November: Reyka Remix

November took us to a warehouse in Hoxton for the UK launch of Reyka vodka. Hailing from Iceland and named after the Icelandic word for steam (inspired by their awesome hot springs), Reyka partied the only way they knew how and transformed the space into the land of ice. Northern lights, immense vodka cocktails and…did someone say something about a polar bear? Member Matt Bone put pen to paper to bring you the following report: Honesty is a virtue”, or so, at least, my grandmother told me. Therefore I have to start this little tale with a confession, Reyka Vodka and I have met before. It was a cold, wet and terribly windy night in Reykjavik (the only kind I’ve ever known) in a wonderful bar called Kaffibarinn, where the resident Frenchman behind the stick said that I just had to try it. So I did, followed by a Reyka Martini, followed by collecting a bottle at duty free. So heading along to the Reyka Remix event with the London Cocktail Society was like meeting up with an old friend, only in warmer weather. Despite the best efforts of London Underground and my inane lack of direction, I arrived at Arch 402 in Hoxton (sans my plus 1, who was still dying from our night out the evening before) to be greeted with confirmation of my LCS status on the list and a handful of pebbles. Walking into the venue, the woolly jumpers on the wall, corrugated iron huts and a blast of “The Glacier” (a dry ice machine turned up to 11), it felt right. But enough about ambiance, which is all very good for setting the mood, it was time to spend some pebbles. Heading down the wall of jumpers lead to a wonder block of ice, bottles of Reyka and a very nice man filling glasses with both. I skipped the Icelandic Bitters (which I’ve had before and are very interesting, you should try them!) and went for a straight up vodka on the rocks to reacquaint myself with Reyka. Much like the land it’s from, Reyka is unusual. While most vodka has a bite to the aftertaste, Reyka has a burn similar to a whisky, leaving a rather fresh and almost menthol-y feeling. It is different and that is a good thing because the country it is from is as mad as a box of...
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October: Menu Launch at Megaro Bar

When the folk at newly opened Megaro invited us down to try their brand new cocktail menu I jumped at the chance. Held on a suitably rainy Tuesday night, it was a pleasure to hide away in a beautiful basement bar, with loads of lovely members and some damn fine cocktails. One of our members @Charlotte_Fi shares her experiences of the bar, the cocktails, and the evening. After a long summer of gin and tonics in the garden and one too many Pimms beside the BBQ, the invite to sample the newly expanded menu at Kings Cross cocktail bar, Megaro, announced the beginning of autumn not a moment too soon. Open since July, Megaro had decided it was time to revisit the cocktail menu and launch a bigger, better beast. After months of deliberations and mixing, the new menu was ready and waiting for tasting. Luckily for us, the best people (or should that be guinea pigs?) to call in were the London Cocktail Society for the first night’s service. As the bar has been set up, and is being run by some familiar faces from behind the bar at the Zetter Townhouse, the menu had quite a lot to live up to and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Located beneath Karpo, the basement bar feels intimate without being diminutive, and the various booths and old cinema seats allow private liaisons throughout the room without anyone feeling like they’re sitting on someone’s lap…unless they wanted to… We started at a table by the bar with a Perry Mason and the Perjured Parrot made from Four Roses Small Batch gin and a Borsh Mary 1.2 with Mamont vodka. Perhaps a strong choice to kick off a Tuesday evening, but selected canapés were on hand to provide some welcomed sustenance, with full info on provenance and ingredients on request. The first of the canapés was inhaled with little questioning I’m afraid, but the following salmon cream cheese cigars and venison sausage rolls were exactly what was needed to accompany the cocktails; perfectly formed and absolutely delicious. Having finished the first round, we opted for the signatures Hokkaido Collins with Nikka Pure Malt Black, and the Fig French 75 with fig infuse Martell VSOP and Perrier Jouet. Both were spot on, although the Collins definitely won the popularity contest, and the accompanying scallop ceviche with orange and pea purée was worth a return...
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