22 May 2015
Sharing its name with a classic INXS song (sorry, had to slip that in), Original Sin is another blink-and-you'll-miss-it bar tucked off Stoke Newington High Street, beneath burger joint Stokey Bears. It opened at the beginning of the year but shamefully (because it's only a short walk from my flat) I only made it down a couple of weeks ago.
We sat at the bar and it was by far the best decision. Veteran frequenters Matt and Ella have already worked their way through the menu so our prime positions gave us the perfect opportunity to go off menu and leave it up the hugely knowledgeable and creative women behind the bar. Matt went for something involving cognac, rye and amontillado (sherry's the next big thing) while Ella and I each kicked off with twisted negronis - hers sprayed with Laphroaig, mine infused campari and vermouth with mescal and chocolate bitters, finished with a sprig of rosemary that was set alight, blown out and used as a stirrer. The oils in the herb complemented the smokiness of the mescal and the rich undertones of the cocoa - I think this may quite possibly be a new favourite cocktail.
Then things took a darker turn. I was presented with a glorious drink that combined tequila, orange rhum, coffee liqeur and St Elizabeth Allspice Dram. Deliciously rich, this is a drink that works on so many levels as each ingredient takes a turn at commanding the floor. The sweetness of the cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg were pleasantly dulled by the bitter coffee and I'm totally all over tequila in cocktails at the moment.
We finished the night with an unexpected shot of sazerac that they'd made for one the bar back's leaving party the next day. These guys sure know their way around a bottle or two.
This neighbourhood bar is a real find. From the friendliest faces to the civilised pool table in the corner, it's a dimly lit destination for dates and mates, whatever the motivation. Five out of five.
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