The cocktails at Callooh Callay have had their annual MOT, and we’ve all revved up about the new menu.
A quick shufti at the Shoreditch speakeasy’s new Haynes manual-influenced drinks — the serves garnished with hulking great bolts — and you’d be forgiven for thinking Richard Wynne’s team of booze mechanics had fashioned together some twisted paean to drink-driving.
Actually, the menu isn’t so much inspired by motors as it is the ‘lessons learned’ by staff here over the bar’s 10 years. That’s what we’re told anyway, and if the concept is slightly muddled, thankfully the drinks are exceptionally mixed. The sharp falernum-piqued tones of the Rust & Oil is worthy of any good tiki bar. The Builder’s Breakfast — created with the industrial concoction of rum, cognac, more rum, tea syrup and more rum — blasts away any concerns you might have had about its chintzy tin mug serve.
Both are pipped at the post by A Pop of Colour: a nifty snifter of green Chartreuse, lemon and rosemary & sage syrup that would receive coos of delight in a five-star hotel bar. We salute its derring-do use of peaty Ardbeg (which rocks up a few times in the menu); we marvel at its Swarfega glow; we stagger back up the stairs into Shoreditch, grateful that we don’t own a car.
We’d trot out some metaphor about putting your foot down to try out the menu, but it’s around for another year. Still, make sure you sample this va-va-voom menu at some point.
Callooh Callay, 65 Rivington Street, Hackney, EC2A 3AY.
Last Updated 01 May 2019