London Cocktail Week is kicking off on the 2nd of October and with it, a whole load of the capital’s bars are shaking and stirring in celebration of their favourite tipple. In true Farmdrop style, we couldn’t resist giving you a round-up of the best, most sustainable bars in town, serving tasty drinks that don’t compromise the planet or our tastebuds.
With an ethos “to do some good in the world”, the new Nine Lives cocktail bar in Bermondsey is radicalising how we drink. Their closed-loop cocktails aim to cut unnecessary waste, using up by-products that include transforming citrus rinds into cordial, infusing spirits with pineapple peel and even turning spent coconut oil into reusable candles, as well as painstakingly sourcing all of their ingredients. Try their (limited edition!) Bloody Mary, infused with peppers from their back garden, or their Gin Gimlet (pictured), using Ninth Life citrus rind cordial.
ninelivesbar.com, 8 Holyrood St, London SE1 2EL
Foraged cocktails, open campfires and crisp evenings are what you can expect at Midnight Apothecary. Gardener, forager and cocktail maestro, Lottie Muir, set up the Apothecary, transforming a muddy plot into a verdant secret garden above Brunel’s Thames Tunnel. Using locally foraged ingredients, garden-grown botanicals and seasonal concoctions, Lottie’s Autumnal cocktails include Woodland Martini with Douglas-fir-infused vodka, smoked sage syrup and Angelica bitters, and Apple Crisp with foraged rowan berries, Pommeau de Normandie, tequila and Organic apple juice. Open Saturday evenings.
Brunel Museum, Rotherhithe, London SE16 4LF
The offspring of award-winning White Lyan and Dandelyan bars, Super Lyan is the brainchild of Ryan Chetiyawardana, who’s taking London by storm with his low-impact ethics and super-innovative cocktails. “Our focus is on changing opinions and habits around ingredients,” says Ryan, “we want to nurture a dialogue between producers and us, and between us and the public to find ways of championing positive change in a manner that feels realistic and exciting”. From banning plastic straws to using unloved ingredients that support producers, both Super Lyan and adjoining concept bar, Cub (more on that here), are working to educate consumers, showing that to eat and drink sustainably, we must make ethical choices at every stage of the process from farm to erm… cocktail shaker.
155 Hoxton St, London N1 6PJ
Founded by London bartenders Kelsey Ramage and Iain Griffiths, pop-up tiki bar and online platform Trash Tiki, tours the world making cocktails out of would-be waste. “Rather than using something once and throwing it away, which happens all the time in the bar industry, we find ways to give them a second or third purpose”, says Kelsey. The duo intercepts ingredients from cocktail and juice bars and coffee shops, using offcuts, unsold products and other surplus raw materials to show how overlooked or underused ingredients can be stretched to create delicious drinks. Find them at Nelson’s Head Pub basement in Hackney on 7 October for London Cocktail Week. Ask for their A-Pulp Daq, using rum, Trash Tiki-special apple pulp syrup and lime-rind stock.
“Live off the land” is how Scout defines their drinks menu, with British-based tipples that include Bethnal Green cherries and Sussex rosewood to Brixton wild chamomile and Essex green peas. With a big focus on using seasonal and foraged ingredients, their cocktails stretch into the food menu too, using leftovers from bar prep to create delicious dishes from kohlrabi carpaccio to truffle-infused house pickles.
93 Great Eastern Street, London EC2A 3HZ