, lime juice and blackberries. But I can’t really fault any of the cocktails we did get around to sampling on the night, like the Oh my Darlin’, Le Chat Noir, Dorothy Cocktail, Alex on Safari, Toucan & The Dorian.
TT Liquor has a decade’s worth of experience in teaching cocktail classes, and can host groups of almost any size (up to 170 guests in total), with several rooms set up for it. Classes are completely interactive – every guest gets their own area at a bar station and is taught how to make their own cocktails by an experienced mixologist. The range of lounge spaces will also be available for private hire as studios or events spaces for industry events and can also host pop-up dining and bar.
Food will be provided by residences from local restaurants, the first one, starting in March, will be Juma Kitchen, who also provided the delicious Iraqi/Middle Eastern food at the launch party.
TT Liquor is located at 17B Kingsland Road, London E2 8AA.
For more information and bookings visit www.ttliquor.co.uk or call 020 3553 3911.