Best new London bars

5th August, 2014 by Lucy Shaw

While many may dispute it, London has undeniably leapfrogged New York to become the cocktail capital of the world.

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test cocktail at Bump Caves

With trailblazers like Matt Whiley of Peg + Patriot in Bethnal Green serving crazy savoury concoctions like Marmite Martinis and Salt Beef Sazeracs and the bountifully bearded Rich Woods devising Olive Oil Gin Fizzes and Truffled Liquorice Whisky Sours at new Bellini bar Cartizze in Mayfair, the capital’s bartenders aren’t afraid of taking risks, and they appear to be paying off.

In the last few months alone, a slew of exciting new bars have popped up across the city, signalling the start of a few new trends with them.

The innovative Pudding Bar on Greek Street in Soho serves desserts and accompanying wines, which will be joined by Basement Sate on Broadwick Street in September, with Maze’s former pastry chef creating desserts to pair with cocktails.

Elsewhere, there’s a bar experimenting with barrel ageing, one specialising in avant-garde Californian wine and another that’s recently opened on the site of a 100-year-old toilet in Clapham.

Though perhaps the most outrageous of this line up is Bump Caves. Inspired by Tom Wolfe’s 1968 psychedelic non-fiction book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, the signature sip of the same name is served with a nine-volt battery designed to be licked and a bag of white powder clipped to the glass filled with a citric acid mixture that can be added to the drink as “seasoning”. Drink it if you dare…

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